Porsche mulls plug-in hybrid version of 911 sports car

Article by Andrew Christian, on January 15, 2015

Porsche is playing on the idea whether it would build a plug-in hybrid version of the iconic 911 sports car, Bernhard Maier, Porsche’s chief for sales and marketing, remarked at the Automotive News World Congress. The carmaker already offers a plug-in hybrid variant of the 918 Spyder as well as plug-in versions of the Panamera sports sedan.

Porsche is set to roll out a plug-in version of the Cayenne crossover this year. According to Maier, Porsche has to be careful to build a car that delivers the performance expected of one bearing the 911 badge. Once the carmaker decides to realize the idea, “it will have to be a true Porsche and a true sports car,” he said.

Hybrids account for around 15 percent of all Panameras sold in the United States and about 45 percent of all Porsches sold in Norway. The carmaker posted an 11-percent surge in sales in the US last year to 47,007 vehicles.

The global sales figure was pegged at around 190,000 Porsche vehicles. Maier, however, didn’t say if Porsche is expecting to top 200,000 sales in 2015, noting that the carmaker is not volume-driven.

Maier also remarked that the carmaker is getting ready to open the two Porsche Experience Centers – one near in Atlanta and the other in Southern California -- currently under the final stages of construction. Porsche plans to open its 1.7-mile test track and event center that part of its new 130-acre US base just in the spring.

Maier said 90 percent of Porsche’s American customers will be able to reach the Atlanta center with a two-hour flight. The experience center in Southern California will be opened late this year or in early 2016.

On the other hand, Porsche has decided to push through plans to build a customer center in China. It is also considering whether to add more near Moscow and Istanbul. The centers are aimed at providing customers a place destination where they can experience Porsche vehicles and immerse themselves in the brand.

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