[V8] A rear engined VW in my garage.....again!

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Sun Jul 19 03:22:28 PDT 2009

I read this morning that a deal is close to being finalized whereby
Volkswagen will acquire Porsche.  This is another report in the continuing
saga in which Porsche was going to acquire VW, or VW would acquire Porsche,
or Toyota was going to acquire both of them, or Mercedes-Benz was going to
invade Wolfsburg and kill them all.  It now seems that the fury has died
down, and it will be VW who will be buying 49% of Porsche NOW, and the rest
later.  Porsche is out of money, out of credit, and because its CEO Wendelin
Wiedeking never learned anything from history, out of luck.  


So I can see VW stepping in quickly to rectify some recent mistakes made by
Porsche in its ignorant assumption that there would always be a huge desire
for its vastly over engineered, over priced and somewhat under made cars in
the US, the middle east and China.  Here is what could happen:


*	Plans for production of the Porsche Panamera will be scrapped.  With
132 buttons on the interior of the car, and the overall delivered cost of
over $115,000 considered simply too high for any reasonable sales in the US
especially, the new CFO of VW's division will cut the project.  Rumors are
that VW will appoint Wilhelm Kaiser von Otto as the new CFO, while Weideking
will become CEO of Porsche Group, essentially a backwater job.  Kaiser von
Otto is notorious as a hatchetman in car circles, and he has been quoted in
some of the automotive press as saying that, "Americans are too stupid and
poorly educated to be able to remember what 130 buttons in a car are for,
*	The "new" Porsche division will get a slightly upmarket edition of
VW's Chrysler Town and Country sourced van introduced this year.  No name
has been selected yet for this new to Porsche production platform, but it is
code named "paprika" internally.  Rumors persist that at time of
introduction, it will be called the "Jalapeno" to imply a familial
connection with Porsche "Cayenne".  The new van will not carry the venerable
VW V6 engine either.  Supposedly work has been underway for two major
changes to the van platform, and the key switch will be moved to the left
hand side of the steering wheel, and the engine will be a slightly detuned
version of the flat six used in the Porsche Boxter.  Aimed at the upscale
soccer mom, the new Van will also have an innovative front bumper system
tied in to the emergency brake assist program.  When a collision is deemed
imminent by the computer, the front bumper extends sixty centimeters as a
defensive move, taking 13 nano seconds.  Reports from Stuttgart indicate
that there are difficulties with this system however.  Internally it is
called "the soccer kick", and so far it has worked entirely too well.  Every
time a Jalapena Van has been driven in traffic, when coming to a stop behind
other vehicles, it has a tendancy to automatically deploy if a Toyota or
Honda is immediately in front.  No programming explanation has been found
for this defect as yet.  Rumors that French cars are also struck by "the
soccer kick" system, are denied by Porsche management.
*	The Cayman sports car will be getting a serious makeover.  Instead
of its current water cooled engine, a version of VW's original beetle 1200
cc air cooled engine will be used in this vehicle.  Citing lowered weight
factors, the new four cylinder air cooled boxer engine will have four Weber
carburetors, and a unique cylinder head design that gives each of the 20
valves its own camshaft.  The engine develops a reported 327 horsepower, and
its use is a return to the strengths that made VW what it is, according to
an internal memorandum. 


Both Porsche and VW are controlled by members of the same family, however
they are not all friends.  Porsche has made a terrific attempt at buying VW,
but its development of first the financially successful Cayenne, then the
reptilian Cayman, and now the Panamera (a car that no one will want, few
could afford and many fewer could service) has resulted in the small niche
car company becoming so burdened with debt that it is close to failure.
This misreading of history, and miscalculation of its market position will
virtually require a takeover by a larger more thoughtful company, and VW is
the only real option according to news reports.  Rumors that Porsche had
considered a takeover offer from Toyota are vigorously denied by Porsche
management.  Also vigorously denied by Porsche are rumors that top board
members have been quoted as saying that they hold Toyota responsible for not
relieving Von Paulus's sixth army group at Stalingrad.



My friend, the European auto journalist may be visiting here in August for
his annual Maine lobster.  He usually has lots of interesting automobile
tales that come out under the spell of Maine lobster and a nice little
German Riesling that I keep in the wine cellar.  I may have more on this
breaking news later on in the summer.


Remember: you heard it first here!



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