​How far down market can Porsche go?S

With the Macan, Porsche continues its recent trend of expanding its product portfolio to cater to new and larger markets. Starting with the Cayenne in 2002, ze Germans are building cars once never even considered by the brand. Dislike it as we may but without them, Porsche couldn't produce the cars we clamor for.

There are a few reasons why Porsche is able to continue this trend without harming its brand image in the eyes of its target consumers.

​How far down market can Porsche go?

The step-in Porsche has traditionally been two to three times the cost of an average mid-size sedan, not the factor of 10 required of true exotics. A new Boxster/Cayman/base 911 is within reach for anyone with enough dedication, hard work and/or disregard for familial responsibilities.

The same is true for used Porsches. A used Ferrari or Lamborghini is still a rare exotic. Their rarity and associated prestige keeps prices high and the potential marketplace small. A few cheap ones exist but these are neither a smart investment (308GTB repair bills will have their way with your wallet) nor their maker's best work (308 GT4).

​How far down market can Porsche go?S

Porsches generally don't have this problem. Sure, your average blue collar man is probably never going to be able to afford a 550 Spyder, 959 or Carrera GT, but their more pedestrian models have always been within reach.

A used 911 is attainable for pretty much anyone, this has been true for years. Not to mention cheaper models like the 914 (though these are getting rare), 924 and 944. These can be had for beater money. They won't be beater Civic reliable but as long as you're aware of that going in, lots of fun can be had on a budget.

​How far down market can Porsche go?S

Where could Porsche be going? They're not about to build a build a competitor to the Camry. That's too far (for now...) and parent company Volkswagen already has brands and products in that segment. If Porsche is to build something even more affordable it will go back to what does best, sports cars.

Let's assume it would be a front-engined coupe. The Boxster and Cayman already encroach on the 911 enough, let's not start crowding the mid-engined pair with this. A starting price somewhere between $30-35,000 USD, probably closer to the latter, is realistic; of course you will have no problem coming close to doubling this in fine Porsche-option-list tradition.

As for the engine, Porsche is rumoured to be developing a turbo flat 4 for use in future Boxsters and Caymans. A naturally aspirated version, say 220-240hp, could provide the motive power for a front engined, entry level car. Combined with the price, this car would come up squarely against the upcoming (rumoured? I don't know, whatever) Alfa Romeo Spider.

​How far down market can Porsche go?

Then there is of course course the question of VAG competing against itself. Might a cheaper Porsche sportscar cannibalize sales from, say, Audi's TT? What about the Volkswagen Eos? Wait, they're still making those? Right, moving on. They might hurt the TT but Porsche's image could be enough to sway more marketshare VAG's way than it will hurt their own sales.

Now, you're probably thinking "wouldn't that just be a more expensive Toyobaru? No one is going to buy that!" Yeah, it pretty much is and yes, they will. Most Americans might not, but Europeans will.

So how far down market can Porsche go? Will they eventually make a car for the everyman?

Image credits: Porsche Macan - Jalopnik, Porsche Boxster/911 - Porsche, Ferrari 308 - Petrolicious and photoshop, Porsche 911 - The WB, Alfa Spider - Jalopnik.