Porsche is developing an electric Boxster roadster, in addition to its 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car and 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept .
The company is using three research cars with all-electric drive based on the Boxster, in order to combine greater efficiency with lower fuel consumption and emissions.
The test process will start in early 2011 and Porsche says that the three electric Boxsters will “provide an important preliminary insight to new electric drive components and battery systems for all-electric vehicle drive.” This field test is intended to also provide further findings on the infrastructure required for electro-mobility, user behaviour and the demands made of future products.
Michael Macht, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche AG, says that the brand “will definitely be offering an electric sports car in future. But such a concept only makes sense if it offers performance and a cruising range comparable to that of a sports car today.”
Porsche has also been working on hybrids; the 600 hp 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept has emissions of just 70 g/km CO2, and is capable of 94.1 mpg.
The hybrid system of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid has been developed specially for racing, with two 60 kW (82 hp) electric motors on the front axle boosting the 480 hp six-cylinder combustion engine fitted at the rear. In place of conventional batteries, there is an electrical flywheel power storage system re-charged whenever the driver applies the brakes and thus delivering energy to the electric motors. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid has already proven its racing qualities in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
As part of its ongoing role as a technology spearhead and ‘racing laboratory’, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will race in the season finale of the American Le Mans Series – the ‘Petit Le Mans’ – at Road Atlanta on October 2. This event runs over a distance of 1,000 miles or a maximum of ten hours, and will provide further valuable feedback to the engineering team from Porsche Motorsport in Weissach who run the car.
After its American race debut, it is planned that the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will travel to China to race in the six hour Le Mans International Cup at Zuhai. In both the US and China, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will not be eligible for points, as hybrid technology is not yet included in the GT regulations for international motorsport.
Porsche introduced its first production car able to run for short distances under electric power alone in June this year. With maximum output of 380 hp, the Cayenne S Hybrid offers fuel consumption on the NEDC cycle of 34.5 mpg and CO2 emissions reduced to 193 g/km.
This hybrid technology will also be featured in the future Panamera S Hybrid due to enter the market next year.