Detroit Auto Show 2018
Porsche COO Joe Lawrence talks turbos and moreA turbo in every 911? We talk with the company's COO to find out how exactly that's going to work.
[MUSIC] I'm Brian [UNKNOWN] with our Road Show Editor in Chief Jim Stephens. And now joining us, real pleasure to have, Joe Lawrence here. He is Porsche Cars North America Chief Operating Officer. Joe, welcome to the Road Show stage. Thanks for having me. So you have a bunch of announcements today, probably the biggest is the capital T Turbo. We've been discussing how are you internally differentiating between the new 911 99 1.2 which has a turbo charger and the new 911 99 1.2 capital T Turbo. Well that's not a bad way to put it with the capital T, because it really is the top range 911 Turbo. And so, even though now we have our 911 Carrera and Carrera S, for the first time ever, also with a twin turbo engine, the 911 Turbo is the top of the range. It means, it is the top level 911, not only in terms of performance, but in terms of features, luxury, The top model. And we've had that situation also with the Panamera in the Cayenne, where the S models also have the twin turbo engines. And then turbo also has a twin turbo engine. But the turbo really becomes also a differentiator, so it's not just about the turbo engine, but about the positioning of the product. And as far as performance, it's a 3.8 liter twin turbo, as opposed to a 3 liter twin turbo, in the Carrera and Carrera. So, it's a much larger, much more powerful engine. Now 540 horsepower in the turbo, 580 in the turbo S. And zero to 60 in less than three seconds, is that right? Less than three. It's really great this year, because we can say that every 911 turbo variant that we offer, and there's four of them, Does 0 to 60 in three seconds or less. So depending whether you get a coupe or a cab, a Turbo or a Turbo S, you're anywhere from 2.8 to 3 seconds, 0 to 60. A nice, clean dividing line, and you're at or below it in every case. You have an enormous number of nine eleven variance. Because you've got a passionate audience for nine eleven. They support that. And every model of car, and I'm not blowing smoke here, you guys don't ever have a dud. You're very careful about introducing new models and as far as I can tell they all fully sell. You don't end up with any models well like let's phase that one out right. How do you resist that appetite to grow, grow, grow up against the exclusivity that helps to drive Porsche? How do you balance that? Well- Cuz you guys could keep going. That's a great question. We get it often. And the interesting thing is if you look at the 51,756 cars, vehicles that we sold last year, that represents 0.3% of the US market. And so even though it's more vehicles than we've ever sold in our history, first time ever over 50,000 units, we are still a tremendously exclusive brand. And that figure really underlines that fact. And you mention all of the different variants of the 911, and that's kind of interesting, too. I think the reason we're able to get away with that is that we have a large number of buyers that are spec ordering their vehicle, and so we're able to individualize the car exactly as they want. So if it was something where we had to stock a bunch of 911s at dealers, well, you don't wanna have all those different variants. But because there's a high number of people spec ordering Hey, we let them have pretty much whatever they want. And you're also streamlining a bit in terms of your names, at least. We were seeing the Cayman and the Boxer now come together. Can you walk us through the thinking behind that. Yeah, interesting. So we will be later this year rolling out the 718 Boxer and 718 Cayman. And of course, that's a new, not a new nameplate for Porsche, because of course we had it in a mid-engine race car in the 50s and 60s. Very successful. And that's why we're bringing that persona also to the [UNKNOWN] Cayman. It does signal a bit of a repositioning, where we're gonna be more traditional with the The Boxster being the roadster and being slightly higher positioned than the Cayman, also the power will be the same between the two vehicles, and we're always keeping that mid engine which makes the Boxster and Cayman so special, but moving to a twin turbo 4 cylinder with a new level of performance for that range starting at 300 horsepower, starting. So, great news sir. So Boxster came and continue on as distinct lines, distinct name plates, right? Distinct name plates, but tied together with 718. Okay, 718 platform ties them together now, as opposed to having any difference under the hood. Under the skin. Exactly. They always were based on the same platform. They came and typically had a little bit more power, and of course it's a hardtop as opposed to a roadster. But now we will position them with the same power. And the Boxter being slightly positioned above in terms of price which is normal in the industry when you have a coupe and a roadster. Okay, so Boxter moves up a little bit, but they stay twins.. Right, right. Okay, question I've got for you for the Porsche purist out