Have you confirmed whether a sports car smaller than the Boxster is on its way?
We are analyzing that project. We have already available a technical concept for such a car based on the Boxster platform, which we can make a little bit cheaper using some parts of the modular system of Volkswagen, specifically the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten, or Modular Transverse Matrix) — the next Golf platform. So that could be a way to have a platform to have a smaller sports car.
We’ve heard Porsche will take the lead in developing not just VW Group’s sports cars, but also its largest luxury sedans. What will that look like?
The basis is actually the Panamera platform (MSB, or Modular Standard Platform), which we will develop in the next generation. It is, concept-wise, the platform which fits the best for huge cars.
Like the Audi A8?
You can use as a basis the MLB (Modular Longitudinal Platform) or MSB for the A8 — it depends on what Audi wants. But, for example, a Bentley Continental could fit on our Panamera platform, as (could) a Lamborghini Estoque.
What’s the future of the Panamera in terms of model life?
I think the next Panamera will be in five years, but it’s possible to do the platform for the other customers in the Volkswagen Group earlier. In two or three years, that could be possible.
And, in return, Porsche has given up development of SUVs?
We have decided (at) a meeting between Winterkorn, (Audi CEO) Rupert Stadler, and me, some weeks ago…what is the most sporty brand in the group. And we decided that is always Porsche. And, due to that fact, we said the modular systems of high-performance sports cars have to be under the responsibility of Porsche. The second topic is that we said the MSB platform has special features — especially the very sporty cars — and that was the reason why we said, ‘Okay, Porsche has the competence to do that, and gets the leadership not only for the sports cars but also for the MSB system for the larger cars.’
The question was what should be the next platform for the third generation of the Touareg and Q7 and Cayenne? There we have seen that the MLB system of Audi fits very well to that issue, and that was the reason we decided that the next generation should be based on the MLB of Audi. Nevertheless, the Cayenne (version) will be developed in Weissach of course — the Cayenne with Porsche, the Audi with Audi, and the Touareg with Volkswagen.
Will future Porsches share their engines with other VW Group products?
I think we should have also an engine and gearbox strategy for the future in the Volkswagen Group. Besides the Carrera of course with the boxer, we should have reduced complexity in terms of engines. And I think Wolfgang Hatz, who is joining us (as head of Porsche R&D), is the right person to do that. Yes, we will share engines, both eight- and six-cylinder.
Who will have responsibility for these shared powerplants?
That is to be decided, (but it will be) either Audi or Porsche.
Is a four-cylinder Porsche in the works?
The first question is whether we should have a four-cylinder in the Boxster. It would be possible, but the question is how the first comparison shoppers will look at the cost of a boxer four. We started a cost-reduction program with the four-cylinder boxer and I think in some days or some weeks we will have a result and then we can decide whether we should do that for a Boxster and maybe for a smaller sports car, or whether we should use the inline four-cylinder of Volkswagen.
Would an inline four fit into the Boxster?
We would change the rear part of the Boxster platform, so it could work.
So a Boxster with a Volkswagen engine is under consideration?
That could be one solution — but in terms of the brand image of Porsche, it would be very interesting to have a four cylinder in a Boxster.
Could other VW Group brands use a flat four developed by Porsche?
No, no, no — that is exclusive for Porsche. Boxer is Porsche.