FRANKFURT -- Porsche will develop a platform for electric sports cars and supercars that may also be used by Audi and Lamborghini.
Called SPE, the architecture will be parent Volkswagen AG's third purpose-built architecture for full-electric cars.
Besides Porsche EVs, SPE could underpin a more affordable replacement for the Audi R8 e-tron supercar. It could also help Italian sibling Lamborghini make the jump towards electrification. Lamborghini unveiled the Terzo Millennio (third millennium) electric car concept in November.
The first indication of the SPE platform plan was in a footnote in a capital markets presentation in November.
A senior VW executive familiar with the plan confirmed that Porsche received the assignment to develop an EV platform "for two-door sports cars and supercars."
Key questions however remain unresolved as the first vehicles are not slated to emerge until after 2025.
VW executives declined to answer whether SPE vehicles would be equipped with an electric motor on each axle or even a third to offer faster acceleration. Nor could they comment on whether it might be designed specifically to employ space saving solid-state battery cells. This next-generation technology boasts higher energy density over conventional cells that use liquid electrolytes to transport lithium ions.
Executives would not comment on whether other brands had already begun to make plans for vehicles based SPE.
A VW Group spokesman said it was much too early to provide further details. "We do not want to comment on future projects in detail at the moment," he said.
Despite its small size, Porsche may be the furthest among its VW siblings when it comes to electrifying its fleet. Roughly 60 percent of all new Panamera sedans in Europe are sold currently as a plug-in, and by 2025 more than half of its volumes should have some form of electric propulsion.
MEB, PPE platforms
VW Group's other dedicated electric platforms are the MEB and PPE platforms. The MEB (Modular Electrification Toolkit) will underpin the VW brand's upcoming I.D. family, along with EVs for Skoda, Seat and Audi. The PPE (Premium Platform Electric) platform is being developed jointly by Audi and Porsche. It will be used for three EV model families, Audi development chief Peter Mertens told Automotive News Europe in October.
A Porsche spokeswoman said the brand is concentrating first on ramping up the J1 platform for its first full-electric car, the Mission E sedan due next year. The PPE platform will come after that. SPE is "too far away" to comment on, the spokeswoman said.
VW said in September that it plans to roll out more than 80 new electrified models by 2025 including about 50 purely battery-powered vehicles and 30 plug-in hybrids as part of its Roadmap E. The automaker also aims to equip each of its 300 group models with a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain by 2030.