With its production Panamera and Cayenne hybrids, along with its awesome 918 Spyder concept and 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car, Porsche has been toying with hybrid technology development. The German sports car maker has confirmed it is working on electric vehicles, and announced that the first will be electric Boxster test vehicles.
Porsche says testing of the electric Boxsters will commence early next year as part of Stuttgart's Electric Mobility Regional test. The test is designed to determine the infrastructure necessary for electric vehicles, analyze driver behavior, and examine how future EVs should be developed in terms of vehicle range. Porsche aims to later develop an electric vehicle using the information gathered during this test.
"We will definitely be offering an electric sports car in [the] future," said Porsche president and CEO Michael Macht. "But such a concept only makes sense if it offers performance and a cruising range comparable to that of a sports car today."
Electric vehicles are part of Porsche's Intelligent Performance solutions, which encompass a number of different powertrain solutions aimed at maintaining Porsche-level performance while lowering emissions. This includes the hybrid technology currently available on the Cayenne S Hybrid and the Panamera S Hybrid, which goes on sale next year. The Cayenne uses a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 and an electric motor for a combined output of 380 horsepower, and can propel itself on electricity alone at speeds up to 30 mph. Porsche hasn't yet announced details on the Panamera Hybrid's powertrain, but it will likely use the same setup.
Also included among the Intelligent Performance solutions is the 918 Spyder supercar concept. The Spyder uses a 500-horsepower, 3.4-liter V-8 and three electric motors that bring total output to 715 horsepower. The hybrid setup allows for average fuel consumption of 78 mpg (on the EU combined cycle) and jaw-dropping performance. The car may be destined for production with the interest Porsche received.
Porsche has not yet announced when its first electric vehicle will go into production, but look for hybrids and electric vehicles to make their way into Porsche's future lineup. Sound off in the comments about your feelings on Porsche's future performance electric cars.