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What Should Volkswagen Steal From Porsche Next?

Volkswagen's latest models borrow a lot from their Porsche bros. Is it time for a 718-based Beetle?

Volkswagen’s latest reveals ahead of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show have one thing in common: features lifted straight from VW’s corporate cousin Porsche. As a result, we thought we’d ask the masses—What should VW raid from the Porsche parts bin next? 

The new Europe-only Volkswagen Touareg R took the most from Porsche, taking the engine and plug-in hybrid system from the $81,000 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. The performance numbers are the exact same as the Porsche, too—a combined 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Just like the Porsche, it also tows 7,700 pounds. 

The Touareg already rode on the same MLBevo platform as the Cayenne and a host of other upmarket Volkswagen Group SUVs, so why not? Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but expect it to be less expensive than its Porsche counterpart. 

Then there’s the new 2021 Golf GTI, the latest version of the VW hot hatch that has long been an enthusiast favorite. Its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has a gear selector that mimics the electric shaver-like appearance of the current 992-generation Porsche 911’s. 

Fortunately, we’ll get the GTI in the United States, where we can enjoy that Porsche design cue in a hot hatch that warms our hearts. That’s great for Volkswagen buyers. 

Yet as someone who lived through part of General Motors’ bad old days, I have such mixed feelings about this. GM let parts sharing and outright rebadging get out of control. Why would you buy a Cadillac Cimarron when it’s just a lame, barely tweaked Chevrolet Cavalier? 

I already have to defend my infatuation with the Porsche Cayenne from hosers who call it a “Fancy Touareg,” and a new Touareg that shares a Cayenne’s drivetrain straight down to the performance numbers really, really doesn’t help. Yet since the console buttons of this hybrid Touareg look easier to use than the futuristic slick panels of the current Cayenne, it would probably be my choice of the two. Also, to reiterate: IT’S A CHEAP PORSCHE.

Volkswagen’s being more judicious than Radwood-era GM with the incorporation of higher-end Porsche parts into its lineup, thank goodness. Surely the Volkswagen Group learned something from the Porsche 914, which still gets flak from Porsche nuts for being marketed as a “VW-Porsche” in Germany and from sharing an upgraded version of the Type 4 engine that was used in Volkswagen family cars and buses. 

The Porsche 914, which wore a VW logo in its native land., Porsche

So, let’s not get too crazy here. If we had to limit ourselves to just one more instance of Volkswagen raiding the Porsche parts bin for inspiration, what would be your dream Volkswagen-Porsche mash-up? 

A new Beetle with the upcoming electric Macan’s drivetrain? 

Repurposing the beloved flat-six drivetrain from the pre-718 Caymans in a 914 revival, this time marketed as the Volkswagen we all knew it was? 

What about a Cayenne Turbo-powered Atlas for those of us who don’t get that sweet Tourareg R?

Drop your dream Volkswagen-via-Porsche in the comments below, and maybe der Osterhase will grant your wish! (Or not.)

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