Mike Stevens | Nov 30, 2010

Porsche needs to expand its line-up and double its global sales: that's been the official line over the past few months, with Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn telling reporters in August that his company "has to make progress with Porsche."

While speculation continues to grow on the possibility of a new entry-level Roadster based on the Volkswagen BlueSport concept, Porsche has this week confirmed development of a new small SUV.

"In addition to the new Cayenne, which has clearly consolidated its market position as the most successful sporty SUV in the premium segment, the "Cajun" will also have a very positive impact with its typical Porsche features such as light weight, ease of handling and agility," a Porsche statement reads.

Entering below the Cayenne - which shares its platform with the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q7 - styling for the new model will be inspired by earlier generations of the brand's cars.

Volkswagen's design boss Walter de Silva also confirmed that the Cajun will be the first new Porsche to be developed under his guidance, with styling for the next-generation 911 and Boxster already locked in.

"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 told industry paper Automotive News at the Paris Auto Show.

De Silva added that while his position as the Volkswagen Group's head of design will give him control over the Cajun's direction, his working relationship with Porsche design boss Michael Mauer is "off to a good start."

Little else has been said of the new SUV. It is likely however that it would share its platform with the Audi Q5. Currently, the Audi SUV offers engines ranging from a 2.0 litre TDI to a 3.2 litre FSI petrol engine developing 200kW and 330Nm of torque.

Along with the rumoured roadster, the Cajun could help Porsche not only recover sales lost with the Boxster and Cayman, but also put the German prestige carmaker on the path to doubling its current sales figures.

With its stated goal of overtaking Toyota as the world's number-one carmaker by 2018, Volkswagen is pushing Porsche to hit 150,000 annual sales.

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