Mission E concept will evolve into a production model in less than two years time

Mission E concept will evolve into a production model in less than two years' time

Porsche hasn't been a sports car company for a long time: SUVs and the Panamera are the reason why this once small firm produces such enormous profits and large numbers of vehicles. Spending is now well underway for the addition of electric models. Might Porsche become the first firm to experience both sales and financial success from high-priced EVs?

Electrifying sales demand

Some 60 per cent of Panameras delivered to customers in Europe have hybrid drive.

Electrified versions of the new generation Panamera and its Sport Turismo wagon-style variant are off to a strong start. Porsche claims that some 60 per cent of cars delivered to customers in Europe have hybrid drive. In France, the figure is 70 per cent, in Austria it is over 80 per cent, while in Norway and Belgium it has been "over 90 per cent".

The next step is fully electric drive, and Porsche is going all out in its effort, with a bespoke platform being created for future EVs, the first of which will be a production car based on the Mission E concept. These models will be made in Germany, with the company spending heavily at home, hedging its bets on different propulsion systems.

"Sustainability is the foundation of our company management. Resource-efficient production methods are of the highest priority for Porsche, and are also being factored into the restructuring of our traditional plant in Zuffenhausen for the production of the first purely electric Porsche", Albrecht Reimold recently stated. By 2019, there will be a brand new plant, a factory within the factory. "Our goal is to achieve CO2-neutral production. We are completely on schedule. The Mission E will be on the market by the end of the decade," added the Executive Board member with responsibility for Production and Logistics.

"We are already thinking about derivatives of the Mission E", Albrecht Reimold further notes. "We are also planning additional purely electric vehicles and investigating relevant segments. We are working with Audi on a joint electric vehicle architecture for the long-term future."

Electrified models

Porsche's CEO says a PHEV 911 will appear when the 992 is half-way through its lifecycle.

Porsche has been clear that it has no plans for a fully electric 911. However, speaking at the LA auto show in November 2017, company CEO Oliver Blume said that a PHEV 911 was planned but that it will not appear until the next model is half-way through its lifecycle. That should mean the second half of 2022. The delay is said to be due to the planned use of a lighter battery pack. Such a pack is still some years away from being production-ready.

A plug-in hybrid Panamera, meanwhile, is already being built. It had its public premiere alongside the combustion engine-only versions of the car. This was at the 2016 Paris motor show. The Panamera 4-E Hybrid has all-wheel drive and system power of 340kW (462hp) and 700Nm of torque. CO2 is claimed to be just 56g/km.

Porsche says the maximum range on the car's battery pack is up to 50km. Top speed running on batteries alone is 140km/h, and otherwise 278km/h. The standard transmission is an eight-speed PDK (dual clutch) - the first generation model had an eight-speed torque converter automatic. The first deliveries of the Panamera 4-E Hybrid commenced in April 2017.

A second, far more powerful PHEV had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2017. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid went on sale from three months later. Originally available in standard or Executive (long-wheelbase) forms, a third option was announced in September 2017: the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. The world debut took place at the LA auto show in November 2017. This variant is the fastest, most powerful Panamera.

The powertrain of the Turbo S E-Hybrid, Executive and Sport Turismo consists of a 136hp (100kW) electric motor with a 550hp (404kW) twin-turbo 4.0-litre petrol engine. Total system power is 680hp (500kW), torque is 850Nm, acceleration from 0-62 mph takes a claimed 3.4 seconds with Launch Control, top speed is 192mph and the range is up to 31 miles range in fully electric mode.

There should be a facelift for the PHEV Panameras in 2020, followed by new models in 2023.

The Cayenne S E-Hybrid's successor should be revealed later in 2018.

Another PHEV which should be mentioned is the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. Even though it is now out of production and a successor is yet to be announced, the next model should be revealed later in 2018. It is likely to have a similar powertrain to that of the PHEV Panamera(s).

Another future model, although this time a fully electric one, will have been previewed by two concepts. The first was the Panamera Sport Turismo. This was revealed at September 2012's Paris motor show and hinted at a potential rival for the Tesla Model S. Such a car is being developed by Porsche on what started out as as the J1 electric vehicles architecture, now renamed as PPE (Premium Platform Electric) and a JV with Audi. It should be similarly sized to the Audi S7 Sportback. Combustion engines are not expected to be available.

The Panamera ST was followed up by the Mission E concept at September 2015's Frankfurt IAA. This prototype had two permanent magnet synchronous motors, similar to those in the 919 Hybrid LMP1 racing car. These devices are able to accelerate and recover braking energy. The Mission E had an 800V system which meant Porsche could claim that the car's batteries could be recharged to 80% of their capacity in 15 minutes. The concept was also able to be plugged in to a 400V charger or recharged inductively.

