Porsche confirms renewed focus on deploying plug-in hybrid cars

Article by Anita Panait, on April 27, 2012

Porsche AG confirmed its goals to set the benchmark with drive systems that offer maximum performance and minimum fuel consumption. Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board - Research and Development, reiterated the company’s goal during the Vienna Motor Symposium.

According to Hatz, Porsche is focusing on utilizing plug-in hybrid technology in production. The sports car maker has created a sports car that features a hybrid drive – the Porsche 918 Spyder. The Spyder features the combination of combustion engine and an electric drive, redefining high-performance and fuel efficiency.

Hatz pointed out that expanding the use of electricity in hybrid models and the augmentation of the conventional combustion engine are going to play a major part in developing future drive systems. Hatz also highlighted the success brought forth by their hybrid models, the Panamera and the Cayenne. Hatz noted that sales of the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid in 2011 are more than twice the sales of all its competitors combined.

And Porsche does not intend to stop there. It is currently searching for more solutions to squeeze greater performance and efficiency from the combination of combustion engine and electric motor.

Hatz acknowledged that the full potential of conventional combustion engines has yet to be reached, which is the main reason why Porsche will continue to employ combustion engines for the drive system of its sports cars.

Porsche’s latest offering, the Panamera range, made its official world premiere during the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. Consisting of a total of 10 different models, all eyes at the moment are focused on the Panamera S E-Hybrid, given that it is the segment’s first plug-in hybrid model. There are however other excellent models like two new versions of the luxurious Executive, both of which have their wheelbase extended.

In addition to the new range, the brand also showcased its newest biturbo 3.0-liter V6 engine, which will be equipped inside the Panamera S as well as the Panamera 4S. Overall, Porsche hopes to show that the new series models have better efficiency and performance while offering higher levels of convenience and comfort.

The style implemented on the Panamera is clearly that of the design language that Porsche utilizes on its sports cars, given the use of the highly precise lines and the addition of body elements with new shapes.

Aside from introducing the new Panamera range, the brand also revealed that its Gran Turismo range will be extended, something that will make a lot of people happy as the base models themselves are already considered as unmatched. One reason why Porsche decided to unveil this new range in this market is because after the U.S., China is the brand’s second largest single market.

In fact, the market in China is even larger compared to its home country, Germany. In 2012 for example, Porsche sold a total of 31,205 units in the Chinese market, an increase of 28.2% when compared to the previous year. Though second overall, China is the largest market not only for the Panamera sport sedan but for the Cayenne SUV as well.

Releasing a new model range in China will not be enough if Porsche wants to ensure that the demands of the customers for this market are sustained. The plan is to extend the brand’s dealer network in the China with the expectation that one Porsche Centre will be opened each month. Its main objective is to increase the dealer network from 50 locations to 100 centers.

This is not all as Porsche intends to have the first ever Porsche Driving Experience Centre in Asia. This 10-hectare (100,000 sq. m.) site will be placed beside the Shanghai International Circuit racing track.

It will have training classrooms, off-road courses, slalom courses, and even a test track that customers of the brand and enthusiasts can use. Target date for completion is 2014 and once done, it will become the third test center following Leipzig in Germany and Silverstone in England.

Topics: porsche, hybrid

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