Porsche embraces wagons and crossovers
Porsche is following its German compatriots BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen on the road to electrification.
As part of parent Volkswagen Group's commitment to electrify all 300 vehicles in its corporate stable by 2030, Porsche is adding more plug-in hybrids and full-electric variants to its lineup. After its first full-electric sedan, the Taycan, arrives in late 2019, an electric Macan may be next.
The Europeans have little choice. Tightening emission standards in Europe and elsewhere are driving the need for fuel efficiency.
"Diesel engines, their bread and butter, have fallen out of favor," said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions. "They can't meet fuel efficiency standards with diesels anymore, so they have to find something better."
Plans to introduce diesel versions of the Cayenne and Macan in the U.S. have been dropped.
Porsche also is venturing beyond its two-door sports car lineage. The automaker is broadening its portfolio, embracing crossovers, wagons and four-doors, which was unheard of 10 to 15 years ago.
The Panamera Sport Turismo, a wagon variant, went on sale in the U.S. this year. Meanwhile, a wagon version of the Taycan could launch in 2021.
Porsche "used to be just two-door cars," Fiorani said. "Now, next to a 911 in the garage you can find a Porsche that can haul a family around."
Taycan: Porsche's first full-electric sports car, derived from the Mission E concept, will go on sale in the U.S. late next year. The Taycan, powered by two synchronous motors generating more than 600 hp, can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds and pass 124 mph in less than 12 seconds.
The vehicle has a driving range of more than 300 miles on a single charge. Porsche has said it will sell an electric vehicle based on the Mission E Cross Turismo wagon concept. By 2025, half of Porsche's vehicles will be sold with a plug.
Cayenne: The redesigned midsize crossover went on sale in the U.S. in mid-2018. The Cayenne moves to a new platform — Volkswagen Group's MLB architecture — and gets lighter and faster. The base 2019 Cayenne is powered by a 3.0-liter, single-turbo V-6 producing 335 hp, about 40 more than its predecessor. A diesel-powered Cayenne will be dropped from the U.S. lineup, but will be sold in other markets. Porsche last sold a diesel Cayenne in the U.S. in 2015, before pulling it in the wake of Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal.
A redesigned E-Hybrid is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in early 2019. It combines a 3.0-liter V-6 engine and an electric motor to create 455 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque.
A Cayenne Coupe could arrive as early as 2019. It has the front fascia and sloping roof of the Macan crossover and a rear resembling that of the Panamera, according to spy photos.
The coupe, riding on Volkswagen's MLB Evo platform, likely will be powered by a six-cylinder engine. A turbo variant would include a V-8 engine. The coupe is scheduled to be built alongside the Cayenne in Leipzig, Germany, and is billed as Porsche's answer to the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and Audi Q8.
Macan: A freshened Macan will arrive in mid-2019 and receive a light face-lift with a lower fascia and improved headlights and taillights. The base vehicle will stick with a 2.0-liter turbo-four, but output could jump to around 300 hp from 252. The S and Turbo will get new engines. The S is expected to receive the 3.0-liter V-6 from the Panamera, with output of about 350 hp. The Turbo will use a 2.9-liter six-cylinder and power could be up to around 430 hp.
A diesel model once planned for the U.S. has been dropped. A coupe body style could arrive in 2022, likely as an electric vehicle. A plug-in hybrid version of the coupe also could arrive then. Porsche could redesign the Macan in 2022.
718 Boxster: Porsche will continue to introduce variants of its re-engineered and renamed roadster. The next Boxster Spyder will use a 911 GT3-sourced 4.0-liter engine. The car could be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and an optional seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The Boxster's electric folding soft top could be discontinued.
718 Cayman: Porsche plans variants of the re-engineered and renamed coupe. A touring version featuring a 2.0-liter turbo engine could be coming in 2019, AutoGuide reported. The 718 Cayman could get a redesign in the U.S. in mid-2020.
911: A 911 redesign is on tap, with U.S. sales beginning in mid-2019. The car is getting a wider track and more powertrain options. Porsche dropped plans for a plug-in hybrid to save money and because battery weight would drag performance to unacceptable levels. Still, Porsche is exploring how to electrify the 911.
Panamera: The Panamera Sport Turismo, a wagon variant, went on sale in the U.S. this year. Panamera GTS and Panamera Sport Turismo GTS models are planned for 2019, according to AutoGuide. A Panamera freshening is possible in 2020.
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