A successor to the Porsche 918 is still a very long way out, with the German brand saying powertrain technologies will have to progress significantly before it will consider building another supercar.
Speaking to Autocar, head of Porsche’s R&D department Michael Steiner said the company is “looking for something new,” in regards to the powertrain for its next supercar. While Porsche is currently capable of building a high-performance, pure electric supercar, there are far too many tradeoffs for it to pursue such a project.
First, there’s the obvious problem of the size and weight of lithium-ion batteries. Porsche is currently working on lighter solid-state batteries with a larger capacity, but it will be at least a few years before the tech is ready for series production. Additionally, the rapid pace at which the batteries would be depleted in a track setting could lead to cell degradation, meaning the battery pack would eventually need to be replaced. Try explaining to a buyer of a six- or seven-figure supercar that their battery needs to be yanked out and replaced. They will be none too pleased.
Porsche decided to build the Carrera GT due to advancements it made in carbon-fiber tub technology. The successor to that car, the 918, was built when hybrid powertrains and battery technologies began to improve. Similarly, the next Porsche supercar will come about when the automaker feels new, relevant technologies have been made viable for production. There was a nine-year gap between the Carrera GT and the 918 – and Steiner says the gap between the 918 and its successor will likely be even larger. “Porsche has never had a plan to bring out a super sports on a regular cycle,” he said.
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