Elektrisch Slide: Porsche 911 Hybrid An Inevitability
Any measure of change to the 911 reliably sends Porsche purists into a tailspin worthy of the car’s legendary snap-oversteer thirty years ago. It has been suggested that the 911 was the leading cause of death of doctors, lawyers, and – erm – entrepreneurs in the ‘70s and ‘80s than anything else, including cocaine.
Those diabolically catastrophic handling traits have long been exorcised, of course, along with air cooling and church pew seating. With each change, anoraks have wailed into their Porsche Design espresso cups.
What will be said about a hybrid 911? Well, according to one source, they’ll at least be able to say it’s the most powerful 911 ever made.
The new 992-spec 911 made its debut at the L.A. Auto Show not long ago, revealing itself to cast a familiar shadow albeit one that’s an inch longer. All copies will now share the GTS’s voluptuous 72-inch wide hips. Fun fact: the OG 911 was about the same width as a modern-day Mini Cooper. These new ones, well, aren’t.
Keep in mind, too, that the new 911 has a new eight-speed PDK gearbox. Why do so when the old unit was plenty adequate? To make room for a disc-shaped electric motor, of course. While that news may cause some of the faithful to weep and gnash their dentures, at least it is an indicator that the 911 is set for a major power increase.
Head of Development for the 911, August Achleitner, has confirmed development is progressing on a hybrid version, one which will propel itself on solely on batteries for short distances. Those units will likely be stored up front, adding weight but improving the distribution of poundage.
British outlet Autocar reported back in March that Porsche brass hat Oliver Blume said “The 911 plug-in must be a very strong performing car. It will be the most powerful 911 we’ve ever had.
“700bhp might be possible.”
The current (pun intended) electrified guts of the company’s Panamera 4 Turbo S E-Hybrid is good for about 130 horsepower. Able to hit 60 mph in the mid-three second range with the optional Sport Chrono Package, the sedan deploys a 550 twin-turbo V8 under its bulbous snout for a combined output of 680 ponies.
Any hybrid 911 will have to adapt all this tech to a flat-six, methinks. With the Panamera 4 Turbo S E-Hybrid only a pair of dice away from the 700 horses mark, there’s every chance in the world that Blume’s prophecy will be fulfilled.
Company bosses have publicly stated in the past that the chances of an all-electric 911 making production are somewhere between naught and zero. Taken literally, I agree. Fudging the “all-electric” definition to include an all-electric mode in a gasoline-powered hybrid is a more likely prospect. Given this, and Porsche’s experience with the technology, a 911 hybrid is very likely to appear in a couple of years. Keep in mind more and more companies are positioning their hybrids as the performance choice these days.
Expect to see a hybridized 718 before then, though, as the 911 will probably be the last of all Porsche models to be electrified.