Porsche chief cool on prospect of self-driving sports cars
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says the manufacturer isn’t likely to launch a fully autonomous 911 any time soon, but could use the tech as a driver aid
Porsche is not currently considering a full self-driving sports car or SUV, vowing instead to combine the best features of autonomy with “the classic Porsche genes”, in the words of CEO Oliver Blume.
As mainstream road car manufacturers work towards increasing levels of autonomy in their road cars, the challenge facing niche companies such as Porsche is how to address the new technology while maintaining its reputation for making ‘driver’s cars’.
Blume is no doubt how Porsche will tackle this, saying: “When you buy a Porsche, you will drive it yourself, full stop.
“At the moment we do not think about a full version of robotic driving, we are thinking about features to combine with the real Porsche genes, so at the end you still have a real Porsche.
“For example, when you are going to work in the morning and you are in a traffic jam, there is a possibility to read the newspaper. When you go to a restaurant and you cannot find somewhere to park, the car will find somewhere to park itself and then fetch you after you leave the restaurant.”
Blume said Porsche would embrace electrification, primarily with the battery-powered Mission-E that is slated to arrive near the end of this decade. He said Porsche is developing a wider range of powertrain offerings as part of its business strategy for the next ten years.
“The headline is that the customer will have the opportunity to drive sports cars with a combustion engine, as well as new modern cars with electric engines and a lot of digitisation but also all of the Porsche features.”
Blume confirmed a fully electric Porsche 911 was not in the pipeline at the moment, saying: “Mission-E has our whole concentration at the moment. Today we don’t even think about an electric 911. What will be in the future I don’t know, but I think we will have co-existence for at least the next ten years of real combustion engines and electric cars. It is a good idea for Porsche to retain the classic 911 and on the other hand have the Mission-E.”