The company confirmed in December 2015 that it was developing an electric car based on the Mission E and that it would be built at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen:

GREEN LIGHT FOR MISSION E
04/12/15 from Porsche

The first 100% electrically powered Porsche is on its way. The supervisory board of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG today gave the green light for the Mission E project. In the words of Dr. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board, Porsche is thus "beginning a new chapter in the history of the sports car." The vehicle is due to be launched at the end of the decade.

With the Mission E project, Porsche is continuing to back sustainable growth. In Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen alone more than 1,000 new jobs are being created. The company will be investing around 700 million euros in its main site there. Over the next few years, a new paint shop and a new assembly plant will be built. The existing engine factory is also being expanded for the production of electric motors. In addition, the existing body shop is being enlarged. On top of that come other areas in which the company will be investing in this context, such as in the Weissach development centre.

The Mission E concept car celebrated its premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in September. Visitors were gripped above all by its highly emotional design. Living up to the buzzword of 'E-Performance', the technological trailblazer combines outstanding driving performance with trendsetting day-to-day practicality. The four-door car with four individual seats has a system power output of over 600 hp (440 kW). The vehicle will thus achieve both acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds and a range of more than 500 kilometres. Charged via an 800-volt charger unit specially developed for the car, which is twice as powerful as today's quick-charge systems, the lithium-ion batteries integrated within the vehicle floor have enough power again for 80 percent of the range after just 15 minutes. The vehicle can optionally be 'refuelled' wirelessly by induction via a coil set into the garage floor.

Porsche's first electric car of the 21st century is expected to be called E-Sport Turismo.

The model name of the series production car is yet to be announced. Insiders have hinted that E-Sport Turismo is one possibility. Build should commence in October 2019 and there should be an eventual three specifications for the car: 300kW, 400kW, 500kW. Porsche will likely not offer the cheaper, less powerful variants during the first year or so of production. This will maximise transaction prices from those who feel they must be amongst the first to own an in-demand model.

The production version of the Mission E may not be Porsche's only high-cost gamble on the potential popularity of electric vehicles. Speaking in December, Oliver Blume said that the firm's Electromobility strategy will be explained to the media during 2018. The firm will most likely bet on launching a fully electric SUV based on the next Macan. This might take the form of Sport Turismo body, i.e. a longer roof and a larger boot.

The other possibility is a battery-electric version of the new Cayenne. The problem with that option, is that the basic model is already very heavy. Adding even the latest, most advanced cells will still push weight well above 2.5 tonnes. That wasn't an issue for the old-shape, 2.7-tonnes+ Land Rover Discovery but the Disco was never primarily aimed at enthusiast drivers: the theoretical Cayenne E would be.

Probably, around 12-18 months after the arrival of the E-Sport Turismo in early 2020, Porsche will launch a Macan E, and then, potentially, the Cayenne E in 2023 or 2024. The last of these will probably have solid-state cells. 

Sports cars

The second generation Cayman had its global debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2012 as the Porsche Cayman. The name changed to 718 Cayman in 2016 as part of an update which brought new engines and a facelift.

The 718 Cayman shares platform modules with the 911 and 718 Boxster. Originally, the base Cayman was powered by a 275hp (202kW) 2.7-litre six-cylinder engine, while the Cayman S came with a standard 325hp (239kW) 3.4-litre unit. Both cars had standard manual six-speed transmission, with the seven-speed PDK optional.

The more powerful Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS had their global debuts at the New York auto show in April 2014 and went on sale from the following month. The Boxster GTS was powered by a 243kW (330PS) version of the 3.4-litre H6, while the Cayman GTS' 3.4-litre engine produced 250kW (340PS).

The next 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster will hit the market from 2020.

The Cayman GT4 had its world debut at the Geneva moor show in March 2015, with the first cars arriving in German dealerships later that month. It was powered by a 283kW (385hp) 3.8-litre H6.

A four-cylinder engine was part of the mid-life facelift for the Cayman and Boxster ranges announced in December 2015. Another change was making the Cayman the cheaper of the two. The official reason for this was to be consistent with the pricing strategy for the fixed roof and open-top versions of the 911. The restyled and renamed Boxster premiered at the Geneva motor show in March 2016 with the Cayman following a month later at AutoChina in Beijing.

The 718 Cayman S is powered by a 350hp and 420Nm turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine. There is a special tax-busting version for China, powered by a 250PS 2.0-litre H4.

The 718 Cayman GTS, along with the identically powered 718 Boxster GTS, was announced in October 2017 ahead of its world debut at the Los Angeles auto show. The engine is a 269kW (365hp) and 430Nm 2.5-litre turbo flat four. The pre-facelift GTS had a less powerful naturally aspirated flat-six. Gearbox choice is between a six-speed manual or a seven-speed twin-clutch PDK.

