Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche, on Intelligent Performance on Driving the Nation

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche, Board of Management, talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com about emissions and what Porsche is doing

What is Porsche’s halo car for fuel efficiency?
What is Porsche Intelligent Peformance?

Can Porsche make a luxury car that gets 70 miles per gallon?

When will the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid come to market?

From Porsche’s Press Release:

The technology behind tomorrows super sports car

The future is taking shape: with more than half of it’s development time completed, the Porsche 918 Spyder is firmly on course to become the super sports car of tomorrow. As a plug-in hybrid vehicle, it combines a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors to deliver performance that is beyond extraordinary: the best of both worlds endows the 918 with the dynamics of a racing car packing more than 770 hp of power accompanied by fuel consumption, which at approximately three liters per 100 kilometres, is less than that of most modern compact cars. Moreover, Porsche is breaking more new ground with the technology demonstrator with spectacular solutions such as the full carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system. In the process, the 918 Spyder is offering a glimpse of what Porsche Intelligent Performance may be capable of in the future.

The 918 Spyder has been designed as a super sports car and the legitimate successor to the Carrera GT. As such, the first goal was obvious: improving yet again on the Carrera GTs performance. As far as is currently known, the 918 Spyder will be significantly faster “ both in terms of acceleration and also performance on the racing circuit: less than three seconds from zero to 100 km/h (Carrera GT: 3.9 seconds) and less than 7:22 minutes on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (Carrera GT:7:32 minutes) is an unmistakable statement. Howe’ver, the uniqueness of the 918 Spyder is best represented by the union of outstanding performance with a level of efficiency never seen before in the super sports car sector. Fuel consumption of approximately three liters per 100 kilometres and an electric range in excess of 25 kilometres are unprecedented.

Porsche’s Intelligent Performance

At this years Geneva Auto show, Porsche revealed three ground-breaking Porsche hybrids. Make no mistake about it: each of these debuts represent major events in the history of the companys approach to developing sportier Porsche cars that are more efficient. Throughout it’s 60-plus years, Porsche has accomplished this through technology and innovative ideas, and today Porsche describes this ongoing pursuit as “Porsche Intelligent Performance.”

“Porsche Intelligent Performance” is more than a slogan. It is nothing less than Porsche keeping pace with the modern automotive landscape and the companys need to dramatically lower emissions, get greener and save fuel. As Porsche Chairman Michael Macht said, Porsche is looking at the future with confidence because our engineers are finding intelligent answers to environmental challenges, and proving that Porsches high performance and efficiency are not contradictory terms.

Each of the hybrids represents a major milestone in Porsches hybrid history. The Cayenne S Hybrid is our first series production hybrid ever and one we will begin selling in the U.S. this fall. Having driven this car, I can tell you that it is a true Porsche SUV. While certainly not as dramatic and flashy as the 918 Spyder, it is a remarkable accomplishment, using a highly advanced full parallel hybrid system that will provide the performance of Porsches V8 with the fuel economy of a V6.

Of course what is Porsche without motorsports, and on the racing front we are also opening a new chapter. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid is the first Porsche race car ever to use electric front-wheel drive and a fly-wheel energy reservoir. This historic car competed very well in the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring in May. The focus was not on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race, but rather spearheading technology as a “racing lab.” The intent is to provide hands-on know-how for the subsequent use of this hybrid technology for road-going sports cars.

“Porsche Intelligent Performance” is truly the dawning of the hybrid age at Porsche, and the company is energized to work for new, ground-breaking standards in electro-mobility.

A Long-standing Environmental Commitment

Porsche’s concern about it’s impact on the planet is not only a long standing one, it also encompasses many broad areas of the company. It is a key corporate objective at Porsche Cars North America and with it’s parent company in Germany, Porsche AG. It stretches from major undertakings, such as the new super-clean and efficient paint shop opening in Zuffenhausen, to very important details of doing business in today’s modern society, such as building one of the most environmentally sensitive parts buildings in the country.

For example, Porsche has a successful waste management system in place at it’s production facilities whereby nearly 100 percent of all waste is recycled. Just as importantly, Porsche cars are built from the start to conserve as many resources as possible for later generations, with fully 85 percent of their content being totally recyclable. From development to after-sale service, it is a key objective of Porsche to minimize resource consumption and keep the impact on the earth as low as possible.

Green Choices Here in the U.S.

