Is Porsche’s EV strategy in flux?

The simple answer is yes, of course it is. Shifting from combustion to battery power is a huge shift for both Porsche and the industry. Inevitably, planning for that future is an enormous challenge. It won’t all go smoothly.

The 911 is a case in point. When Porsche was originally mapping this all out, it was likely before the resurgence in traditional sports car values that saw the GT3 reacquire a manual gearbox option. Hence, the latest 992 iteration of the 911 was tooled up for Porsche’s new eight-speed PDK gearbox. It’s a rather large and heavy unit, partly because it includes space for a powerful electric motor to enable hybridisation, a feature that essentially the same transmission duly delivers in the Panamera saloon.

2021 Porsche 911 EV 992

2021 Porsche 911 EV 992

Indeed, it wasn’t that long ago that Porsche was talking up the idea of a plugin 911. Porsche’s head honcho, Oliver Blume, said it would be the most powerful 911 ever. More recently, however, senior Porsche reps have been playing down the idea. One even said there was nowhere in the 992 to put a sufficiently large battery to make a plug-in model viable, which makes the decision to fit a heavy, hybrid-ready gearbox rather odd. Unless Porsche had intended to sell a hybrid 992 and has now thought better of it, that is.

Either way, comments from US Porsche boss Klaus Zellmer on the future of the 911 play into the updated narrative where the 911 holds out from the ongoing drive towards electrification. Similarly, and as we’ve already reported, Porsche intends to offer both pure electric and combustion Macan SUVs in parallel. The company isn’t confident enough to switch the Macan wholesale to battery power. Long story short, Porsche will go electric just as fast as the market will allow. But there will be adjustments along the way. And not all of them will be entirely elegant.

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