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Pandemic delays U.S. debut of Porsche's electric wagon

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The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the U.S. launch of Porsche’s next all-electric model — the Taycan Cross Turismo wagon — to at least the end of the second quarter of 2021, Automotive News has learned.

Production was expected to begin in Germany in September, but it has been delayed until April, a source familiar with the schedule said.

A Porsche spokesman declined to comment on future product plans.

The Cross Turismo is a wagon variant of the Taycan, Porsche’s first battery-electric sedan. The Taycan, billed as the electric equivalent of Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car, is capable of a 0-to-60-mph sprint in 2.6 seconds.

The Cross Turismo makes the Taycan line appealing to crossover buyers, noted Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.

“Creating a Taycan with more cargo space hits this important market,” Fiorani said. “The lower center of gravity from the electric architecture should keep the Porsche-ness of the more useful Taycan Cross Turismo.”

Porsche will not cancel any car projects as a result of the market problems triggered by COVID-19, CEO Oliver Blume told reporters last week. He also confirmed the global launch of the Cross Turismo has been pushed from this year to early 2021. Automotive News first reported that delay in April.

“The change is no disadvantage for us; we just optimized the cycle plan,” Blume said, according to Bloomberg.

The pandemic has complicated the U.S. launch of the Taycan this year.

As COVID-19 spread across Germany, Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart, where the Taycan is built, shut down for six weeks starting in early April.

“That six-week window was very much reserved for fulfilling the U.S. demand,” Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer told Automotive News in May. “We had to take thousands of cars out of our sales plan for this year that we will not get into the United States and Canada.”

The U.S. was the launch market for the Taycan. The high-powered, high-priced Turbo and Turbo S versions arrived in December, followed by the lower-priced 4S variant in mid-April.

Porsche sold more than 1,000 Taycans in the U.S. through the first half of 2020. Globally, nearly 4,500 Taycans have been sold during that period.

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