E-Porsche…Silent but Deadly

We’ve seen some electric Porsches surface from time to time. Well meaning Porsche enthusiasts applying their engineering prowess and desire to greenify our favorite brand. Everything from 914s to 944s and 911s to 356s have been electrified by “green” Porscheophiles. At least they’re doing something reasonable with their Porsches unlike the Porsche 928 Pickup conversion. Even companies such as World Class Exotics have gotten into the mix providing electric versions of several different modern Porsche body styles and makes.

One of the homebuilt versions I’ve been most impressed with so far is the 912 Electric built by Jens Broedersdorff and Uwe Koenzen pictured at the top of this post. It has at least 15 batteries split between the rear engine compartment and front luggage area and will cruise along for 90km before needing a charge. Other than the word “ELECTRIC” on the engine lid, it looks stock. Course the sound (or lack thereof) would be a dead giveaway.

Probably one of the most promising prototypes is the eRuf, an electric Porsche based on the 997. I’ve long been a Ruf fan. More than any other customizer, Alois Ruf has built some of the most visually understated and purest Porsche customizations around. Ruf creations have always felt like they could have easily come straight from Porsche Exclusive.

Given their pedigree, it would be safe to assume that the eRuf will end up being something akin to what we’d expect from Porsche itself. The initial prototype specs, although not amazing, are at least a decent start:

  • 0 to 60 in the sub seven second range
  • 204-horsepower electric motor
  • Range of 200 miles
  • 479-pound feet of torque…all available from 0 to top speed!
  • Up to 160 mph with only one gear

The prototype has 1,100 pounds of lithium-ion batteries. Ruf is hoping to cut 900 pounds of weight in the final production model. Early test drives reveal that the eRuf felt like a true Porsche with smooth handling, balance in the setup and a nice progressiveness of power. That said, why is Porsche not thrilled with Ruf’s attempts at an electric version of the iconic sports car? Porsche insiders say that Porsche isn’t happy with the eRuf. At an anticipated price point of $175,000 and given Ruf’s unparalleled history, I can’t imagine Ruf will disappoint.

With Porsche’s displeasure with the eRuf, it should be no surprise that Porsche is on the waiting list for a Tesla. Of course it’s common for auto manufacturers to order and analyze each other’s cars. You’d think that they’d at least order under a fake name. No matter, it’s safe to say they’re very interested in an electric rendition of a Porsche car. It’s also rumored that they are hard at work on an electric sportscar. The Tesla Roadster sure seems like a great place to start.

As much as I’d love an electric Porsche, I love the Prius afterall, I can’t help but wonder if this is what Porscheophiles really want. This is a bit like the Cayenne Diesel for me. In my opinion, Porsche has never been about being cost conscious. Not that any car manufacturer should throw caution to the wind when it comes to the environment, but Porsche buyers tend to demand a level of car that seemingly transcends what something like a diesel or electric car could provide.

It’s possible Porsche will dig into the Tesla and find inspiration to push the boundaries of what we dreamed was possible with an electric car. It would be amazing to have an electric car with the performance Porsche has built it’s reputation on. Certainly if anyone can make it happen, just like the diesel car, Porsche can do it.

Here are a couple of links if you’d like to do some additional reading:

Electric Porsche by Big Dave – Dave chronicles his and his 911T’s journey to electric nirvana. The site has pictures and his story.

eRuf Road and Track Review – A decent little review of the E-Ruf Concept Model A. some good facts and initial impressions.