Porsche Set to Debut the Tyncan
Wednesday, September 4th marks the date when Porsche will officially debut the long-awaited Tyncan: the first-ever vehicle made entirely of recycled parts.
When the Mission E (for “Environmental”) prototype debuted, critics were skeptical that it was both logistically and technically feasible to produce a car entirely from recycled parts. How could they get the necessary supplies and produce everything from used parts??!!
Porsche dismissed the criticism. “At Porsche, Environmental is expected.”
The most critical challenge was sourcing and obtaining all the needed metal (the “Tyncans”). As Porsche R&D head Michael Steiner explained, “We needed a lot of relatively high quality used metal, not just empty bratwurst tins (of which we have plenty). Cell phones would have been a good choice, but it was impossible to pry them out of the hands of young people. We finally settled on wrecked Corvettes and Cadillacs, which are plentiful and cheap. Still, it was a challenge to process out all the impurities. The water from Flint, Michigan that goes into the cars is particularly nasty.”
“Other materials,” he continued, “were easy. Glass we could source from discarded microbrews. There is amazingly good quality glass in them to justify the otherwise unfathomable price. We were really worried about getting top quality synthetics and electronics, but it turns out SpaceX discards a vast number of prototypes every time one of their rockets blows up. By being very efficient, we can build 5,000 vehicles from from one bum rocket.”
“Of course, there were trade-offs. We couldn’t come up with a feasible means of recycling paint and didn’t want to use new products. So we finally gave up and just covered the car with duct tape. The product is so hot and the wait list for orders so long it will be years before the lucky first owners realize the car is not actually painted.”
“Other things were easier. American, Chinese, and Russian car owners demand tail pipes even though the car has no exhaust. We could use anything. Mercedes bet us four Rhineland castles we couldn’t get away with using Hyundai tailpipes. We did it just to prove we could get them to stick and to use the castles for parties.”
“And what about the batteries?” we probed. “How can you achieve an 800-volt system, 300-mile range, and 20-minute quick charge without it turning into a Mission Fricassee?”
Herr Steiner paused before answering. “This is off the record, yah? None of this will get out?”
“Of course!” we assured him. “The only place we could report this is in the Porsche club email newsletter and no one actually reads it. It just goes to spam.”
“Well,” he finally answered, “that is one area where we had a major change in design. At first we were actually going to design an all-new system to do all those things, but it turned out it would be crazy expensive to do so and we swore to management we would have higher margins on these cars than on the Cayennes and Macans (which is not easy to do). Then we discovered that if we programmed all-new software for iPhone batteries without the bugs we could do it all with those. Then it was easy: just a matter of how many old iPhone batteries to glue together. A Turbo comes with 1,600. That’s how many iPhone batteries Hong Kong discards in 11 minutes.”
So there you have it, dear readers, the secrets of the environmental marvel that is the Tyncan: recycled parts living another day. Glamour without guilt; what could be better??