Porsche Scraps Ferrari 458 Rival, For Now
A Porsche competitor to the vaunted Ferrari 458 has been on the docket for years. However, according to new reports, the planning stage might be as far as this sports car ever gets…at least for now. In a recent interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche R&D head Wolfgang Hatz told Australia’s Drive that the eight-cylinder sportscar project – internally known as the 988 and intended to slot below the 918 (pictured) – hadn’t been scrapped altogether, but rather temporarily postponed. RELATED: Take a closer look at the incredible 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar
“We have not finally decided the [start of production], so at the moment we have so many other things to do,” notes Hatz. He adds that immediate projects “to develop some entirely new cars such as the Panamera successor and Cayenne successors and the next-generation of our sports cars” take precedence over the upper range model.
Reports indicate that both the next-generation Cayenne and Panamera will arrive in 2017, giving Porsche engineers little more than two years to finish development. Additionally, Porsche continues to work on new engines, transmissions, and hybrid systems for both its road cars as well as the automaker’s relaunched Le Mans racing program.
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At the end of the day, the overall goal remains the same. Porsche is dead set on pushing its annual global production past the 200,000 mark within the coming years, and with production hitting 155,000 vehicles during the 2013 fiscal year (an 8 percent year-over-year jump) – it’s becoming an ever-attainable figure.
Expanding the product lineup with bottom of the range vehicles like the Macan should effectively expedite that process as well. Bolstering the top end of the range might not hurt either, but with a successor to the now five-year-old Ferrari 458 expected within the next few years, the benefits of a mid-engine 458 direct rival look slim.
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