• Jun 2, 2008
Porsche remains resolute in the face of the United States' proposed fuel economy standards. Speaking with Automotive News, Porsche's North American CEO, Detlev von Platen, made it clear that the automaker's plan for the future is to create the same compelling vehicles it has in the past, but its focus on fuel efficiency won't come at the expense of Porsche's products.

"We will make our cars more fuel efficient," von Platen told AN, "but it will not change our nature." As such, Porsche doesn't intend to produce smaller vehicles, nor will it look to diesels or small-displacement engines. Instead, it's bucking the trend set by BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz – which are about introduce a new range of diesel vehicles in the U.S. – by bringing the hybrid Cayenne, jointly developed with Volkswagen and Audi, to market towards the end of 2010. The NA exec goes on to say that none of Porsche's U.S. lineup is slapped with a gas-guzzler tax, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Association's proposed regulations will require Porsche's corporate average fuel economy to rise to 41.3 mpg in 2015. That means the 911 would need to exceed the current Toyota Camry's fuel economy numbers due to the coupe's footprint. Unfortunately, von Platen didn't divulge how the automaker would meet NHTSA's stringent demands. More turbos? Less weight? We should have a clearer idea by the turn of the decade.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can gaurantee you that it will be by moving to smaller capacity, turbocharged engines. Im studying auto engineering, and every time that a guest lecturer comes in from an auto firm they are talking about how the only way to meet emissions and economy targets is to downsize capacity, add forced indunction as well as direct injection. Look at mahle (formally cosworth engineering) and their new 1 litre, 3 cylinder 200ps engine for clues of where the industry is headin performance wise.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Before the merger with VW, Porsche quietly paid the CAFE noncompliance fee every year.

      It's no big deal to price a $500 - or $5000 for that matter - penalty into a $90,000 car.

      The only risk is that the envycrats in Congress do something drastic like raise the penalty to $1000 per mpg off.

      • 6 Years Ago
      41.3 mpg... not mph. I make this mistake all the time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good for Porsche.

      I'd rather see their prices skyrocket to cover government fines, than the sports cars lose their "sport".

      Maybe if Porsches cost twice as much, along with Ferraris, and others... some people in the market for those cars would turn and realize that big government regulations aren't good for anyone, not even those that have the means to absorb the costs of big government, and still have a luxurious lifestyle.

      I don't begrudge anyone their high income or net worth. But they seem to be the ones more likely to accept socialism, because they aren't as drastically effected by high tax rates and high costs...

      Granted, they pay the lion's share, but they can still afford tax shelters, and they can still afford lifestyle, even after the heavy tax burden...

      As much as I abhor class warfare, mathematics still apply, and those high tax rates cause much more pain to people in lower income and wealth brackets, even the middle class, who don't have the margin to absorb higher taxes and bigger government.

      So Good on Porsche. Tell the US government to stick their over-regulation where the sun doesn't shine, and continue selling good cars to the American people. Get some of your sports-car producing friends to go along with you. Your consumers will thank you.

      Here's a trick...

      Put the cost of the CAFE-induced 'tax' right on the window sticker.

      Car = X dollars
      Options = Y dollars
      Tax, Title, License = Z dollars
      CAFE FEE = $$$$$$ (Please contact your congressman)

      Showing people that politics has a real effect to real people = Priceless.

      Personally, I think ALL car manufacturers, and retailers of all sorts of products should show how much hidden costs get handed down to you as price increases.

      A corporation NEVER paid a dime in taxes, and the government never earned one. They confiscate 'their' dimes from the people in taxes, both obvious and hidden.

      A corporate tax is an expense. Expenses get calculated into prices. People pay the price.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey Gordon Gekko:

        If we didn't have CAFE, do you know how much gas would cost right now? You think we use a lot of fuel today!

        Government regulation in this area has benefited everyone EVEN THE RICH by making it cheaper to run their cars (higher mpg) and making our air clean enough that you don't have to use your fast car mostly on runs to the hospital for respiratory ailments.

