Porsche is evaluating electric tech for its existing sports cars, with the Boxster most likely to gain an electric variant first
Julian Rendell
13 September 2017

Porsche’s introduction of an electric 911 or Boxster will hinge on developments in batteries that will allow its sport cars to maintain a low ride height and class-leading handling and roadholding.

The company is under pressure to introduce an electrified version of every single model in its range by 2030, a corporate goal unveiled by Volkswagen Group boss Matthias Müller at Frankfurt. Its next 911, due later this year, will be the first available with a hybrid option.

“Fully electrified sports cars would work very well for longitudinal acceleration,” says Porsche R&D boss Michael Steiner, “but the weight disadvantage is in the handling.

“When this could happen depends on the evolution of battery power and cell density.”

Porsche is eyeing up solid-state batteries, which are lighter and more compact than lithium ion cells, as a possible future technology for an all-electric sports car, but production versions are several years away.

“We see potential new battery technology coming that may change the game again, but they are still in development," said Steiner.

Porsche 918 successor will need 'technology breakthrough'

Porsche has built an all-electric Boxster prototype to test the concept. It performed well, but delivered lower track times because of a heavier kerb weight that also affected roadholding.

The company has also looked at how to electrify the 911, but the packaging challenge of fitting a battery between the wheels in the chassis platform would raise the height of the driver and body.

A possible solution is to mount the battery where the rear seats usually are, but that would turn the 911 into a two-seater and radically reduce its appeal as an everyday 2+2 sports coupé.

Steiner said: “That’s a question we have asked ourselves: can it be a 911 with only two seats?”

Another option is a T-shaped battery packaged into the centre tunnel and rear seat well, which has the twin advantages of maintaining a low driving position and centre of gravity.

Parts for future electric sport cars could be borrowed from the componentry being developed for the Mission E, Porsche’s all-electric four-door due on sale by 2020. “It maybe a four-door, but it’s a very compact and low car. And, performance wise, it is a pure sports car.”

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Comments
12

13 September 2017

​Sounds like a load of old rubbish and excuses to me - there are no probelms with electric sports cars and habdling you mount the batteries very low in a "skateboard" chassis giveing a very low COG and excellent handling, its been done many times.

14 September 2017
typos1 wrote:

​Sounds like a load of old rubbish and excuses to me - there are no probelms with electric sports cars and habdling you mount the batteries very low in a "skateboard" chassis giveing a very low COG and excellent handling, its been done many times.

Surely it's not rubbish as they are talking about installation into existing architecture not a whole new chassis.

18 September 2017

The future of motoring is to have brand new structures. I don't know about Porsche's siuation? But with the electrical cars more and more manufacturers are going to use carbon derived chassis.

Lighter and cheaper to manufacturer at a certain point. Porsche Mission-E is going to have a brand new structure. I doubt that 911 will have it's current chassi in let's say 10-20 years from now!? 

/EX

14 September 2017
typos1 wrote:

​Sounds like a load of old rubbish and excuses to me - there are no probelms with electric sports cars and habdling you mount the batteries very low in a "skateboard" chassis giveing a very low COG and excellent handling, its been done many times.

Currently the seats in a 911 are mounted to the floor. If you add in a skateboard chassis consisting of batteries which is anywhere from 6 inches to a foot thick you then have to mount the seats on top of that, positioning your 80kg driver and 80kg passenger 6-12 inches higher than currently, significantly pushing up the centre of gravity but also meaning you've got to make the whole car that much taller, meaning raising roof lines, dashboards etc which adds more weight higher up and increases the frontal area of the car significantly increasing aerodynamic drag and screws up the low slung appearance customers want. This might be fine for an MPV or a normal road car but isn't ideal in a sports car. The article is trying to make the point that to keep the driver and passenger at the same height then the batteries have to be placed elsewhere.

13 September 2017

Porsche entusiasts were up in arms about changing to water cooling.  I wonder how they are with this?

This is the point where sports cars really will become totally irrelvant.  For me about 80% of the appeal of cars like these is the noise it makes.  Without the noise what is the point?

13 September 2017
oaffie wrote:

Porsche entusiasts were up in arms about changing to water cooling.  I wonder how they are with this?

This is the point where sports cars really will become totally irrelvant.  For me about 80% of the appeal of cars like these is the noise it makes.  Without the noise what is the point?

What do you mean, without the noise? There is noise. it just isn't the noise that you personally want.

Most electric cars sound like a Star Wars Tie fighter, which I think is cool! Cars don't have to sound like thrashing pistons and exploding dinosaur juice forever.

13 September 2017

I hate the idea of electrification in sports cars.  I like machines, not appliances.  That is my opinion, and I am happy for others to disagree.

 

But what consistently annoys me much more is the complete lack of opinion expressed by Autocar on the subject.  It is so very important to their own future as a publisher, but they seem quite incapable of doing more than reporting a press release as fact and fait accompli.

 

 

13 September 2017

But now, these Porsche an especially the Boxster dont' anymore make a good sound with their turbo (:-[) flat 4 (:-[) and flat 6 engines...

 

13 September 2017
Porsche are going to address the Boxter's diluted aural character by removing it altogether.

13 September 2017

by 2030 ..  ?

Toyota is working on solid state batteries..and apparently wil have cars out by 2022 with solid state batteries..

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