The Macan is priced far more competitively than ever before. Is it a challenge to convince potential customers that a Porsche can be relatively attainable?
Yes, there is a general perception that Porsche is, or ‘was,’ expensive, not only in terms of buying the car but also in terms of maintenance. With the new pricing, it’s not just about acquiring the car, but also about a new maintenance schedule, where, for just four years of service & consumables, you pay as little as ₹1.5 lakhs. And if you want a full package that covers wear & tear items, then it’s just ₹5.5 lakhs for four years. This goes to show that this car is really quite comparable to some of the other premium brands out there and you can own & maintain one quite easily.
Before Porsche, you were the Head of Lamborghini in India. So, which marque is your favourite?
First of all, both the brands belong to the VW Group and, of course, both marques are great. But, both brands satisfy a different need. When I look at Porsche specifically, I think this is a car that you can really use on an everyday basis, even in an Indian context. I’ve seen a 911 driven up to 100,000 kilometres in South India by a passionate Porsche owner. The more I meet customers, the more I realise that owners in India are warming up to the idea of driving a Porsche as an everyday car like they do in the rest of the world.
For me, in the 718 and the 911, the great thing is that the howl of the intake & the exhaust both come from behind you as the revs build all the way to the redline. There’s so much emotion involved. How do you replicate that in an EV like the new Taycan?
Whenever something new comes, you have doubts, you have naysayers, then you’re okay to experiment and then you fall in love. I’ve gone through this journey myself. I’ve had the opportunity to drive the Taycan, and what a brilliant machine it is! I drove it on a racetrack, as well as on the road, and all I can say is that the connection is so direct that you really enjoy it. At the end of the day, you’re buying into the character of a car, something which all Porsches will always have. So, when you throw the Taycan into a corner, it’s not different from any other Porsche. To top it off, even when you press the throttle at 100km/h, you have an immediate response. The only thing that one might miss is the sound of the car, but we’ve created our own sweet electric engine sound for the Taycan, which is something very futuristic. Once you spend some time with the car, you really warm up to the idea of an electric sports car.
When is the Taycan coming to India?
Next year. Indian customers are ready to experiment with technology, and we might just be the first ones to bring an electric car into the sports car segment here. From a consumer’s point of view, we already have interest in the car. Our dealerships will be fully equipped to charge the car, and we’ll provide charging units to customers – one for the home, and one for office. Given the size of our country, it won’t be possible for us to develop the necessary infrastructure everywhere. So, we’ll also rely heavily on the government to come up with solutions.
What does the future of the 911 look like – in terms of it going down the electric/hybrid route, how will its lifecycle play out?
When the current 911 was developed, we made provisions for a hybrid model. But in terms of the future, we’ll have to wait and see what to expect from the 911.
Also read - Porsche Macan, Track Test