A Hybrid Porsche 911 Sounds Like A Packaging Nightmare

Illustration for article titled A Hybrid Porsche 911 Sounds Like A Packaging Nightmare
Photo: Porsche

Some were surprised when the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S debuted with no electrification, as it seems like a logical step in milking more performance out of one of the longest-running sports car legacies. But Porsche is still developing a hybrid 911, it just sounds like a lot of hard work.

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Auto Express interviewed Michael Steiner, who sits on the board for Porsche, who revealed that hybrid 911 prototypes are already on the road for testing, but the company isn’t too sure about their future.

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Here’s more from Auto Express:

“The platform is hybrid ready, and we have prototypes. I drive it myself; it’s fun to drive,” Dr. Michael Steiner, Porsche’s board member for R&D told us. “One thing that should be decided on is whether it is more performance-oriented hybrid or range-orientated plug-in hybrid. This is one of the main decisions we have to take - deciding which direction such a variant of the 911 should take.”

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“It’s also once again to do with weight. The more range you would like, the more weight you have to add, but if you are only looking for performance you could have a really small battery that boosts the car and regenerates under braking,” Steiner added.

After a series of hybrid successes with the Cayenne E-Hybrid and the 918 supercar, Porsche has learned enough lessons to walk the path to a hybrid 911 model very carefully.

Earlier this week, Autocar also ran an interview Porsche’s Frank-Steffen Walliser, framing a hybrid 911 as a packaging nightmare. Porsche wants to keep the same bodystyle of the current car, keep the rear seats, keep the engine location, etc., and all of that proves difficult when you have to fit batteries and motor in there somewhere. More from Autocar:

“It’s really difficult to do with the 911 and the way it is packaged. We want to keep it as a 2+2, we want to keep decent trunk space and we don’t want to destroy the shape of the 911.

“Also, I am not ready to put that amount of additional weight into the car. If you wanted to make such a car, it would be easier to make a completely new car.” Given the seven-year model cycle of each 911, this implies that a hybrid version will not be introduced before 2026 at the earliest.

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Both interviews came to the same conclusion, though: a hybrid 911 is likely at least four years away from production, if it ever happens at all. Maybe it shouldn’t.

Here’s what Porsche CEO Oliver Blume had to say about it, too:

How many electric motors and petrol engines will Porsche install over the next few years?

Around 50 percent of all Porsche vehicles could be sold with an electric or hybrid drive by 2025. However, Porsche will always offer combustion engines, particularly in the 911. But we can’t stop the onward march of electromobility.

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Via Road & Track.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

Here’s my take on a E-911:

Rear engine + PDK powering the rear wheels RWD
Electric motor for the Front Wheels

The weight savings of not having an AWD system could offset some of the weight from the electric motors/batteries.

Dream transmission: a Manual Transmission which, under normal operation, uses the electric motor to augment acceleration powering the front wheels. If you’re stuck in traffic, put the car in a “electric” gear that only runs the front wheels using the electric motors, so the car is essentially an automatic in stop-and-go traffic. Use the power of the engine to recharge batteries if needed.