Quick trivia question: what automaker was the first to build a hybrid? 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 compared to 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:
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.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?