Business / Auto China

Porsche has eyes on all-electric future

By Li Fusheng (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-26 08:05

Porsche has eyes on all-electric future

The Porsche 718 Cayman (right) makes its world premiere at Auto China 2016, while the 718 Boxster S (left) makes its Asian debut.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Porsche AG is building a lineup of environmentally friendly cars as part of its future-oriented sustainable development strategy, said its top executive during the Beijing auto show.

"Sustainability for us is a very important point, especially for our engines. Today, we have three plug-in hybrids that we are using in three different model ranges - the Panamera, the Cayenne, and also our high-end sports car, the 918," said Oliver Blume, chairman of the German premium sports car manufacturer.

He said the future lies in electric cars. "In the near future, for us it is plug-in technology. But the real challenge is the full electric car of the future you can drive like a Porsche."

That means the car will have a range of 500 kilometers and be fully charged in 15 minutes.

In fact, Porsche has already started a program on such an electric car called Mission E, the first fruits of which are expected to hit the market by the end of the decade.

Blume said the automaker will launch the electric car like a real sports car, and will then transfer the technology to other model ranges, such as its SUVs.

"Our electric SUV in the future will be a real sports car by Porsche," he said. "Talking about an SUV from Porsche, you are talking about a sports car. Driving an SUV from Porsche, you drive a sports car. That is the history of Porsche and we will do it in the future the same way always."

He said he has no worries that SUVs from other brands would attract Porsche customers away as models like Cayenne and Macan account for a lion's share of the brand's total sales.

Providing such products underlines the automaker's success in global markets, especially China, where Porsche sold more than 58,000 in 2015. China has surpassed the United States to become the brand's largest market.

China sales in the first quarter hit 16,000 units, a growth of 23 percent year-on-year.

But Blume said Porsche is not obsessed with short-term sales.

"Our expectation at this moment is to stay on the same level because we are doing a lot of investments for the future. Short-term profits are not as important for the company as its long-term future."

That is why Porsche has not stopped its pace of innovation, such as cutting the size of its engines, enhancing fuel economy and exploring E-mobility, digitization and connectivity.

The three models that it is showcasing at the Beijing auto show - the new 718 Cayman made its global debut and the Asian premieres of the new 718 Boxster S and 911 Targa 4 - are all equipped with downsized, but optimized turbo engines that have a greater power output and less emissions.

Porsche has eyes on all-electric future

Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board of Porsche AG, speeks at the Porsche news conference for Auto China 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

New models

The 718 Cayman has a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which demonstrates that Porsche is deliberately revisiting the historic concept of mid-engine sports car with a four-cylinder flat engine for an enhanced driving experience.

The car has a torque of up to 310 Nm, an increase of 20 Nm compared to its predecessor - the 2.7-liter naturally aspired engine.

And the 2.5-liter engine of the 718 Cayman S, with Variable Turbine Geometry technology, delivers up to 420 Nm and 275 kW, which represents 50 Nm and 18 kW power increase compared to the 3.4-liter naturally aspired engine of the last generation model.

That performance enables the 718 Cayman S to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a remarkable 4.2 seconds in the "Sport Plus" mode, 0.5 seconds faster than its predecessor.

"The new 7 18 Cayman premiered at this show is the latest entry-level sports car of Porsche, and it might even be the first Porsche for our young customers," said Blume.

"We believe that the glorious heritage and unparalleled driving experience that this new model offers will further boost sports car culture among them."

The new 718 Boxster S and 911 Targa 4, equipped with turbocharged engines, demonstrate Porsche's "rightsizing" concept of engine design, which means the perfect balance among the number of cylinders, engine displacement, the size of the turbochargers and the applied bar pressures, instead of purely pursuing the engine displacement or power output.

Using the same four-cylinder engine as the 718 Cayman S, the 718 Boxster S establishes a profound technological connection with the 718 name, and showcases the racing spirit inherited from the legendary 718 racecar.

The new 911 Targa 4, sporting a three-liter six-cylinder engine with bi-turbo charging, has a maximum output of 272 kW and a top torque of 450 Nm, which is 15 kW (20 hp) and 60 Nm more than the last generation model.

Its four-wheel drive system not only generates superlative dynamic performance, but also ofers ultimate driving pleasure.

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