How does more money for a less powerful car sound?
Although we like to make fun of Chinese cars, the reality is that there are some models sold only over there that we wish were in the US. The same can be said of certain cars that are sold worldwide but modified for the Chinese market, such as the long-wheelbase models of luxury sedans. However, sometimes the quirks of the Chinese market backfire on the country's gearheads. Take the new Porsche 718s for example. According to Automotive News Europe, Porsche's new sports cars will cost more in China and be less powerful.
Porsche is set to sell the new 718s for 600,000 renminbi, or about $90,000. According to Jan Roth, head honcho of the 718 line, that price point is considered a "magical threshold for customers in China." Said threshold is almost $40,000 more than what those two cars start off at in the US. While the markup is pretty steep it's not all that shocking. It's prohibitively expensive for foreign companies to sell cars in China, with the country slapping tariffs on outsiders to protect its domestic automakers. The extra cost of doing business is simply passed onto consumers. Unfortunately for said consumers their money will actually buy them less car. Automotive News Europe says the 718 Cayman and Boxster will only make 250 horsepower.
Everywhere else in the world the 2.0-liter turbo-four in the base Cayman and Boxster makes 300 horsepower, and that number jumps to 350 horses in the S trim. So why the power drop? According to Porsche, the goal is to protect the resale value of the previous-generation Boxster and Cayman. Those cars sold for more than 700,000 renminbi and made 275 horsepower. The new 718s will be cheaper but offer less power, ensuring that the older models still remain somewhat attractive buys.