Who would have thought that exotic car brands would all of the sudden strive to be at the front of the pack when it comes to hybrid technology. Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche especially stick out as brands promising to produce hybrid supercars in the coming years. Porsche has taken to hybrids with gusto, recently debuting their hybrid 911 GT3 R at Petit LeMans, and earlier this year unveiling the 918 Spyder Hybrid tthat should be going into production sometime soon.
So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Porsche is promising that, at sometime in the future, every model line from 911 to Cayenne will have a hybrid option.
Development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer told Automotive News says that “In the future, we will have hybrid drive in every model line.” Up on deck is a Cayenne Hybrid, a Panamara Hybrid that will use the Cayenne’s technology, and the aforementioned 918 Spyder Hybrid. Still, that covers just half of Porsches current lineup. The 911 that debuted at Petit LeMans uses a flywheel hybrid setup, so that is doubtful that setup will make it to market. That also leaves the Boxster and Cayman up in the air.
That isn’t to say there won’t be conventional Porsches still for sale. With tightening emissions and fuel economy standards across the world though, Porsche has to up the ante if they don’t want to pay big fines for poor mpgs. They are in a sort of gray zone, selling a lot more cars than say Ferrari or Lamborghini, but not nearly as many as the major manufacturers. They must meet standards or pay big bucks in fines that will eat away at their profits.
Another option Porsche is considering are smaller, four-cylinder engines. As Ford is showing, a turbocharger can make up for a lack of displacement, delivering good performance without sacrificing fuel economy (as long as you can keep your lead foot out of it). Porsche also wants to reduce the weight of each successive model by 10%…a tall order when drivers demand so much from their cars these days. It can be done though, and Porsche customers have already demonstrated they have no problem paying a premium price for a premium car.
More than anything though, Porsche is help to disprove the myth that hybrids are boring. If Porsche uses the hybrid system right, it could provide better fuel economy and a burst of extra speed when needed (or wanted). That, my friends, should be the true meaning of hybrid.
Source: Automotive News