there. I'm gonna hit one. For the readers of the Porsche Panamera and all the club magazines- Yeah. Enthusiast magazines and they're looking a show like this. Tim and I been here all day documenting the march told autonomy and driver assist- Boy, yeah. And activity and every car maker here- Yeah. And that's gonna make some of your Star Wars and say Stop. Keep a Porsche a Porsche, at least 911. At least some good, gutsy versions of Cayman and even Boxer and Autocross Delight. Where are you gonna go in terms of resisting this trend toward increasing driver-assist, and they would say, intrusion? Well, you know I don't think we're going to resist. Toward that. I think we are more of the position that you can have your cake and eat it too. And we have already introduced some of our own technology moving toward autonomous like lane change assist, active cruise control. These sorts of things you can now buy on Porsches as well. I think the idea is more about The quality of the drive. And when you're stuck in stop and go traffic, you know, it's still nice to be in a Porsche. It's great interior, great ergonomics, all of that. But stop and go traffic you're not exactly, you know, riven the car out to red line. So you wanna make that drive as comfortable as it possibly can be. Because You know we like to talk about our sports cars as every day magic. It's not a car just for the track, like it's not something you only take out on the weekends. It's something you can drive every day, through the winter if you like. And so we want our drivers, we want our owners experiencing it every day, and if that means we can make their commute a little bit more enjoyable with some types of Features that are paving the way to autonomous driving, great, without taking anything away from that weekend drive up in the mountains. I guess in the Panamera and Cayenne, absolutely I expect that. The sports cars, it's more of a minefield, isn't it? I don't think so because again, it's interesting. You reference my time at Porsche Canada, and And I drove 911s all through the Toronto winter. Through the winter? Took my kids skiing in a 911 turbo with the skis in between the rear seat, put snow tires on it, all wheel drive, perfect-o. It was a wonderful car. So again, we stress Porsche provides everyday magic. It's not just meant for some special occasion. Another step that some purists are a little bit concerned about is the change in power train, some people don't like turbos. But ultimately there's also a bigger shift coming, that would be the shift away from gasoline altogether into an EV based power train. We saw the mission e last year, that was one of the most talked about concepts of the year I think. And it was certainly a very beautiful car. And as we were discussing earlier, there's not a week that goes by that I don't get someone asking me, when am I gonna get to drive the car? Which is why I keep asking people from Porsche when I get to drive the car. So that car is gonna happen. Yes. But when is it gonna happen? What's it going to look like? And ultimately when can Brian and I go take it for a spin? Well we confirmed early in December that we would be building a vehicle based on the mission E concept and that it would be Available before the end of the decade, so that gives you some idea- Still some are driving it this summer. [LAUGH] Yeah. Just telling you. So still some way to go there, but we are so excited about that project. I cannot tell you the number of calls I got from dealers Customers clamoring to already get in line for this car. It really made a statement with the design, it had to be most amazing looking four door, I think, that anyone's ever seen. But of course it's what's under the skin that is really revolutionary, for Porsche's pure electric Sports car, but with four doors, and with electric motors, front and rear, all wheel drive, and we have some amazing statistics to live up to, that we've promoted there. So, over 600 horsepower, zero to 60 in under 3.5 seconds, and I think, most interestingly 300 mile range and 80% charging of that battery within 15 minutes. So fantastic car and we're confident in our engineers, not only to build that car, but to make it a Porsche. And you mentioned the enthusiasts and will Porsche remain Porsche. I can tell you every day in this company we talk about Porsche will remain Porsche. I always like to check in before we let any senior auto exec go. Which Porsche are you driving these days? Good question. I am driving a wonderful car. I'm actually really proud of the way I spec'ed this vehicle. I am in love with it. I think I'm gonna have to buy it. It's a 911. GTS. Carrera GTS. Rear wheel drive, stick shift. With rhodium silver. Red interior with the little ducktail spoiler. [CROSSTALK] Our set here. And I think it is the spec. You go toward the lower end, you go with a six speed, you don't need- Lean and lean- Right. Absolutely, the beautiful color combo. Yeah, that's a hot looking car. I love. I think- When it comes off of executive loan and it goes GTO, let us know. Okay, if I don't buy it myself. Right. All right.