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Porsche looks to expand line-up with new EV

Performance and handling still key as Porsche aims at Tesla

Published: March 22, 2015, 1:00 AM
Updated: March 23, 2015, 9:29 PM

Porsche 918 Spyder electric components

Porsche has seen the future of the brand and doesn’t like that so many other companies are trying to get a chunk of the market it has built for decades.

The biggest challenge, in the Stuttgart company’s eyes, is a relative newcomer to the global market — Tesla.

“Tesla has built an exceptional car,” said Porsche chief Matthias Mueller at the brand’s annual press conference in Stuttgart, Germany. “They have a very pragmatic approach and set the standard, where we have to follow up now.”

The move has prompted analysts to hint that Porsche may expand its line-up, which it has indicated it has a desire to do by 2020, with a dedicated electric car that would compete in an increasingly crowded field currently chasing Tesla, whose line-up consists strictly of electric vehicles.

Bloomberg news reports that Porsche may look at either an electric sports car to fit in between the 911 and the hybrid 918 Spyder, which would pit it against the likes of the Audi e-Tron, or an adpatation of the Panamera four-door coupe, which would put it in direct competition with the Tesla Model S.

In keeping with the Porsche tradition, it would concentrate on performance and handling, rather than the usual fuel-economy aims of most makers who market electric vehicles.

Bloomberg adds that Porsche could also decide to go with a new SUV, to go against the Tesla Model X, but that’s unlikely given that stablemate Volkswagen has already stated its intent to create and electric SUV.

A Bloomberg report also says the move to market an electric vehicle will allow the brand free entry into the California and China markets, two of the biggest in the world for luxury cars., and it would help it deal with increasingly stringent worldwide environmental regulations.

No specifics have been announced, but rumours have the company looking at a range of about 500 km (over 300 miles) between chargings.