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Brand New Mid-Engined Porsche To Debut In LA

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On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 11:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Brand New Mid-Engined Porsche To Debut In LA

We know that there are a lot of world and North American debuts coming to the 2010 LA Auto Show this week—20 and 30, at last count. Porsche has a couple of the latter in its 911 GTS and 911 Speedster, which will be shown for the first time on American turf at the show. A Motor Trend report yesterday indicates that Porsche has another debut up its sleeve, and this one is a world-debuting first-timer. Porsche didn't go into details, but said the car is a mid-engined sports car. 

Porsche may remain silent until LA, but there's a couple of known Porsche projects on the horizon, one of which will likely be the debut model. Porsche is known to be developing a smaller, entry level roadster, which could very well be the debut model. That car is expected to get a 250-hp four-cylinder engine. One factor casting some major doubt on the 'Baby Boxster' is a recent rumor that Porsche was tabling development of that model.

If not the Baby Boxster, a next-generation Boxster is another possibility. Camoflauged test Boxsters have been seen around the world lately, so that is a possible candidate.

The most likely candidate is the Cayman S Clubsport, a high-performance Cayman that's also in development. Several months ago, reports indicated that Porsche planned to unveil the Cayman Clubsport, a lighter, more powerful Cayman with some external modifications, at the LA show. Porsche didn't confirm those rumors, but the Cayman Clubsport is looking like the most probable contestant.

Perhaps the most intriguing possibility is a more refined version of the 918 Spyder Hybrid. That model was introduced as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show, and Porsche confirmed it for production in the summer, so the company might want to show how it's coming along toward production.

A wild card in the mix is the mid-line high-performance sports car that Porsche is reportedly working on. That model would sit between the 911 and the 918 Spyder and would likely get some type of hybrid powertrain. Since today's report indicates a new model as opposed to a concept, that particular car seems highly unlikely.

Last month, Porsche also committed to offering a hybrid variant of every one of its vehicles within the years to come. The next hybrid to join Porsche's line-up is expected to be the Panamera Hybrid. The Panamera is a front-engined car, so that won't be the one. While it could be a hybrid version of another Porsche like the Boxster or Cayman, that is unlikely at this point since the Panamera Hybrid is known to be close to ready.

Whatever model Porsche is planning to introduce, we'll find out soon enough. The LA Auto Show's media days are next Wednesday and Thursday.


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