The company’s earth-conscious initiatives extend from it’s manufacturing locations to PCNA’s Atlanta-based headquarters and other U.S. facilities. Several years ago, PCNA implemented it’s “Green Choice” program giving employees the motivation and proper tools to make smart and simple environmentally-friendly choices. Among the continuous efforts, a company-wide recycling program includes all paper, magazines,books, cans, cardboard and glass. Energy efficiency is another key component of the program with the installation of energy efficient light bulbs and low flow aerators in all restroom faucets. And despite being a car company, Porsche even encourages it’s employees to car pool or take public transportation. In November of 2009, PCNA received an award at it’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, when it received a Clean Air Campaign PACE award for the company’s promotion of “clean commuting” among it’s employees. For example, employees can receive a $25.00 transit subsidy for car pooling or using public transportation and they can pay for public transportation from pre-tax funds.

In October 2009, PCNA also officially opened a new Northeast Regional Support Center that was awarded a prestigious LEED Gold Certificate for being built and operated with a level of environmental sensitivity. The 300,0000 sq. ft. building is the only one to receive this honor in the northeast area it is located (Easton, Pennsylvania).

The environmentally conscious initiatives in the U.S. also include other facilities. In 2009, Porsche’s Logistic complex in Ontario, California began to employ solar power, saving 50,000 pounds of CO2 each year.
A Principled Approach

The following policy principles were formally enacted many years ago and are here to show that Porsche has long held a high corporate regard for protecting the environment while providing it’s customers with the very best cars. Thinking “green” is not a trend at Porsche; it is a way of conducting business.

How environmentally sound is a Porsche vehicle? Naturally, Porsche has always complied with statutory legal requirements and has, in fact, done so by a comfortable margin. Porsche has also been ahead of it’s time. This was the case in 1966 when the first official European emissions test was carried out on a Porsche 911 in Weissach, and again in 1987 when already 85 percent of all new Porsche vehicles were supplied with a catalytic converter–long before this was required.

As well as delivering superb driving performance, the innovative technology that is the hallmark of every Porsche is also used by developers and engineers to implement more eco-friendly concepts: lowering fuel consumptions, further reducing emissions of pollutants and CO2 and incorporating even more recyclable materials.

Our Environmental policy principles since 1990

Minimization of resource consumption, reduction and avoidance of environmental impact, and the sensible recycling of waste are ongoing objectives pursued by Porsche AG. It is another of Porsche AG’s specific objectives to support international efforts to solve global environmental protection problems.

In order to reach these environmental objectives, high priority was given to protection of the environment as long ago as 1990 when the Porsche code of conduct was compiled. These principles were updated as follows in 1996:

We develop, produce, sell and service fascinating, high-quality, exclusive sports cars that meet the highest possible standards of environmental and safety engineering.

We aim to minimize resource consumption and keep environmental impact as low as possible.

We develop products and production processes that are as environmentally sound as possible and work constantly on improving their environmental performance, taking future requirements into account.

The long life of our products is an essential element in the Porsche concept. It represents an active contribution to the economical use of resources and energy.

It is a matter of course to Porsche that all applicable environmental regulations are observed. Ongoing improvement of the corporate environmental performance has high priority.

We inform the public at regular intervals about issues at our company that have a bearing on the environment and are committed to frank and cooperative dialogue with authorities and other relevant organizations.

The Porsche AG environmental guidelines represent out guarantee that the environmental policy principles are implemented.

Driven to Efficiency

On a very tangible level, Porsche has worked very hard in the area of environmental protection. As said earlier, Porsche engineers are never satisfied with only meeting current environmental regulations passed by lawmakers. It has always been their goal to exceed them. Porsche vehicles should also set an example when it comes to environmental protection. So, as early as 1966, the first authorized emissions test in Europe was performed using a 911. Not long after, a separate department was established that also tested the emission values from vehicles produced by other manufacturers.

Porsche develops new technologies not just to improve driving performance and features, but also to continuously optimize the cars for environmental sustainability. Because of this philosophy, Porsche has succeeded in reducing the fuel consumption in it’s new cars, and thereby also CO2 emissions. This is a leading figure in the industry. With regard to engine performance, Porsche currently already ranks among manufacturers with the lowest CO2 emissions.

By 2012, the fuel consumption in Porsche vehicles is going to be reduced by 20 percent compared to 1995.
Performance and the Impact on the Planet

Porsche stands for dynamism, agility and flexibility; as well speed, elegance and safety. Our philosophy is to develop compact, high performance engines that produce outstanding power. We then create premium cars that are able to transfer this power to the road effectively, in process applying all the knowledge and experience we have gained from motorsports. This is what our customers expect.

The fact that our specifications for new and ongoing developments include clear objectives relating to the environment is on contradiction. Quite the opposite. At Porsche, increasing performance goes hand in hand with reducing fuel consumption. We are continually optimizing vehicle aerodynamics, which has a positive impact on both fuel use and performance. For the same reason, we put a great deal of effort into reducing weight. What is more, we regularly optimize fuel use by way of technical innovations.

