The next few years should be very interesting for Porsche. Its first all-electric car, the Mission E (shown above), is set to roll off the production line in 2019, and a new 911 is on its way. In , Porsche CEO Oliver Blume had lots of intriguing things to say about the brand's electric future.
While Blume says that Porsche has no plans to abandon internal combustion entirely, he thinks electric power will play a huge role in the brand's future performance models.
"I would venture to predict that, by 2030, the sportiest Porsche will have an electric drive," Blume said. "Who knows—maybe by then even our iconic sports car, the 911, will be electric?"
It's a bold statement from the CEO, but it's not entirely surprising. Porsche recently confirmed that its next 911, code-named 992, will accommodate some sort of electrified drivetrain. It hasn't been confirmed for production, but a plug-in hybrid 911 seems like a very real possibility once Porsche deems the tech suitable for a sports car.
Still, raising the potential for an all-electric 911 is strange from a Porsche executive. The company had long maintained that the 911 will always be a 2+2 with a flat-six engine in the rear. Getting rid of the six-cylinder would be a profound change for the iconic sports car—arguably more so than going mid-engined, as the RSR race car recently did. But in this interview, Blume takes the opportunity to wax philosophical about the 911, possibly preparing the world for the possibility of an all-electric model.
Blume relays a story from the unveiling of the millionth 911. Wolfgang Porsche brought up paradox, which asks if an object loses its identity when most or all of its components have been replaced.
"Wolfgang Porsche asked us which one we thought was the real 911. The one from 1963? Or the one from 2017," Blume said. "There is no clear answer. If there were, it wouldn’t be a paradox.
"But there is one thing you can say: I doubt that there is another car that has so frequently and consistently been adapted to match the requirements of a modern sports car and yet remained so unmistakably true to its inner and outer values as the 911. In principle, the Porsche 911 is always the same sports car despite our uncompromising commitment to progress."
So, is a 911 still a 911 without a flat-six? Blume seems to argue that it could be, but it's a topic of strong debate with no definitive answer—a paradox.
What can be said definitively is that there are a lot of changes coming at Porsche. It should be interesting.