Will it happen? When? Here are some clues.
Porsche has been adamant the 911 will be the last of its models to adopt an all-electric powertrain. The flat-six engine, due to be hybridized in 2025, could soon run on eco-friendly synthetic fuel, also being developed by Porsche's finest. While that would likely satisfy most 911 fans, government regulators are a completely different story. The way things are heading, new combustion-engined vehicle sales will be banned in many countries, including the US, by 2035. Therefore, Porsche must plan accordingly with reality. Its longtime design chief, Michael Mauer, clearly understands this.
Speaking to Autocar, Mauer, indicated he's already imagined what an all-electric 911 will look like, but made clear it won't happen prior to 2030. "The silhouette of today's 911 is so iconic, and that has to stay," he said.
"I used to say that a 911, as a whole, is 100 percent emotion. And the flat-six engine sound is not 100 percent of the emotion. It's the styling, it's the handling, how it goes around the corner. Electric engines regarding torque and performance offer that: yes, it's missing the sound, but if you look at young kids today, do they need it? I don't know."
Mauer has been at Porsche long enough to see the 911 evolve from an air-cooled flat-six, to a water-cooled setup, to today's turbocharged layout. Progressing to a hybrid powertrain and, later, a pure battery-electric one makes an awful lot of sense. Designing a 911 EV doesn't appear to be much of a problem, as Mauer indicated.
The iconic styling will remain. Even the unique rear-engined handling could perhaps be replicated. What will be lost, as the designer pointed out, is the special flat-six sound. Now, it's possible that audio can be replicated with artificial sound pumped into the cabin, but everyone will know it's just that - fake. This isn't something we should worry much about right now, but the writing is on the wall.
Eventually, the 911 will drop the flat-six. But hopefully, enough knowledge will be gained thanks to the Taycan and the next-generation 718 EV that can be used to make a 911 truly something outstanding.