Porsche is planning an "elemental" low-cost roadster, according to Road and Track magazine, which would be a successor to the Volkswagen-engined 914.

Porsche 914
Porsche 914 / 1976

This is said to be based on the Boxster platform, but to be smaller, lighter and with a stripped-out interior. In line with the "new 914" brief, it could feature Volkswagen's 2.0-litre turbocharged, direct-injection engine as in the Golf GTI. R&T speculates that this could be tuned for 230bhp or so, and has produced some computer-generated images of what the car could look like.

Such a model would give Porsche - keen to expand its model-range in all directions - a rival for the Mazda MX-5, Opel GT/Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky, lower-end Audi TT and so on. It could also attract aspirant Porsche owners to the brand, including the all-important younger buyers who may then trade up to a Boxster (and perhaps, later, to a 911, a Panamera saloon or a Cayenne).

Critics are no doubt readying to declare it "not a proper Porsche" - though historically, it has a precedent and is thus much more in the Porsche tradition than either the Cayenne or the upcoming four-door Panamera.