Talk to most people about the current Porsche Panamera's biggest flaw, and they are very likely to point towards its exterior design. Porsche’s foray in the segment may be a fine sports saloon featuring a nicely crafted interior, but its bodywork is unexciting to some, ugly to most.
Company CEO Matthias Muller talked to Motor Trend at the Paris Auto Show and said some very interesting things about the company's future models.
First of all, Muller revealed that the head- and taillights of the Panamera Sport Turismo concept, which was displayed in Paris, will gradually be applied to all Porsche models, starting with the Macan compact luxury SUV that’s due next year.
"These headlights will be the next generation of lights within Porsche, as with the rear. These three dimensional rear lights you will find with the Macan," said Müller. "And in the front, with the four ‘eyes’, this is also our idea for the future…Across the brand."
Muller continued saying that hybrids, and not all-electric cars, is the path chosen for Porsche’s low emission cars in the next decade.
“In Europe, as well as in America, we have had a huge discussion about battery electric vehicles”, he admits. “But from our point of view, such premium and huge cars are not prepared for only electric motors. We are convinced that the plug-in hybrid is the right answer in the next 5-10 years in that segment.”
With Porsche making quite a fuss about its upcoming 918 Spyder hypercar, MT naturally asked the company’s boss about the recent 7:14 Nordschleife lap.
“One year ago, we had a target of 7:20-7:22 or something. Last week one of our engineers drove one lap in 7:14. The record (ed’s note: for production cars) is 7:11”, noted Muller, adding that “I suppose by the end of the year we will have a new record at the Nürburgring.”
He even went as far as saying that the hybrid-powered supercar could set a sensational time: “If we’re lucky, it will be under 7 minutes… but, I don’t know, we’ll see.”
A sub-7-minute lap at the Nordschleife? Now, that would really work miracles for Porsche’s marketing department.
Even if the 918 makes the headlines, Muller insists that the 911 will always be Porsche’s flagship: “It’s the flagship model like the Carrera GT was 10 years ago,” he told the magazine. “We will have a limited edition, 918 cars, not one more. Of course, that is the flagship, but in serious production, the 911 is the flagship. The 911 is the icon of the brand.”
By Andrew Tsaousis