The German maker admits for the first time that it is considering an all-new car that would be aimed directly at the Ferrari 458 Italia, sitting well above its classic 911.
Design and engineering work has already begun on the car but, although company president Matthias Mueller is happy to talk about details, he will not be drawn on timing for a final go-ahead on the project. He says the basics for the supercar are already set, placing the mid-engined road rocket well above the 911.
"Less volume, more expensive, more performance, faster," Mueller reveals exclusively today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. He also says the car must be mid-engined but is not convinced that it needs to be a new-age hybrid, despite the package of the petrol-electric punch of the 918 Spyder that goes on sale next year.
Porsche has set a ceiling of 918 cars for 918 production, and it plans to build them all by the end of 2015. That's when the window opens for the Ferrari rival, after Porsche shelved plans for a sub-Boxster price fighter codenamed the 550.
"We put these 550 ideas into the desk and decided on some other things," Mueller says. He says Porsche will not be rushed into any decisions on the Ferrari fighter, which could also be spun-off into mid-engined cars suitable for Lamborghini and Audi.
The two other brands are, like Porsche, part of the giant Volkswagen Group and their mid-engined Gallardo and R8 will share any mid-engine development work by Porsche.
"We don't want to decide it as soon as possible, we want to make the decisions when there are no risks in our mids," Mueller says.