Porsche 'light' years ahead

Observer writer

Friday, May 25, 2018

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ATL Motorsports, the division of ATL Automotive responsible for the Porsche brand, offered an electrifying peek into the brand's mobility future with a seminar held at its New Kingston showroom last Saturday.

Juan Carlos Galvez, Porsche Latin America aftersales training manager, shared information about the brand's electric and hybrid vehicles with the specially invited guests.

“The 919 hybrid sportscar from Le Mans that is a hybrid vehicle. It's a two-litre, basically the same two-litre we have in the 718 Boxster or Cayman and it's connected to a hybrid engine. As our results have proven, we've won Le Mans three years in a row with that same vehicle. Now we're going into the 2019/2020 Formula E and that shows we're committed to electric and hybrid technology,” Galvez told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

His presentation touched on many of the misconceptions surrounding hybrid vehicles and their operation, and the features specific to the Porsche models. The first was the designations. For Porsche, an S-Hybrid can only be charged by the gasoline engine, while S e-Hybrids are the plug-in variants allowing battery charging both via petrol engine and external wall socket.

“If you can plug in a washing machine you can charge a Porsche,” he said.

Galvez quickly dispelled any concerns with a live demonstration of Porsche's intelligent charging system where the vehicle and the charger itself constantly communicate.

“All our Porsche vehicles are safe, but even more for the hybrid vehicle since it's high voltage. It's never going to be anything where you can immediately shock yourself, in case of an accident you might think that you'll get electrocuted; it has a bunch of safety systems incorporated in it so the high voltage system shuts down.”

Intelligent safety management could be seen in various forms such as not allowing the vehicle to be started during the charge cycle and heavily protected cables and connections. Passive safety includes a protected, high-visibility cable network around the vehicle and a double-reinforced battery cage.

In all, the hybrid system adds 136bhp to the vehicle, allows fuel free cruising up to 51km at 87mph. Depending on how the vehicle is ordered, charging from zero can take from 10 hours on a standard 110v outlet to 2.5 hours with the fast-charging option. There are also convenience features such as setting charge times, and pre-cooling/heating the vehicle before entry.

At the end of the seminar, guests were treated to prizes and a shot at the Porsche Driving Simulator.

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