Porsche Says it Won’t Build a Tesla Model S Rival
Reports floating around suggest Porsche is developing an all-electric Tesla Model S competitor with the next-generation Panamera sedan. However, now AutoCar is reporting Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz is dismissing those claims.
“We are a sports car firm, and that brings with it certain expectations,” he said. “A Tesla is a fine car, but you cannot drive it enthusiastically without losing range or performance too quickly. Until the technology offers a solution to those problems, we will not be looking at launching such a car.”
If this isn’t a simple diversion, it means the upcoming 2016 Panamera will not employ a fully electric powerplant as previously though, sticking to a hybrid system like it currently uses in the Panamera E-Hybrid. Of course, other powerplants will find their way into the new sedan like the gasoline V-6 and V-8. It’s also expected the Panamera will spawn several versions with different body styles, including a smaller version that will compete with the BMW 5 Series.
Despite the words from Hatz, Porsche has already been experimenting with electric power. A fleet of electric Boxters have been driving around since 2011 as part of a joint venture with the German authorities. Even so, Hatz held strong in saying the technology is too new for a production Porsche. “We are leading the way with plug-in technology, and our customers are happy with the benefits that it brings,” says Hatz. “For now, that is our focus.”
Regardless, Tesla’s Model S is doing fantastically well in sales. Performance also continues to grow, now with the new 2015 Model S P85D hitting the streets.
Click past the jump to read more about Porsche’s future electric plans.
Why it matters
Several scenarios are possibly at play here: this could be a diversion to keep the car-buying public in the dark; the electric-only Panamera may not be quite ready for the 2016 launch; or the car will take even more time to prepare for production.
Building a Tesla Model S competitor would be a smart move on Porsches part, especially considering the Model P85D’s outstanding performance abilities. It would also be the next step for the German automaker’s electrification technology, helping push the envelope that much further.
The upcoming 2016 Panamera will bring the four-door Porsche into the second half of the decade with plenty of updates. We can expect a revised interior and exterior, along with new V-6 and V-8 engines, and updates to the E-Hybrid powertrain. While Porsche says it won’t release an all-electric Panamera, the possibility is too tantalizing to dismiss.
The new car is said to ride on Porsche’s new MSB platform and will offer both rear and all-wheel drive like the current model does. Pricing should remain roughly the same, with the sticker starting around $80,000.