Home » Porsche’s Seven-Seat Electric SUV Will Be Very Big, Very Expensive

Porsche’s Seven-Seat Electric SUV Will Be Very Big, Very Expensive

New Project P

Good morning and welcome back to The Morning Something, The Autopian’s daily roundup of the news that matters most in the world of cars. It’s Wednesday, which is the same thing as Friday, if you believe hard enough. On today’s docket: Some apparent details emerge on Porsche’s next EV, which is due to be very voluminous; President Joe Biden defends the Inflation Reduction Act at the State of Union address; Subaru has EV plans now, too; and Tesla has a new “Master Plan” coming soon.

Porsche’s K1 Project Is A Big Deal, Literally

Taycan Emblem
Photo: Porsche

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, because I’m not, one thing that’s cool about Porsche is that it doesn’t really make bad cars. Seriously, what was the last bad Porsche? Maybe the 924, with the underpowered cargo van engine? Or the 968, which was kind of half-assed? But even those are very cool and have plenty of their own merits. The point is, when Porsche sets out to do something—like an SUV or an EV—the end result is usually going to be pretty great. Even if you’re anti-crossover, would you really say no to a weekend in a top-shelf Macan? I didn’t think so.

So when Porsche says it’s going to make a big, seven-seat electric SUV next, I have faith that the German automaker will make it a good one. That’s what’s next on the P-Car docket, reports the UK’s Autocar. It’s called Project K1, “a very sporting interpretation of an SUV.”

When it arrives, the advanced four-wheel-drive flagship will head a growing Porsche line-up, consisting of seven individual models. The K1 will offer the latest in synchronous electric motor, high-performance battery and rapid-charging technology – developments that, insiders at the company’s Zuffenhausen headquarters in Germany say, will extend its price well beyond the £150,500 of the existing internal-combustion-engined Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT.

Already three years in conception and planning, the new Porsche model aims to build on the success of the Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan, Porsche’s two best-selling models over the past two decades, as well as last year. The K1 is intended to support this trend with a combination of sportiness and utility that, it is hoped, will appeal to customers in its two largest markets: North America and China.

Biden Defends Inflation Reduction Act In SOTU Address

Joe Biden
Last night’s State of the Union address—which involved a lot of back-and-forth yelling as if Congress is the British Parliament now—included a fair bit of football-spiking by President Biden, who’s seeking to hype his legislative record in the likely event he runs again. (He’ll be 82 when that happens, but hey, maybe you really are never too old to do something.)
That included touting the Inflation Reduction Act, which, among many other things, reset the EV tax credit scheme and heavily incentivizes automakers and battery companies to manufacture in America so that China doesn’t dominate the supply chain. Here’s Automotive News on his remarks, including what his Republican opposition had to say:

“We’re going to make sure the supply chain for America begins in America,” Biden said in a speech late Tuesday from the nation’s capital.

[…] Though Biden said more must be done to support steady U.S. growth and lower costs, he pointed to a resilient economy, with public and private investments in manufacturing and infrastructure continuing across the U.S. and inflation showing signs of improvement.

“Jobs are coming back. Pride is coming back because of choices we made the last several years,” Biden said. “This is, in my view, a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America.”

[…] In response to Biden’s remarks, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., blasted Biden’s “rush-to-green agenda.” She said Republicans will continue their oversight of how the Biden administration implements the Inflation Reduction Act, arguing that the law “embraces massive government subsidies and regulations to place unreliable, weather dependent renewables above all other energy sources.”

“It fails to reduce the regulatory, permitting and licensing barriers that hamper the deployment of American energy and infrastructure, like hydropower, advanced nuclear and natural gas export terminals and pipelines,” said Rodgers, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Biden also said he would veto any efforts to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. That tidbit is important for a lot of reasons, including the fact that building a battery and mining infrastructure in America is going to be a very long-term project.
Certainly, the credit scheme has been a mess so far, but if the battery provisions alone are left in effect, it’s a hard reset on how the entire EV ecosystem could work.
Now, if a Republican takes office in 2024? It’s very easy to see the IRA getting killed (or gutted) much like Obama’s Affordable Care Act did, and then who knows what happens to all of the car and battery companies putting money into development now because they’re banking on massive tax subsidies for years.
Basically, a lot will be on the line with EV production and infrastructure in the 2024 election.

Subaru’s Big EV Push Starts In 2025

Subaru Solterra 2023 1600 1a
Photo: Subaru
Speaking of EVs, after years of hesitancy and hoping hydrogen power could be a thing, the Japanese automakers are finally starting to get moving in that direction. That includes Subaru; you’d think Subaru’s crunchy, granola-loving crowd would be totally game for electric cars, right? And while Subaru is small, it prints money and it’s tight with Toyota these days, which helps spread battery costs around.
Here’s Automotive News on Subaru’s EV catch-up plan:
“Our main electrification strategy centers on strong hybrids and electric vehicles and introducing such models in the U.S. by 2025,” Tomoaki Emori, senior vice president of the corporate planning division, said at the company’s Wednesday quarterly earnings announcement.

“When we look at the U.S. market situation, we will need to offer several models in our EV lineup,” he said. “We have shifted our weight toward that in our development.”

