It isn’t exactly a secret that the upcoming Porsche Pajun is being positioned as a Tesla Model S competitor, potentially packing as much as 420 horsepower and 265+ miles of electric driving range. But Porsche isn’t putting all of its eggs into a single electric basket, with AutoCar reporting that a hydrogen fuel cell version of the Pajun is under consideration as well.
While patents show that the Pajun (short for “Panamera Junior”) will be built on the same platform as future Porsche Panamera and even Bentley vehicles, it’ll be smaller so that it can compete with the likes of the Model S and BMW 5 Series (and perhaps even the i5). Porsche is packaging the Pajun in a way that both the hydrogen and electric drivetrains as just as viable options, easily swapped during production in an effort to give eco-conscious buyers more variety in their drivetrains. This goes against earlier rumors that suggested the Pajun could be electric-only.
Porsche has been at the forefront of vehicle electrification, at least in terms of plug-in hybrids, but the German automaker has yet to commit to a pure electric drivetrain. The Pajun is meant to be the answer to the Model S and other “green” luxury competitors from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, but only Porsche seems ready to put both hydrogen and electric drivetrains as an option in the same vehicle.
Rumor has it the electric version will have at least 265 miles of range and be called the 717, while the hydrogen FCV version will be called the 818. Both vehicles will have their drivetrains placed at the rear of the car, freeing up both passenger space and room for the battery pack, though rumor has it conventional drivetrains may make their way into the Pajun as well.
If there rumors of a hydrogen/electric Porsche Pajun pan out, it’ll provide an interesting case study of which alt-fuel drivetrain buyers prefer. While costs, range, and of course performance will all factor in, if all other factors end up equal, what drivetrain will well-heeled buyers naturally gravitate towards?