German car magazine AutoBild reported this month that Porsche was planning to make a new compact hot hatch based on the next generation Volkswagen Golf Mk6 platform. The magazine claims that this new Porsche Golf will make it to the production lines in 2012, with concept versions likely to be shown in a year or two before that. Shown above is Theophilus Chin’s artist impression of the new Golf-based Porsche.
I can see why Porsche is doing this though – the same reason why you’ll see more and more premium manufacturers introducing smaller yet premium models into their line-up. The answer is the USA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which requires car manufacturers to have certain fuel economy standards according to the footprint of the vehicle, which is measured by track multiplied by wheelbase.
Porsches which have large engines but very small wheelbases are hit badly by CAFE standards, but because CAFE is calculated by considering the average fuel economy of all cars the manufacturer is producing, adding a small compact car to its line-up with great fuel economy due to the smaller engine needed is a smart way to comply.
The new Golf-based Porsche will go against the likes of the BMW 135i, the Volkswagen Golf R32, and the Audi S3. It could be powered by the same engine as the R32, or the 3.6 litre direct injection V6 from the baseline Cayenne.