The exotic Italian carmaker just announced its intention to sell mostly electric exotics by 2020-2021. Fire and spark will recede. Henceforth, it will be mostly just the silence of electric motors
Four new EVs are on deck, including an electrified Quattroporte.
Porsche is plugging in, too – embodied by its Mission e all-electric concept and its recent publicly expressed "commitment" to a plugged-in future.
But what if there is no such future?
Of all the types of cars on the road, exotics are bought for emotional as much as for rational reasons. How they sound being as important to the enthusiast as how quickly they get to 60 – or get around a race track.
What happens when they no longer make any sound – or sound pretty much the same?
And perform pretty much the same, too.
An electric motor is, after all, an electric motor. Think power tools.
The main differences, one battery vs. another, are their relative size and how much power they each make. These are differences akin to the differences between a small box and a medium-sized box and a really big box.
You can put more stuff in the really big box – and the smaller box fits in the closet, while the small box doesn't.
But at the end of the day, they're all boxes.
There's no EV exhaust note because there's no EV exhaust. No combustion, god help us. No more gear whine, either – and if you don't appreciate that, this column will be incomprehensible to you.
A Tesla sounds like . . . nothing. An electric Porsche and an electric Maserati will sound like the same . . . nothing. One gets to 60 in 2.9 seconds; the other in 3.1 seconds.
Other than by using a stopwatch – or by eying a badge – can anyone tell the difference?
Oh yes, there's the badge… .
There's not much to do, either – so very little reward. Remember – no gears to shift. Just push down on the accelerator, something any ape could do.
And if that's all the difference – leaving just the shape of the thing and maybe the price -then what's the difference between an electrified Quattroporte and an electrified 911?
Or for that matter, an electrified Camry? Why would anyone care?
A 911 with a flat six, on the other hand – especially the old air-cooled flat sixes – is a very different thing than a V12-powered Maserati.