A future entry-level 550 Spyder? Possibly, but the automaker's branding image may be at risk.
It's no secret that Porsche has been interested in building a sub-Boxster entry-level model for some time now. However, economic conditions haven't exactly been the best and they've wisely chosen to focus their efforts on the new 911, Boxster, and Cayenne (all big money makers). But in a new interview conducted by Motor Authority, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller specifically stated that an entry-level model is still in the works.
Calling it the A-segment roadster market (thanks to a Porsche focus group), Mueller said it's partially a matter of timing regarding the model's introduction. So yes, Porsche does have plans to build a modern day 550 Spyder. However, its launch is not just a matter of timing, but also of image. The concern is not the car's performance or technical abilities, but rather Porsche's own branding. They don't want to risk their exclusive image being harmed by a lower-priced, entry-level roadster. Porsche is also convinced they have the "freshest and youngest model line" in their history, so they don't feel there's any need to rush the 550 to production.
As elitist as this may sound, the suits at Porsche are correct. Both the new Boxster and 911 look fantastic and there's even talk of a new four-cylinder Boxster in the near future. If reports are accurate, this would be a turbocharged flat-four that'll produce 200-300hp. Considering the Boxster already starts at just under $50k, Porsche product planners would much rather wait and see who ends up buying them and how much more or less they'd be willing to spend. It's possible a four-cylinder Boxster could split the difference between a six-cylinder model and the smaller and cheaper A-segment 550.