Porsche Near Hybrid Decision

This will be the year of big decisions for Porsche AG. CEO Wendelin Wiedeking is promising the German sports-car maker in the next few months will determine whether it will offer a gasoline-electric hybrid drive system for its Cayenne cross/utility vehicle. By mid year, Porsche also will decide whether it will add a long-anticipated fourth model to its lineup, Wiedeking says. He says the hybrid system

This will be the year of big decisions for Porsche AG.

CEO Wendelin Wiedeking is promising the German sports-car maker in the next few months will determine whether it will offer a gasoline-electric hybrid drive system for its Cayenne cross/utility vehicle.

By mid year, Porsche also will decide whether it will add a long-anticipated fourth model to its lineup, Wiedeking says.

He says the hybrid system “only would make sense in the Cayenne,” because of space and weight restrictions in the 911 and Boxster. Porsche is studying several technology options, but any Porsche hybrid would have to blend in with the rest of the lineup — and be sporty.

Porsche will not do a diesel hybrid, Wiedeking says. “I don't believe in diesels. It's the wrong way for the environment. I believe in gasoline engines.”

Porsche may look for a partner to do a hybrid, but Wiedeking says the auto maker “would have to have an impact” on engineering the system.

A partner could be sought for the fourth model line, as well, says Wiedeking.

He says Porsche already has identified what type of vehicle the new model would be. A new assembly plant may be needed to build the vehicle.

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