Some of the companies responsible for the proliferation of electric hypercars cite the hybrid 918 Spyder as a benchmark, but Porsche isn't tempted to fire back. The company hinted it finds the segment a little boring.
"These hypercars are not only heavy, they are very much driven by aerodynamics so they end up looking very similar. There is also the fact that, with an EV, the engine [power and character] is not a big deal anymore. Therefore, I would love to do something different," Michael Mauer, the brand's head of design, told Autocar.
He hinted it wouldn't be terribly difficult for Porsche to release a 2,000-horsepower electric car in the vein of the Pininfarina Battista and the Lotus Evija. The real challenge would be to make an electric sports car that's small, nimble, and relatively light, like some current and past Porshes. The issue is that battery technology isn't quite advanced enough to power, say, a Mazda MX-5 Miata yet. Motorists demand a decent amount of range, the only way to achieve is to increase the size of the battery pack, and that inevitably adds weight.
For context, the Mini Cooper SE has a 35-kilowatt-hour battery pack, but it only delivers up to 110 miles of range, which wouldn't be enough for a car with a Porsche emblem on its nose. Moving to the other side of the spectrum, the Audi E-Tron achieves about 220 miles of range on one charge but its 95-kilowatt-hour pack tips the scale at about 1,500 pounds, which is about half the weight of a 718 Boxster. This is the pickle Porsche is stuck in.
Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and the rumors of an electric roadster from Porsche (and, possibly, its sister companies) refuse to die, so engineers may be on the brink of cracking the code. As for the 918's successor, it will inevitably happen sooner or later, but insiders told Autocar it will arrive with a plug-in hybrid powertrain built using components originally developed for a Formula One program that never saw the light of day. While that's not much to go on, it sounds more like Mercedes-AMG's Project One than like a Battista.