The test begins winding, in Frozen Berry, above Lake Garda. I’m sitting in an electric Porsche Taycan with my French colleague Alexandre. We drive in serpentines a detour through the mountains to the marina. The electric brother of the Porsche 911 quietly presents us with all its power. It’s a taste of what’s waiting for us down in Gargnano at the port and why we’re here today.
For the last few weeks, we have been eagerly awaiting this presentation. We feel a bit like Apple nerds who have just waited outside the sales stamps for the new iPhone 15. We are excited about the joint development of the eFantom by Frauscher and Porsche. One thing is clear: It has to be fast and beautiful, otherwise it would be neither Frauscher nor Porsche. And electric. Expectations are correspondingly high.
We arrive, hand over the car to the ground crew and enter the marina of Nautica Feltrinelli, the venue of the event. For one week starting today, boating and automotive journalists from all over Europe, including some of my Best of Boats Award colleagues, will be able to test the joint boat project between Frauscher and Porsche.
Arrival after the test drive with the Porsche Taycan © Frauscher x Porsche
We are the first to see and test drive the result. From above, the eFantom looks somewhat inconspicuous behind the Porsche Taycan of the same color, both wired to the same fast charging station, which is ambulatory here. There is still no charging infrastructure at Lake Garda.
After hello and espresso we go to the boat. Stefan Frauscher awaits us on board, I step over and look around. I know the 858 Fantom Air, tested it in 2018 in the same place on Lake Garda. Five years later, I now find myself in the electric version Frauscher x Porsche.
The Taycan and the eFantom at the charging station © Kerstin Zillmer
Porsche overtakes itself
I take my seat next to Stefan Frauscher in the co-pilot’s seat. “With this boat, electromobility works just as well on the water today,” finds the Frauscher boss. “We can show here that there is no longer any difference in performance between an electric boat and a motor boat, except for range.”
The Austrian from Lake Traun can judge that: The Frauscher shipyard has been building electric boats since 1955. “We haven’t dared to build really fast boats before because we haven’t found the manufacturer that offers the whole package in terms of performance, range and safety,” says Stefan Frauscher. Because the shipyard stands for performance, innovation and good design. “That connects us a lot with Porsche.”
The cockpit in Porsche design © Frauscher x Porsche
My gaze glides over the cockpit. You immediately recognize the Porsche brand, and not just because of the logo on the sports steering wheel. The entire cockpit design has been revised by Studio F. A. Porsche-like. Sovereign and reduced. The fact that the plotter blends smoothly into the surface and that the analog displays are in matte black make the appearance calm and classy. The gray cockpit seats, which slim upward, have hardly any seams and bear the Porsche logo tone-in-tone. Overall, the deck layout is a successful composition of Frauscher and Porsche.
“We have changed the boating world a bit again by building a boat that is better in some areas than a boat with an internal combustion engine. This was an unattainable dream for us for many years. Now we have done it!”, Stefan Frauscher is pleased.
An e-boat for the anniversary
Exactly two years and three months ago, Porsche’s board of management led by CEO Oliver Blume decided that the automaker also wanted to bring its expertise in electromobility to the water. Fittingly for the 75th anniversary of the Zuffenhausen-based sports car maker, now comes something that could be a game-changer for the boating industry.