Porsche CEO Oliver Blume reveals the Taycan name for the Mission E electric sports car. Picture: PORSCHE
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume reveals the Taycan name for the Mission E electric sports car. Picture: PORSCHE

Porsche is taking its electrification strategy seriously, even — as you will see elsewhere on this page — investing in a rival in the electric sports car field.

It has already electrified some models, mainly the Panamera and Cayenne hybrids, but in the next few years it will be increasing its offerings.

While the company has not officially confirmed it, insiders have told us that there will be hybrid versions of the next generation 911, which is expected to make its debut later this year.

In total it is investing €6bn by 2022, significantly more than it originally planned, as it adapts to the rapid changes currently taking place in the industry.

The halo product for the Stuttgart manufacturer’s electrification era is the Mission E, a fully electric sports car due to debut in production form in 2019 and which alone requires more than €500m. The company is building a new production facility for it at Zuffenhausen that will create 1,200 jobs.

It has been a few years since the concept first debuted but the company used its 70th anniversary celebrations to finally give a real name to the Mission E, which will become the Taycan. The puns started immediately of course, but the oriental name translates into "lively young horse". It’s a play on the original Porsche logo which has featured a horse since 1952.

"Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom," explains Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board of Porsche.

There is a great deal riding on the Taycan and Porsche has made some strong claims about its performance since the concept debuted. In total it will have 440kW and will accelerate to 100km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and to 200km/h in less than 12 seconds.

When it was first revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the company’s claims that it will be capable of achieving a range of more than 500km and charging for 100km in just four minutes seemed a bit far-fetched. Just a few years later and the technology is moving at such a rapid pace that it now seems realistic, at least where infrastructure allows.

That is not to say that you will be able to do 500km around Kyalami flat out before charging and there will be a difference between claimed and real world. But if Porsche wants to sell the Taycan in the tens of thousands a year volumes as it has previously said then it will need to deliver on its promises.

The question then will be whether the Taycan takes over from the 911. The 911 will always be the icon and it is the one Porsche is most protective of, with Blume telling Motor News in 2016 "it will always be Porsche’s poster child. The tradition of Porsche is the 911. There can be, in the future, co-existence between Mission E and 911."

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