It sits and feels like a Porsche, is utterly powerful, and blazing fast on the water, yet silent as a sailing boat, but it will cost you more than twice the price of the most expensive Taycan. We’re talking about the Frauscher x Porsche 850 eFantom Air that was presented at the beginning of this month to a select public on Lake Garda in Italy. Only 25 will be built initially as First Edition.
It’s actually the forthcoming all-electric Porsche Macan, somehow disguised in an Austrian powerboat design, as it shares components of the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) on which the new Macan is based. But if range anxiety is your thing, be aware it will get you only 22 nautical miles (41 km) far at a cruising speed of 22 knots or 45 km/hour, despite the vast 100 kWh battery.
Luxury open sports boat
Frauscher, the Austrian family-run boatyard, was established in 1927 and specializes in luxury open powerboats up to 13 meters. Like Swedish Candela, it’s currently one of the forerunners in electric speedboats with a range of e-boats, of which the Frauscher x Porsche 850 eFantom Air, accommodating up to nine people, is the crown jewel.
Porsche engineers and designers got a blank cheque to convert the 8,67-meter long Frauscher’s 858 Fantom Air with a classic 430 hp MerCruiser 8.2 liter V8 inboard combustion engine into a state-of-the-art electric watertoy for the happy few. With production amounting to only 25 examples, the price is accordingly €561 700 net, compared to the €219 087 of the ICE version.
Genuine Porsche design
For that kind of money, you’ll get a genuine Porsche-designed helmstand with a high-gloss black instrument panel behind the frameless tinted acrylic glass windscreen. The side ends are designed as winglets – stylistically a nod to the 911 and, at the same time, are practical grab handles, Porsche says.
Like a sportscar, it features five analog gauges and a typical Porsche steering wheel, covered with synthetic leather to withstand the harsh, salty nautical environment. The start button is to the wheel’s left in classic Porsche fashion. Also, the seats with raised backrests, integrated headrests, and an embroidered crest are Studio F. A. Porsche design.
In the 12-inch multi-information display, a depth sounder and chart plotter are integrated, and controls for the high-end audio system with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. What you typically won’t find standard in a Porsche car is a bow thruster, simplifying mooring and casting off, and an electric winch with a stainless steel anchor or a fridge.
Most of the Porsche genius sits hidden under the double sunbed at the rear of the boat. You’ll find a permanently excited synchronous electric motor (PSM), a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery, and 800 V technology from the eMacan in a waterproof box emblazoned with the Porsche logo.
This motor delivers a – deliberately limited – 400 kW (563 hp) of electric power. A shaft transmits the energy from the electric motor to the marine Z-drive. It makes the eFantom Air fly over the water at a top speed of 46 knots (85 km/h), faster accelerating than the ICE version. It might sound poor compared to the 250 km per hour of a Porsche Taycan sports car, but bouncing on the water, this is a sport boat top performance.
45 km of range on average?
Unfortunately, all this power comes at a price. At top 46 kn top speed, your battery will only last for under half an hour, as at the optimum cruising speed of 22 kn, the range is limited to one hour or 45 km. Porsche gives no exact figures for ranges at top speed, but compared to a possible 480 km range of a Taycan, that’s ten times less on the water.
When sailing at hull speed (8 kn or 15 km/h), more than 100 kilometers ranges are possible. Similar to on-road Porsches, pre-programmed driving modes can be used. In this case, Docking, Range, Sport, and Sport Plus settings. Typical customer trips with a mix of slow and high-speed travel allow a journey time of two to three hours, depending on the driving profile, says Porsche.
Thanks to the 800-volt technology, the electric boat can charge at 250 kW of DC at fast-charging stations, from 10 to 80% in less than 30 minutes. But you’ll likely not find fast chargers in marinas any time soon.
So you’ll probably need some nine hours at a regular marina socket, using the 11 kW AC charger onboard. Or, why not plug it in on your generator-powered superyacht if you prefer to use this ultimate Porsche water toy as a tender?