PORSCHE’S PRODUCT REVOLUTION
Forget air-cooled or water-cooled. Don’t worry about compulsory turbos or the greatmanual versus PDK debate. All of those controversies are positively piffling compared to themonumental upheaval Porsche will experience in the next five to 10 years.
We’ve reported previously on Porsche plans to launch its first all-electric car, a production version of themission E concept. Thismonth comes firmnews that Porsche is doubling down onmission E by doubling up on its plans to invest in electrification to the total tune of a cool six billions euros. We now also learn that Porsche is also said to be considering the notion of not replacing the 718 Boxster and Cayman twins at the end of the current cycle.
All this is taking place against the backdrop of the Vwemissions scandal, the prospect ofmuch tougher real-world emissions tests and the advent of driverless car technology. In short, the entire auto industry is in a state of unprecedented flux as product planners attempt to divine which way themarket will turn and how fast technologies will develop.
Indeed Porsche has recently been caught a little flat footed by unexpected demand for the hybrid versions of its new Panamera. Porsche’s battery supplier is struggling to keep up with the influx of orders leading to longer delivery times of customer cars of three to fourmonths. That surprise success, not tomention knowledge of the raft of new electric cars planned by sister companies in the Vwgroup and competing brands like BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover, is no doubt implicated in Porsche’s decision to dramatically up its investment in electromobility.
But themain takeaway fromall of this is that what youmight call enthusiast concerns – for instance, whether the next GT3 has amanual gearbox or turbocharging or the comparison between the 718’s flat four and the Cayster’s old flat six – look rather quaint in the context of the huge upheaval and monumental investment and technical effort Porsche will be putting in over the coming years. Odds are, a decade fromnow Porsche’s product portfolio will be virtually unrecognisable.