Emori did not offer details about the upcoming EVs, but they would be in addition to the only full-electric vehicle currently in the lineup, the Solterra crossover co-developed with Toyota. Subaru said last May that it wants to derive 40 percent of its global sales from battery electrics and hybrids by 2030 and apply electrification to all models in the early 2030s.

“The U.S. accounts for 75 percent of our total sales,” Emori said.

“Given that, we will move ahead with our electrification strategy by responding to U.S. environmental regulations, legal and market trends.”

Anyway, Subaru makes a ton of U.S.-market vehicles at its Indiana plant, but no word yet on whether that factory will see a big battery investment to take advantage of IRA rules.

Tesla’s New ‘Master Plan’

It’s that time again! Time for Tesla to make some big pronouncements to gin up its stock price and cash from reservations on cars (and robots?) that may never happen. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but it’s not wrong.

We will, however, get some big Tesla news on March 1, its Investor Day presentation in Austin, Texas. In the past, such Master Plans have outlined the path from the Roadster to the lineup Tesla has today; and then where Tesla stands on buses, trucks, autonomous tech and duds like the Boring Company. So what’s in Part Three? Here’s some analysis from The Verge, emphasis mine:

Tesla has already said that it would reveal concrete details about its next-generation vehicle platform during its Investor Day event. The company is working on a refreshed version of the Tesla Model 3 as well as a robotaxi designed to be a shared vehicle.

Robotaxis and the next-gen platform will for sure get more fleshed out during Musk’s presentation. Given his focus on scaling Tesla’s operations to extreme size, we should expect some mention of the long-promised $25,000 EV. And some mention of the company’s controversial Full Self-Driving system and how it will plan into Musk’s stilted vision of an autonomous future is all but guaranteed.

The stuff I bolded above is the really important part. Tesla’s current EV lineup is excellent, spec-wise, and now selling strongly again thanks to recent price cuts. But it’s old, and the competition is catching up quickly. The coming years will test Tesla’s ability to be the EV volume leader, not just in America but globally. It badly needs new, fresh products in the pipeline, and real ones, not magic sports cars that run on rocket thrusters to save the environment with sustainability. Announcing a new platform will be a big deal.
As for “robotaxis”: given the garbage year the autonomous driving industry had in 2022, it seems like Musk is the only real true believer left standing there. Or at least one of the last few voices to claim your passenger car will be “self-driving” in the near future.
I know I’ve been generating $30,000 in annual passive income by deploying my Model 3 as a robotaxi, and it’s been a nice windfall since I started in 2020. Haven’t you been doing that too?

Back To You

What do you want to see from Tesla’s Master Plan presentation? All snark aside, I think the smart play is to announce two or three new crossovers—one that should replace the aging and silly Model X—plus a new sedan of some kind. And finally, an actually affordable EV like The Verge mentions above. Just outline the product roadmap for the next few years the way Stellantis sometimes does, and stick to it.

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64 Responses

  1. I think Musk will tell us that the Semi will be in full production in two years, that a $35k sedan will go on sale next year, they cyber truck is just a year out and will be under $40k, and the new roadster will be released in three years.

    And all of that will be just as true the last time he proclaimed it.

  2. Remember when all Teslas became robotaxis in 2019? They must have tons of new features for those coming out like contactless payment for riders and such.

  3. I want Elon to announce the firing of the exterior designers of everything but the S and the rehiring of the S designer to redo the entire line. Then the firing of the UI designers as well.

    1. Came here to say exactly this – The S was a really good looking car when it came out. I seem to remember that Henrik Fisker did the design (and then never got paid).

  4. Subaru, among other vehicles, owner here. Subaru intends to introduce serious hybrids in 2025? (Yes, yes the Crosstrek, which disappoints profoundly.) Also, Subaru is woefully behind on EV press announcements and EV roadmap hand-waving.

    We live in prime Subaru country, and maybe the Subie die-hards will wait until 2025 for a decent hybrid. I see many nimble AWD hybrid choices on showroom floors now. Maybe Subaru couldn’t read the competitive analysis reports because they were covered in stacks of money and hubris.

    1. I was at the Subaru dealership the other day having some warranty work done on my Legacy. They had the EV in the lobby, but I didn’t even get up to look at it. I saw it, shrugged, and went back to looking at my phone. I’m not sure why, I like Subarus, but couldn’t be less interested in that EV.

      1. Didn’t realize the Solterra was in showrooms already. I’d read only 6,500 were to be manufactured, so in the words of this web site, you were only a few feet away from a Holy Grail.

        Our Legacy, knock wood, is a complete rock star. The only non-maintenance issue we experienced is we can’t convince a lock to switch out of child imprisonment mode in one of the rear doors. The Legacy is quiet, rides well, and when when Mrs. OverlandingSprinter is in a yabbo state of mind, the Legacy stays planted and inspires confidence in the curves.

        1. There’s one at the dealer around the corner from me. It sticks out fairly prominently. Interestingly the Toyota dealer a mile down the road doesn’t have the Bz4838295gge or whatever it’s called. And the two L2 chargers are often ICE’d.

    2. That Subaru looks like a bad copy of the Mustang Mach-E. Hopefully it has a better name that Mustang Mach-E.
      (Re-reads the article) Solterra? WTF? They should have gone with Outback Mach-E….

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