Volkswagen Group design director Walter de' Silva hopes to add "something positive" to the design of Porsche's new models, beginning with the Cajun SUV.
Porsche AG is set to become Volkswagen AG's 10th brand and Porsche design director Michael Mauer now reports to de' Silva, along with the heads of the styling centers of the other VW group brands such as Skoda, Seat, Bentley and Lamborghini.
De' Silva said he has just started working with Mauer and their relationship is off to a good start. "I really hope to be able to add something positive to Porsche's new models, which will remain coherent with the great tradition of Porsche,” de' Silva said in an interview at the Paris auto show.
De' Silva said the designs of the successors to the current Porsche Boxster and 911 sports cars are already completed, so "the Cajun will be the first new Porsche created under my influence.”
The Cajun, which is due in 2014, is part of Porsche's plans to expand its four-model lineup to double unit sales in the medium term to 150,000.
The SUV will be a platform sibling to the Audi Q5 and a rival to premium SUVs such as the BMW X3. It will have a shorter wheelbase and lower roofline than the Q5 and will cost between 5 percent and 10 percent more, according to German magazine AutoBild.
To prevent the Cajun stealing sales from the Q5 and the larger Porsche Cayenne, the smaller SUV will be sold initially as a two-door like a potential rival, the Range Rover Evoque, AutoBild said.
Besides the Cajun, Porsche is also working on a "baby" Boxster car that is expected to go on sale in 2013 and will be based on one of de' Silva's pet projects, the VW BlueSport, which was shown as a concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show.