Porsche: Hybrid Experts Need Apply
Do you happen to be an "engineer for hybrid development and transmission controls"? Is your title "Project Engineer High-Voltage Safety and Batteries?" Or, as a matter of fact, do you do anything at all that touches the hybrid field? Then Porsche wants you! In a recent full-page, national newspaper ad, Porsche revealed that it's not ashamed to admit that its hybrid talent pool is a bit, er, thin. But the ad also indicates that (oddly enough), the automaker's taking this gas – electric stuff seriously; no mild hybrids for the sons of Ferdi. According to Automobilwoche [sub], the first model on which the (new) engineers will be able to cut their teeth will be the second-generation Cayenne, starting in 2010. The Panamera sedan will be introduced in 2009, but it won't be hybridized before 2011. Other politically-correct plans include lower weight: The Panamera's four doors will probably be made of magnesium. (Let's not be callous and picture the bright colors in which a Panamera with Li-Ion batteries and magnesium doors would burn). Even Diesels, God forbid, are on the horizon. According to Porsche's boss Wendelin Weideking, oil burners are being "taken into consideration." Porschefiles, the end is nigh.
Ironically, Porsche is the guy who invented the hybrid. But I'm with Martin on this one. The prospect of 5,000 lb. 911's just makes Colin Chapman look like more of a genius.
I've always wondered if the hybrid's superior low-end torque was used for performance, what kind of 0-60 times could we see? Since all of an electric motor's torque is available as soon as it starts spinning, it seems pretty feasible that these things can go 0-60 in sub-2's, provided appropriate tires can be found.
Samir, It may not be a hybrid -- I'm sure some geek will push the Tesla to extremes.
Trying to make an efficient rational Porsche seems counter intuitive. Modern Porsche's by definition make no sense in a rational world. The original Porsches were light, simple and fun. Modern Porsches are heavy, overpriced, technology laden gadget mobiles which take all the fun out of driving at anything close to legal speeds. How can anyone take a car seriously which offers six different optional instrument dial colors for a $690 fee, yellow or red seat belts at $340, an aluminum footrest for $250, a "Thicker Leather Steering Wheel" for $1050, Alcantara (a sort of synthetic faux-leather) gear and brake lever trim for $1,880 and so on. This is but a fraction of the options listed for a Boxster using carsdirect.com. What kind of Kool-Aid drinking customers fall for that nonsense? Do people really brag about spending $1,880 for imitation leather gear shift knobs and brake handles? Do people really spend $340 to get yellow seat belts? Yuck.