German firm says it's too soon to launch an electric-only follow-up to its 210mph sports car
Julian Rendell
13 September 2017

Porsche is waiting for a technology breakthrough before launching a successor to the 210mph 918 Spyder - and will only go-ahead if the resulting car is faster than its predecessor.

The obvious next-step for a Porsche ‘super-sports’ is an all-electric powertrain, but company engineers have warned that the high weight of today’s batteries makes such a car unlikely in the near future.

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“A future super-sports is a matter of technology. If we were to do it now, it would be a hybrid. But we have already done that with the 918,” said R&D boss Michael Steiner.

An all-electric supercar could produce acceleration times that would fit Porsche’s performance criteria, but the car would also have to beat the 918 Spyder’s lap time around the Nuburgring Nordschleife.

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While that might be possible with an all electric car, Steiner warned that the rate at which charge would have to be drawn from a supercar’s batteries is likely to lead to cell damage, cutting the working life of the battery.

“And I don’t think our customers are ready to treat the battery as a replaceable item, yet,” said Steiner.

Electric Porsche 911 and Boxster to use solid-state batteries

Another consideration with an all-electric supercar is the extra weight, which would put the tyres, brakes and steering under excessive strain at the cornering and stopping speeds that are common on the Nurburgring.

The next major technology advance coming in electrification is solid state batteries, but they are in the R&D development phase now with series production a number of years away.

“Porsche has never had a plan to bring out a super sports on a regular cycle,” said Steiner.

The previous cadence was the Carrera GT in 2004, prompted by the availability of carbon-fibre tub technology, followed nine years later in 2013 by the 918 Spyder, which exploited advances in hybrid technology linked to Porsche’s return to front-line endurance racing.

“The next one might be even longer,” said Steiner. That suggests a date no earlier than 2021.

Having pulled out from the WEC at the end of this year, many of the WEC team’s engineers will be redeployed to build Porsche’s Formula E car for next season.

Developments in future battery technology could well be spun-off the Formula E race effort.

“What we are looking for is something new, for our next super sports,” confirmed Steiner.

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Comments
5

13 September 2017

No man!  What are you doing saying 'the obvious next step is an all-electric powertrain'?  

 

Why is it obvious?  And who is telling you they want such a thing?  And if you do, explain yourself, and what it is about cars that you actually like?

13 September 2017
eseaton wrote:

No man!  What are you doing saying 'the obvious next step is an all-electric powertrain'?  

 

Why is it obvious?  And who is telling you they want such a thing?  And if you do, explain yourself, and what it is about cars that you actually like?

Government does not care what you like or don't like, government wants your money. With IC you will have to pay more tax, more fines for "polution", more everything, and when people start to shift to electric en-masse the government will find a special new tax for your E-car. Prepare to be fleeced one way or the other.

No manual - no fun

14 September 2017
I don't care about governments and taxes here.

What I want is for the journalist who I pay to read to explain why he thinks such a terrible thing as an all electric Porsche is an obvious and good thing?

Steinway don't feel the need to make electric keyboards. Rolex don't make digital watches. Why do Porsche have to make a vacuum cleaner?

14 September 2017
eseaton wrote:

I don't care about governments and taxes here. What I want is for the journalist who I pay to read to explain why he thinks such a terrible thing as an all electric Porsche is an obvious and good thing? Steinway don't feel the need to make electric keyboards. Rolex don't make digital watches. Why do Porsche have to make a vacuum cleaner?

People made the same noises when Porsche started making SUV type cars. I guess they're just keeping their options open, they know how to make fast ICE sport cars but need to know they can make fast EV cars. One day they won't have a choice!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

18 September 2017

Why not a brand new Porsche 916 with hybrid technology? 1600cc turbo power straight from LMP1? Porsche could perhaps save let's say 400-500 lbs in weight compared to the 918 S. 

There is a Porsche 1800cc turbo with hybrid technology running in a Porsche Cayman GT4 as a testbed for a future super Porsche or the F1 project? Been seen in Scandinavia etc.

 

 

 

/EX

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