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Monday, May 12, 2008

Porsche's Compact SUV The Roxster

The latest evidence of Porsche’s never-ending quest to take over the automotive world (see our coverage of VW boardroom antics before the 2008 Geneva auto show) has been spied: a baby Cayenne.

Using many of the same components found under the slick skin of the upcoming Audi Q5 but certain to be more capable overall, the new baby ute appears to look a lot like the Cayenne, which has done wonderful things for Porsche’s bottom line. It is also certain to be yet another twist of the knife already in the hearts of Porsche purists who believe the brand should stick to 911s.

The internet is clogged with reports calling the compact SUV the Roxster, but we’re not sure Porsche would choose such a dorky name. Technically, Porsche has vehemently denied the SUV and the name, but where there’s smoke—and good spy shots—we have to wonder if there's fire.

Porsche has proven that it will take risks with the brand, with the Cayenne treading into truck territory and with reports the automaker is toying with the idea of putting its first diesel under the hood of the Roxster to bolster sales in Europe.

Here in the States, we’re hoping the plan is to use the 290-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that powers the base Cayenne, as we fear the smaller 3.2-liter V-6 might not be spicy enough for a baby Cayenne, no matter what its name.

We expect the little pepper to be launched in fall of 2009 with an on-sale date in the U.S. the following spring, at prices starting in the low $40K range.