Porsche threw a party at its museum on Thursday, marking and celebrating 70 years of sports cars. The first vehicle to bear the Porsche name was registered on June 8, 1948 â€“ a 356 â€œNo.1â€� Roadster. With it, Ferry Porscheâ€™s dream of a sports car turned into a reality.
Mixed in with the eventâ€™s nostalgia was a look to the future, as CEO Oliver Blume outlined a three-pronged strategy to diversify its lineup. The three pillars? Plug-in hybrids, combustion-engined sports cars, and sporty electric vehicles.
“There will always be demand for intelligent sporty mobility,” Blume said. “At Porsche the driving experience will always be at the forefront, but in a traffic jam or when you park a car the driver might want to hand over control of the vehicle,” he said.
Hmm. Well, then.
Despite the inevitable inclusion of low-speed driving assists on future Porsches, at least it doesnâ€™t seem like we have to worry about PorscheÂ hoovering up mobility companies and starting every press conference with a reference to their nuclear-free bicycle-sharing system that includes a pair of peace sandals with every rental.
Worldwide, Porsche sales were up nearly 4 percent last year. Thatâ€™s good for the companyâ€™s pocketbook but takes some of the shine off the marqueâ€™s exclusivity. In an effort to keep Porsches from popping up on every street corner, the manufacturer says it aims to â€œstabilizeâ€� deliveries in 2018. Still, a revised Cayenne for America and China will likely supply a steady andÂ perhaps increasingÂ stream of customers to Porsche showrooms.
By dint of charging $405 for leather-covered fuse boxes and $3,520 for Extended Contrast Exterior Stitching (build price tools are fun, folks), Porsche is the most profitable brand in the VW Group. It can certainly afford plowing RD dollars into electric endeavors, but you can guarantee Porsche doesnâ€™t want to lose its profit crown to any of its rivals.
In a great bit of burying-the-lede theater, Automotive News EuropeÂ mentions at the very end of its story that Blume said, “The future of Porsche also hinges on the success” of the Mission E, which will be the companyâ€™s premium EV (with a reported $85,000 price tag). Porsche promises customers will be able to charge their Mission E cars twice as fast as a Tesla, using the companyâ€™s own high-voltage chargers.
Porsche has invested around one billion euro in the Mission E project, creating more than 1,200 jobs at the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen HQ where the car will be built.