Future Product Plans for Porsche

Maybe it's because he only has about seven weeks on the job, but Matthias Müller, the new CEO of Porsche, was candid about future product plans for the German automaker, including a diesel engine for the Porsche Panamera, a new product name, and a timeline for the hybrid Porsche 918. Müller also explained China's importance to Porsche.

In an interview with the newspaper Westfalen-Blatt and its editor Wolfgang Schaeffer, Müller said a diesel version of the Panamera will be available in the second half of 2011. He did not discuss what its distribution would be globally.

The Porsche 918 Spyder high-performance concept sports car that debuted in Geneva will be rolling on the road "in two to three years," Müller said. At the Geneva intro, Porsche highlighted the concept's low carbon emissions, fuel economy of about 94 mpg, and "the performance of a super sports car and acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just under 3.2 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph) plus, and a lap time on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring in less than 7:30 minutes, faster than even the Porsche Carrera GT."

Müller also said a smaller offshoot of the Cayenne is being developed that bears the current working title of Cayun. Müller said the company is investigating if the name is legally available for a finished product. Details should be announced in the first quarter of 2011.

China is shaping up to be a big market for Porsche behind Germany and the U.S., Müller said, but it's not a sports car market. Chinese drivers are embracing the Cayenne and the Panamera. Porsche will attempt to grow the sports car business in China by offering more driving experiences like Mercedes AMG driving academy being offered in Shanghai.

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