Apart from the addition of new variants with more power - the intention being to maintain sales momentum during the final period of a seven-year production cycle - no further major changes are expected. The next 718 Cayman is due in 2020.

As for the current generation of the car originally called Porsche Boxster, this roadster had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2012. The launch variants were the Boxster and Boxster S. These were powered by 195kW 2.7- and 232kW 3.4-litre six-cylinder engines respectively. In Germany, where the car went on sale a month after its motor show debut, a six-speed manual was standard for both variants, with a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic an extra cost option.

Unlike the first generation model, the current one has a fully automated roof. It is again made from cloth. A Boxster with a different roof was a world premiere at the New York auto show in April 2015. This was the Spyder. It sat 20m lower and shared its front and rear ends with the Cayman GT4. The engine was a 276kW (375hp) 3.8-litre H6.

From time to time, rumours of a smaller, cheaper sports car surface. Porsche continues to insist that the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster will remain the entry point to the range. The next 718 Boxster is due out in 2020 and will use a version of the future 992's architecture.

The next 911 is due to appear in late 2018. It will feature turbocharged H6 engines.

The current generation 911 had its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2011. It went on sale in Germany three months later.

This was the first model to be based on Porsche's 9X1 platform. A modified version of this architecture is also used by the 718 cars.

A mid-life facelift and new 3.0-litre biturbo engines for the Carrera and Carrera S became available from December 2015, having debuted three months previously at the Frankfurt IAA.

The company continued its strategy of constant tweaks when it announced five GTS variants in January 2017. Newly-developed turbochargers for the 3.0-litre flat six-cylinder engine increased power to 450hp (331kW). This is 30hp (22kW) more than the 911 Carrera S and 20hp (15kW) more than the corresponding prior GTS with a naturally aspirated engine. All variants are available with a manual seven-speed gearbox, or the optional PDK double-clutch transmission.

The most powerful 911 road car yet had its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2017. This is the rear-wheel drive GT2 RS. It has rear-axle steering with Porsche Torque Vectoring, plus a fully variable locking rear differential. The engine is a 515kW (700hp) and 750Nm biturbo flat six.

The 992 will be the introductory model for what will become a Volkswagen Group rear- and mid-engined modular architecture.

The 911 Carrera T was announced in October 2017, a few weeks ahead of its world debut at the LA auto show. This variant loses weight and is powered by a 370hp (272kW) engine. It has a shorter final drive ratio, seven-speed manual gearbox and mechanical rear limited slip differential. The car has unladen weight of 1,425 kilograms, which is a 20 kg reduction versus a Carrera with comparable equipment, Porsche claims.

The next 911, due to appear in late 2018, will feature turbocharged H6 engines.

There had been plans for a plug-in hybrid powertrain available at launch in the Carrera 4. This variant's front axle would have been driven by an electric motor but Porsche halted the development programme after discovering that the weight penalty would be too great. As noted above, the project is being re-thought and delayed until around 2022.

The 992 series 911 is thought to be the introductory model for what will become a Volkswagen Group rear- and mid-engined modular architecture. In addition to being the basis for the next 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster, it could well be used for a new generation of Lamborghini models as well as the third Audi R8 due out in 2023. Other sources, however, suggest that an evolution of the 91X architecture will be used for the 992.

SUVs

Even though rumours surface from time to time of a sub-Macan SUV, Porsche continues to quash them. Speaking at the LA auto show in November 2016, the board member for Sales, Detlev von Platen, told the media, "There is absolutely no intention to go below what we have today."

Porsche confirmed in November 2010 that a rival for the Range Rover Evoque was under development. The familiar name for the project, Cajun (a contraction of Cayenne Junior), was replaced by the official announcement of the Macan model name in February 2012. The vehicle is based on the old-shape Audi Q5 - they share both a 2,807mm wheelbase and the same basic Volkswagen Group PQ35 architecture.

The latest Macan variant was announced in October 2017. This has the same outputs as the Turbo with Performance Package. New features are 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels with lateral spokes painted in glossy black, LED headlights and tinted LED rear lights. Additional design components created specifically for the Edition model include elements on the front spoiler, rear apron and sideblades painted in Carmine Red. Macan turbo is also painted in Carmine Red underneath a gloss black PORSCHE logo on the rear end.

A facelifted Macan range should be on sale across Europe by the middle of 2018.

A facelifted Macan range should be on sale across Europe by mid-2018. Porsche will then use the remaining years of production to add new variants and tweak the outputs of engines.

The second generation Macan is expected to appear in 2022. As is the case with the current model, all build should be at the Leipzig plant in eastern Germany.