The production process is also critical, and here again Porsche has mandated strict environmental conditions. One recent and developing process includes the company’s painting process:

In the fall of 2009, Porsche announced it is expanding it’s innovative automobile production at the main factory in Zuffenhausen to include one of the most modern and environmentally-friendly paint shops in the world. The outer skeleton structure has already taken shape, with the steel supports set to be completed in early 2010, and the entire facility is scheduled to be operational by 2011.

What are some of the major technologies that Porsche has employed to make them among the most efficient every built?

VarioCam Plus

Porsche uses VairoCam Plus because every small detail counts in saving fuel and decreasing emissions. This system combines variable valve timing with two-stage lift on the inlet side. The resulting benefit’s include greater power and torque, as well as smoother running, better fuel economy and fewer exhaust emissions.
Direct Fuel Injection (DFI)

Over the past few years, Porsche began using DFI in new versions of the Cayenne, 911 models, and this year the Cayman and Boxster–allowing up to a 15 percent decrease in fuel consumption in these key products. At the heart of the DFI engine lies an injector that sit’s directly on the cylinder head. As the name suggests, the valves inject fuel directly into each combustion chamber with the help of a high-pressure pump at a pressure of between 40 and 120 bar. This disperses the air/fuel mixture more precisely, increasing the mixing of air and fuel and because direct injection lessens cylinder temperature, more air that normal can be compressed into the combustion chambers. This boosts the energy density of the mixture and therefore performance under optimum conditions. It is possible to control the required fuel volume exactly via the duration and pressure of injection.

Biofuel

All of our cars will comply with the strict requirements of the EURO 5 emissions standards well before they come into effect. Already, all Porsche engines can be fueled with a blend of 10 percent ethanol and, in fact, the Cayenne can use up to a 25 percent blend. Even our racing cars us biofuel. The high-performance power unit on the RS Spyder, for example, is designed for a 10 percent ethanol blend and takes Porsche from victory to victory in the American Le Mans Series.
Lightweight construction

One of the most striking things about any Porsche is it’s intelligent, lightweight construction that benefit’s both performance and the environment. Measures to achieve this include using a high proportion of aluminium alloys, plastic and high-strength sheet steel, which is more stable and lighter than conventional steel.

Hybrid

Soon Porsche will introduce one of the most sophisticated hybrid-drivetrains available today. It will first come equipped in the Cayenne model and later in the new Panamera. This new petrol-electric hybrid system is designed to significantly lower fuel consumption and overall emissions. Porsche decided early on not to opt for the standard hybrid technology used by it competitors because it sought to maintain the Cayennes sporting reputation and provide the very best in efficiency and the latest technology available. This hybrid concept is called the parallel full hybrid.

By 2010’s end, the Cayenne will feature the parallel full hybrid with a V6 engine drive concept. The Cayenne Hybrid will achieve fuel economy of less than 9 liters per 100 kilometers, a reduction of 25 percent.

Unlike a typical full hybrid model, in a parallel full hybrid system the electric motor is integrated into the drivetrain. The hybrid module sit’s between the transmission and the combustion engine where it docks to a decoupler. This represents a clear space saving by minimizing the limitations posed by all-wheel drive technology and the size of the luggage compartment.

Using a parallel full hybrid design with the electric motor between the combustion engine and the transmission, allows the Cayenne to reach a speed of 86 mph without using the combustion engine. This engineering achievement allows the Cayenne S Hybrid to roll freely at highway speeds without the combustion engine on, greatly minimizing engine emissions and fossil fuel consumption. This differs from current hybrid concepts that deliver benefit’s mainly in city traffic. Porsche, in cooperations with VW, opted for the parallel full hybrid design as it also significantly improves acceleration.

When it comes to market in 2010, the Cayenne S Hybrid is expected to emit some 20 percent less CO2 than comparable combustion engine vehicles with similar power output. With acceleration from 0 to 100 kn/h in just 6.8 seconds, this hybrid earns the “S” designation by delivering V8 performance and four-cylinder efficiency, all while complying with the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) emission standards.

In addition to the Cayenne, Porsche will employ this same highly advanced hybrid in it’s new four-door, four-passenger Panamera sometime in the next few years.

Clean Diesel

This year Porsche announced it will unveil a new ultra-modern V6 diesel in it’s Cayenne–one that delivers high torque and optimal fuel economy enabling the car to travel some 620 miles on a single tank full. This diesel uses advanced direct injection technology that reduces CO2 emissions by attaining an average fuel consumption mark in Europe of 9.3 liters per 100 kilometers. A decision on bringing this diesel to the U.S. is still being decided based on market conditions.

The current debate on climate change and the greenhouse effect indicates that we are taking the right action. We take our responsibilities seriously and continue to look to the future.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.