Porsche's product plan is largely on track despite the diesel-related financial hit to parent company Volkswagen Group.
The sports-car brand is expanding into new body styles such as a wagon for the Panamera and a coupe for the Cayenne. Porsche continues to develop alternative powertrains, including plug-in hybrids nearly across the lineup. A plug-in version of the flagship 911 sports car is expected, and an all-electric sedan is on tap for the end of the decade.
Engine sizes will continue to shrink as Porsche pursues fuel-efficiency gains. But the brand will balance that with more turbocharging to increase power outputs.
718 Boxster: The re-engineered and renamed roadster began arriving at U.S. dealerships in June with four-cylinder engines for the first time. The turbocharged 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines produce 300 hp and 350 hp, respectively. They are more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the Boxster's outgoing six-cylinder.
The 718 Boxster will get a full redesign in 2019.
718 Cayman: The re-engineered and renamed coupe will reach dealerships in November. The Cayman gets much of the same changes as the Boxster, including the turbocharged 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines. Every body panel on the coupe except the luggage compartment lid, roof and windshield is changed. For the first time, the Cayman is priced below the Boxster.
The 718 Cayman will be redesigned in 2020. Porsche could choose to go with just 718 for the nameplates of both the Cayman and Boxster at the time of the redesigns. If that happens, the brand could continue to use the Boxster and Cayman names for special editions.
911: The re-engineered 911 went on sale in the U.S. this spring with the major change being a standard turbocharged engine for the first time. The base 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, flat six-cylinder engine is more powerful than the previous naturally aspirated engine and improves fuel economy significantly. The midcycle updates will now roll through the 911's many variants.
The redesigned 911 will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018 or early 2019. A plug-in hybrid 911 is expected in 2020. Porsche executives have said the brand's plug-in technology eventually could be used across the lineup. While Porsche is pursuing fuel economy gains even for its flagship sports car, a four-cylinder in the 911 isn't likely for the next generation.
Panamera: The redesigned Panamera sports sedan will arrive in U.S. dealerships in early 2017 after a fall launch in Europe. Porsche unveiled the second-generation Panamera's design this summer. Exterior styling is sleeker with a lower rear roofline than the outgoing model. The Panamera gets longer and wider as it moves to Volks-wagen Group's lighter, more fuel-efficient MSB platform.
New twin-turbo engines are more powerful and fuel-efficient than the outgoing Panamera's engines, the company says. The next-gen Panamera will launch with a 440-hp, 2.9-liter V-6 in the 4S and a 550-hp, 4.0-liter V-8 in the Turbo model. A more powerful plug-in hybrid is expected.
For the first time, Porsche will produce a wagon version of the Panamera, and it will come to the U.S., the brand's U.S. chief, Klaus Zellmer, confirmed to Automotive News. It is expected to go on sale here in spring or summer of 2018. The wagon evolved from the Sport Turismo concept car shown at the 2012 Paris auto show.
A Panamera freshening is slated for 2020.
Mission E/Pajun: Porsche unveiled the Mission E electric sedan concept at the Frankfurt auto show last year and later confirmed it would sell a production version by the end of the decade. U.S. sales are expected to begin in late 2019 or early 2020. It's unclear what name the production vehicle will carry. The vehicle also has been called Pajun (for Panamera Junior) during development. It will be built on a smaller version of the Panamera's MSB platform.
Porsche said the Mission E concept vehicle, a four-seat sports sedan, generated 600 hp and could accelerate to 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. The car's battery could be recharged to 80 percent of capacity in about 15 minutes.
Porsche reportedly also is developing an electric crossover. That could be based in part on the Mission E production vehicle. But it also has been described as an electric Cayenne coupe.
Macan: Two years after introducing the popular compact crossover, Porsche is adding variants. It introduced an entry-level model with a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine this year. The GTS performance model, slotted between the Macan S and the Turbo models, also went on sale this spring. But a diesel model once planned for the U.S. continues to be delayed by Volks-wagen's diesel challenges.
The Macan will be freshened in 2017. A plug-in hybrid variant is expected late in 2017 or early 2018. A redesign is expected in 2020 with the Macan staying on its existing platform.
Cayenne: The midsize crossover will be redesigned in 2017 with U.S. sales starting late that year or early in 2018. With the redesign, the Cayenne will move to a longer version of the MLB platform, which also underpins the smaller Macan. With the platform change, interior room will grow, and the Cayenne will become lighter and more fuel-efficient. A more powerful plug-in hybrid is expected.
A coupe variant being developed to compete with the BMW X6 is expected in the U.S. in mid-2019. The Cayenne coupe will have a sportier look with a sloping rear and sleeker roofline.
A freshening of the Cayenne is planned for 2021.
Supercar: Porsche ended production in 2015 of the limited-run 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid. Brand executives have said they won't come up with another $1 million supercar right away, but the public can expect a successor program. Likely timing could be early next decade, maybe around 2023.
960: It's unclear when this long-in-development program will get off the ground. The two-seat midengine sports car is expected to cost around $250,000 and slot between the top-end 911 and any supercar entry. Inside the company, the project has been referred to as a Ferrari fighter or FeFi. If built, the car is expected to carry a quad-turbo flat eight-cylinder engine producing around 650 hp.
Timing estimates have ranged between 2017 and 2020. It seems clear now that the early end of that time frame will not happen. The end-of-the-decade timeline could prove difficult, too. One source suggests production timing now has been pushed back until 2026. With Volkswagen reeling financially from the diesel scandal, the program certainly is a candidate for the back burner.