Quick trivia question: what automaker was the first to build a hybrid automobile? Did you guess Honda or Toyota? Interestingly, a full 109 years ago, Professor Ferdinand Porsche built a fully functional hybrid automobile, though it was certainly a much different animal than the Prius and Insight hatchbacks of 2010. In any case, Porsche is looking to enter the hybrid and electric automobile market in a big way just as soon as battery technology will allow it.
Porsche’s opening salvo in the eco-wars will be the full hybrid Cayenne and Panamera models, probably in late 2010 as 2011 models, but there’s more to come. Speaking at a press conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Michael Macht, Porsche’s recently-appointed president and CEO, says:
I am also convinced that one day Porsche will have an electric sports car in its line-up… We are therefore taking the first step in this direction with a full hybrid – in the Cayenne, the Panamera and maybe in the not too distant future also in a racing car or a production 911. Why not?
Recent spy photos indicate that Porsche may already be well into the development phase of its electric 911 program, so this news doesn’t exactly come as a shock. Still, while Porsche is just talking about eco-friendly sportscars in press releases at Frankfurt, rivals Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are busy showing off their own factory concepts. Click past the break for the official press release.
Gallery: Geneva 2009: Ruf Greenster
Frankfurt 2009: Porsche confirms development of electric sportscar originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 15 Sep 2009 15:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.