        And they should put the tax on the sticker? Of course they will. They already put gas guzzler tax on the sticker.

        The government does know that these taxes cost everyone. They're partially trying to use the higher prices to drive people into more efficient cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I believe you just pwn7 automakers and the government.

        l337
        • 6 Years Ago
        Best post I've seen on Autoblog in a good while. Nicely put.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's see. We could make current Porsche sports cars lighter and with smaller engines, which would not only improve fuel economy, but would probably make them more fun to drive (driven a Cayman versus a 911 recently?).

      Of course, there's the (literal) elephant in the room: the Cayenne (and it's bastard child, the Panamera). Both of these exist to satisfy Porsche's management's ego; it lets them pretend they're a "real" company who beats the world and delivers big margins, rather than a small company that does one thing really well. And you can bet that neither of these has any hope of being at all fuel efficient. And Porsche won't drop them, because that would mean dear Wedelin was wrong, and it's not possible for a German auto exec to be wrong, let alone him.

      I can respect Lamborghini's stance on CAFE because their cars sell in such small volume and have always been utterly, outrageously, obscenely over-the-top in terms of power, mass, consumption and attitude and cutting them down for CAFE would essentially make them pointless (a three-cyl, 80hp TDI Gallardo wouldn't be able to move under it's own mass). Porsches (well, before they started on their mission to beat BMW) are about light weight and driving feel. I'd be happy with a three-cylinder, 80hp Cayman because it would still drive like a Cayman, just slower.

      But Porsche's "nature" isn't light, sporty machines anymore. Porsche's "nature" is, as evidences by the Cayenne, something else entirely.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't believe Porsche says here that they'll meet CAFE. They just say they'll do everything they can to make their cars more fuel efficient without changing their character.

        They may not make CAFE, but they will have done what they can to get as close as possible.

        Lamborghini should have said exactly the same thing. There's no reason not to make their cars as fuel efficient as they can be even if they refuse to change what their cars are, which is overpowered big cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sounds like Lotus to me...

        But TDI is really a very good idea, like that Audi TT TDI that could manage those CAFE figures, although revs are somewhat lacking, and as the new M3 proved, is damn exciting

        But you know what, come 2010, Porsche engines will somehow reach those figures *as if by magic*
      • 6 Years Ago
      *golf clap*
        • 6 Years Ago
        uggh... that was to mk

        fix the reply link guys!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Look to next year's Formula 1 cars with hybrid gas/electric motivation - the electricity being generated by the brakes. I cannot think of any other way for a 911 to maintain its power to weight ratio and get 45 mpg.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Formula 1 is not going to electric hybrids. The hybrids they are pursuing are going to be weighted flywheel systems for storing kinetic energy and releasing it to the drivetrain upon driver control.
        -N
      • 6 Years Ago
      How will Porsche meet the NHTSA/EPA demands? By buying enough into the Volkswagen Group that they can average their fleet into VW's stingier turbodiesels and the like.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now this is a very reasonable response. Not like Lamborghini's response saying they weren't going to do anything.

      Porsche will do everything they can, as we all should. But in the end, one of the advantages of emissions and fuel economy controls is that it works to minimize the chance that any of us have to give up the possibility of owning our dream car. It's not guaranteed you'll still be able to afford it or afford to fuel it though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Porsche to needs to release a small displacement 2 seat track special and release enough versions of the car for the street. I'm sure that Porsche can beat Lotus at their own game. Make it a purpose built 356 for the 21st century off of the Golf platform.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's with every manufacturer having a different standard? I thought it was a 36mpg average.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is a different regulation, there is a straight 36mpg one and another one that is based upon wheelbase. The wheelbase one obviously can change from car to car.

        I don't know if the wheelbase one has been adopted yet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "41.3 mph in 2015"

      I think Porsche can pull that off. They make fast cars.
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