Top new models for SA

From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Porsche to build a better Tesla

2010-07-28 07:36

With three fully electrified Boxsters prepped and ready for validation testing, expect the next generation of Porsche’s entry-level offering to debut the company’s EV technology.

When Porsche unveiled its 918 Spyder hybrid supercar at this year’s Geneva motor show, the performance car landscape was forever altered.

Although the 918’s powertrain was not purely electric, its 3.4l V8 internal combustion engine and troika of electric motors tallied to a peak power output of 528kW and promised to return consumption figures (well) below 5l/100km if driven with restraint.

Simply put – the 918 has the makings of an epic supercar for a time in a time of environmental awareness.

It is a trifle expensive though – projected retail being pegged at $630 000.

To ensure Porsche is able to offer (even) purer electric drive power for performance car enthusiasts with an environmental conscience, the company announced earlier this week that its Stuttgart based engineers are working on advanced electric propulsion for the Boxster model range.

Porsche confirmed it has built three electric Boxsters for evaluation purposes to test new electric drive components and battery systems. Field testing is expected to commence early next year.

Towards the end of 2008 Porsche famously ordered one of Tesla’s first road-going Roadsters, which was delivered at an undisclosed date last year.

Unsurprisingly Porsche technicians expertly disassembled the Tesla and design engineers have been pouring over its constituent parts in an attempt to produce an electric drivetrain matching (and in all likelihood, exceeding) the American car’s capabilities.

"We will definitely be offering an electric sports car in the future," said Porsche CEO Michael Macht."But such a concept only makes sense if it offers product qualities typical of a Porsche."

The most prominent issue Porsche will face in matching an electric drivetrain with traditional Zuffenhausen dynamic harmony is managing the mass penalty of batteries – something which has hampered the Tesla Roadster’s agility since its inception.

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