Porsche Promises Across-The-Board Hybrid Options
Porsche has made much of its hybrid drivetrain development efforts, pointing out that its founder helped create the world’s first hybrid drivetrain one hundred years ago. But thus far, the talk has centered on Porsche’s “rolling hybrid laboratory,” the 911 GT3R Hybrid, and the Hybrid Cayenne, with the plug-in 918 Hypercar lurking across the horizon. But, Porsche’s development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer tells Automotive News [sub]
In the future, we will have hybrid drive in every model line
First up will be a Panamera with the Cayenne’s hybrid V6 drivetrain, arriving sometime next year. Duerheimer won’t give a timeline for hybrid versions of the 911, Boxster and Cayman, but he does admit that hybrid drivetrains aren’t the only way for a sportscar firm to shave off the 41 grams of C02 per kilometer that Porsche needs gone by 2015.
If the CO2 guidelines require it, then our engines will become smaller and may have just four cylinders. The important thing is that the performance has to be right. The 911 must always be on the cutting edge.
After all, hybrid drivetrains are heavy, and weight requirements are already being pushed upwards by demand for more comfort and safety. Porsche’s law of generational weight management:
A constant weight is our minimum requirement in the change to a new generation, even with compliance with all the new safety and comfort requirements… You could hardly achieve much more than that with current technologies
But building downsized vehicles in order to average out fleet emissions isn’t the Porsche way. There will be no “Porsche Cygnet” because, as Duerheimer puts it
If you want to save on your heating costs, you don’t move into a smaller apartment
Smaller Porsches like the downsized “Cajun” SUV and a sub-Boxster roadster are about bringing in new customers, not bringing down C02 averages, he explains. In the short-term, hybrid options seem just the thing for Porsche’s profound skill at using option-lists to separate customers for cash. But how soon will every Porsche really be available with a gas-electric drivetrain? And when will there be a customer-ready, gas-electric drivetrain that’s actually based on a Porsche engine, rather than the Cayenne’s Audi V6-based unit? Porsche’s approach to Europe’s climbing emissions standards may seem more progressive than Aston Martin’s, but a number of questions remain unanswered.
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