The third generation Cayenne, revealed to the media last August, and to the public a few weeks later at the Frankfurt IAA, uses the same basic architecture as the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. At 4,917mm long, Cayenne 3 is shorter than the Q7 and also has a less lengthy wheelbase. Production starts in February.

Porsche is yet to say whether or not there could be a longer Cayenne Executive but as the XL-sized Panamera Executive proves, buyers are not at all turned off by models of 5.2 metres in length. There might also be a coupé-style Cayenne Turismo to take on the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE-Class from 2019 or 2020.

The first three variants are the 335hp and 450Nm 3.0-litre Cayenne (turbo V6), the 434hp and 549Nm 2.9-litre V6 (turbo V6) Cayenne S and 550hp 4.0-litre V8 770Nm Cayenne Turbo. All are linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox supplied by ZF.

Porsche should launch the fourth generation Cayenne in late 2025 or early 2026.

Diesel variants will be added later in 2018 and there will be a steady addition of derivatives such as a GTS in the coming years. The mid-cycle facelift is due in four years' time. Porsche should launch the fourth generation Cayenne in late 2025 or early 2026.

Panamera

The second generation of Porsche's big five-door hatchback was shown to the media in June 2016, two days after it had its public debut as a lightly disguised prototype at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It had a motor show premiere in Paris in late September 2016.

In addition to being the first model for MSB, a Volkswagen Group RWD/AWD architecture, the hatchback brought with it a fresh V8 diesel engine. As is normal when the SUV, luxury and sports car maker reveals a new model, only a handful of the eventual derivatives were announced.

The initial model range (November 2016 deliveries in Germany) consisted of the 4S, 4S Diesel and Turbo. All three had all-wheel drive and pneumatic suspension. RWD cars with steel springs followed from the first quarter of 2017, with the 4-E Hybrid (see the section above on electrified vehicles) available from July 2017.

Yet more variants had their public debuts at the LA auto show in November 2016. These were the base and all-wheel drive cars, as well as the second generation Executive (3,100mm long-wheelbase and overall length of 5,200mm versus 2,950 and 5,049mm for the standard wheelbase cars). The range at that point was as follows:

  • Panamera (243kW/330hp) turbo 3.0-litre V6
  • Panamera 4 (same engine)
  • 4 Executive
  • 4S Executive
  • 4-E Hybrid Executive
  • Turbo Executive

The second generation Panamera GTS should be available in three body styles.

Unlike the first generation model, the Executive is also available in right-hand drive form. The second generation GTS is expected to be announced later in 2018. It should be available in three body styles.

A shooting brake estate, the Panamera Sport Turismo, was a world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2017, as was the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The ST is 5,049mm long, 1,428mm high and 1,937mm wide, while the wheelbase is 2,950mm.

The extended body also means a so-called 4+1 seating format. In the back, the two outer most are individual seats and a central third seat produces a 2+1 configuration. As an option, the Sport Turismo is also available in four-seat configuration with two electrically adjustable individual seats at the rear. As for the boot, this has 20 litres more capacity than the hatchback. The ST was in dealerships from October 2017.

Porsche engineers developed the car's MSB architecture, and this features much aluminium in its construction. The same metal is used for the door skins, bonnet, roof and tailgate frame.

The redesigned engines are all linked to an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The least powerful variant at launch had a new 442hp 4.0-litre diesel V8 which has a torque output of 850Nm. This is claimed to be the world's fastest diesel production car, with 0-100km/h taking 4.3 seconds. The top speed is 177mph. Next came a new 440hp biturbo 2.9-litre petrol V6, followed by a 550hp 4.0-litre biturbo petrol V8.

The Panamera 3, the first vehicle for the MSB Evo platform, is scheduled for release in 2023.

PO620, which was the Panamera's development code, is fully manufactured by Porsche at its Leipzig plant: the first generation car had its bodies welded and painted at a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles factory. Around 20,000 Panamera bodies had been made at Hanover each year but this dipped in 2015 as the car's age began to affect sales.

Confirmation of the switch to full manufacturing came in a March 2014 statement from the Volkswagen Group: "Since its market introduction in 2009, body shells for the Panamera have been produced and painted at the Volkswagen plant in Hanover before being shipped to the Porsche plant in Saxony for pre-assembly and final assembly. With the reorganisation of the Volkswagen Group production system, body production and painting for the Panamera is to start in Leipzig from 2016. The company already owns land that can be used for the expansion of the plant".

Facelifts for all three bodies are due to be revealed in the first or second quarters of 2020. Then in late 2023 comes the Panamera 3. This should be the first vehicle for MSB Evo, a lightened, re-engineered version of the existing cars' RWD/AWD architecture.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.

This was the final report in a series on the current and future models of the Volkswagen Group's passenger vehicle brands. The next manufacturer to be looked at will be Great Wall Motor.