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Electric Porsche Boxsters hit the road

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  • Electric Porsche Boxsters hit the road

    Plug-in drop-top prototypes being tested in Germany.

    Three electric Porsche Boxster sports are gearing up to hit the road in Germany as part of a trial in conjunction with the Stuttgart local government.

    The all-electric Porsche Boxster E sports cars are part of a trial organised by the government and local businesses of clean propulsion such as electricity.

    Each of the Porsche Boxster E prototypes has a bank of batteries replacing the traditional horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine that sits behind the two occupants.
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    The all-electric Porsche Boxster E sports car.

    Power of 180kW is said to propel the open-top Boxster E prototypes to 100km/h in about 5.3 seconds, giving it similar performance to the current petrol-powered Boxster.

    However, Porsche cautions that the three prototypes are purely trial vehicles and should not be taken as an indication that an electric Boxster is about to hit showrooms.

    "What we've offered [for the trial] might be the right solution for the Stuttgart government might not be the right solution for Porsche," says Porsche Australia press relations manager Paul Ellis.

    "Some of the technology that may be used [on the trial cars] may provide some clues to what might appear on a future Porsche electric car."

    Porsche has said on numerous occasions it is working on electric technology and is open to the idea of an all-electric sports car.

    However, it has stipulated previously that any electric Porsche would have to deliver performance equal to or better than its traditional petrol-powered sports cars.

    While the Boxster E trial cars achieve similar acceleration, the 160km claimed range is less than ideal for a sports car, which could conceivably be used for weekends away or extended drives.

    Still, Porsche would no doubt be keen to take on electric car start-up Tesla, which has stolen a march on many traditional car makers by selling its Lotus-based rechargeable Roadster.

    Porsche last year released its first hybrid car, a petrol-electric version of the Cayenne SUV, with the four-door Panamera Hybrid sedan expected here by the end of 2011.