Porsche studying new electrified hypercar project

Stuttgart firm has launched an internal study into a range-topping electrified successor to the 918 Spyder.

By Greg Kable, Autocar UK calendar 06 Mar 2019 Views icon10144 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Porsche is undertaking an in-house product strategy study into a high-tech hypercar successor to the 918 Spyder, company chairman Oliver Blume has confirmed.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Blume said the new flagship model could be powered by either a plug-in hybrid or pure electric powertrain and, if approved, is envisaged to launch in the middle of the next decade. The hypercar would be designed to be a showcase for the German maker’s electrified drivelines.

The machine would fill the void at the top of the Porsche line-up left when the 918 Spyder ceased production in 2015 after a limited run of 918 models.

Blume said that Porsche was currently busy readying its first electric cars, the Taycan and Taycan Sports Turismo. But he said the firm was considering taking on the likes of the McLaren P1 and Rimac Concept One.

“In the future, I see a possibility for a hypercar with the next generation of the batteries,” said Blume. “It should be a very high-performing car. We haven’t decided yet, it’s more in the direction of 2025 or later. That’s what we do in our product strategy.”

Commenting on developments connected with the hypercar study, Blume said Porsche was carefully monitoring progress in the field of solid-state battery technology in a co-operation set-up with Stanford University in California, USA. 

The co-operation is part of a £76 million (Rs 701 crore) investment made by Porsche’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, in QuantumScape Corporation, a solid-state battery start-up spun off from developments made by Stanford established in 2018. 

Blume indicated the hypercar product strategy study underway at Porsche was still in its infancy, saying: “We haven’t decided yet whether it will be a hybrid or a pure-electric car. We are waiting on the evolution of the batteries. We will then decide what’s going on.” 

Blume also reaffirmed that Porsche was committed to launching a petrol-electric hybrid version of the 911.

“We will continue with high-performance petrol engines in our sports car for as long as possible. It is true, we are thinking about a hybrid drivetrain for the 911,” said Blume. “The platform is already prepared.”

Porsche has gained expertise in hybrid drivetrains through its motorsport activities, including three victories at the Le Mans 24 hours with its 919 Hybrid.

Blume said the hybrid driveline under development would be the highest-powered driveline in the 911. He pointed to the Panamera S-E Hybrid as an example of what is possible, noting it uses 60Ah battery technology and develops in the vicinity of 700bhp. By comparison, the latest evolution of the 911 Turbo uses a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre horizontally opposed petrol engine developing 532bhp.

“There’s no decision yet whether we will have a plug-in-hybrid, which has more weight but more range, or a solution like that in the 919 Hybrid race car,” said Blume. “But I think in three or four years we’ll be able to offer a hybrid of some sort in the 911.”

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