If we asked you to pick one vehicle that was quintessentially Porsche, what would you choose? I think we could all agree on one model. The 911 is Porsche. However, times are changing. Mr. Musk has proven that the future is electric. Add the rising fuel price and constricting emissions standards and you have a very convincing argument. It is inevitable that Porsche will eventually take the 911 electric.
There are already several hybrid models in the Porsche portfolio. The Taycan is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the collection. Not only did it beat Tesla, but it also proved to the world that a Porsche could still mean ultimate performance. Just the electric version of it. The trump card that Porsche had with the Taycan was this. It was an all-new model. If it had been a disaster, at least it’s wasn’t a 911… Its roaring success has not only reassured Porsche, but also given them the foundation to begin to transition the 911.
A gradual change
Spy photos of an early 911 hybrid have emerged from Europe. This hints that it’s going to be a gradual transition instead of a full electric conversion. During a press conference in Italy, the CEO of Porsche Italia, Pietro Innocenti, said that the 911 hybrid will debut soon. He was reticent about the specifics, but from the photos, we can deduce that it won’t be a plug-in hybrid.
Under the hood
Most of the technology in the Porsche 911 hybrid will be derived from Porsche’s motorsport division and the 919 hybrid. Since the 911 is associated with performance, it isn’t surprising that Porsche still plans to keep this as the focus. Word has it that the new model could deliver around 700 horsepower (521kW). Some of the spy photos also show the vehicle with no rear seats. This is something we’ve already seen on the GT3 so it’s not surprising that Porsche would keep the trend. The space will prove invaluable to the new, more elaborate drivetrain. The unrelenting quest to save weight by Porsche (as evident in the GT3) probably means that the hybrid would be powered by a small lightweight battery pack, relying heavily on the engine generator for power.
Aside from the seat, the leaked photos don’t reveal any other styling changes. This means there would be very little to distinguish the hybrid from the ICE models. We suspect that 911 hybrid may gain similar badging to its Cayenne and Panamera siblings as well as yellow-green brake calipers. Other subtle changes include a new front bumper with vertical fins, evolutionary headlights, and a sport exhaust system. The rear bumper has also been slightly modified.
How soon is soon?
In 2017, CEO Oliver Blume stated that the hybrid would be part of the next-generation (today’s 992) mid-cycle facelift. Since the 992 arrived in 2019, the mid-cycle refresh should be around 2023 or 2024. This is reinforced by rumors that the hybrid will debut around mid-decade.
So what can we expect? Aside from marginally better gas mileage and better performance we think it’s safe to say that the 911 will fundamentally remain a Porsche, albeit an eco-friendly one.