No need to flock to Stuttgart with pitchforks just yet.
During a celebration commemorating the millionth Porsche 911 to roll off the Stuttgart production line, Car and Driver caught wind of good news from August Achleitner, head of development for the 718 and 911. His comments regard the 911 and will bring a sigh of relief to purists already fed up with turbochargers breathing down the flat-six’s nostrils and impeding on the metallic growl Porsches are known for. As early as 2014, rumors of a plug-in hybrid 911 were spewing from the mills.
Thing is, these weren’t just rumors but confirmations by high ranking Porsche officials who were searching for ways to comply with the latest emissions standards. Though the talented engineers toiled to make a plug-in hybrid sports car, the project seemed doomed to fail before it began. That’s why Achleitner told C/D that the project had been killed off a year ago after being planned for the 992 generation 911. Plaguing it were two main issues: weight and cost. The models the engineers had drawn up were, at best, a few hundred pounds heavier than the standard 911, rendering the car a dynamic mess unfit for a Porsche badge. And then there was the issue of price.
Though Porsche carves out one of the largest profit margins of any automaker, with an average yield of $17,225 per vehicle once expenses are accounted for, a hybrid drivetrain would have cut things too close for Porsche to justify the investment to the bean counters. “In the end, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages,” said Achleitner. For now, the automaker seems intent on trying to squeeze any gram of possible efficiency out of the 911 formula using nothing more than good old fashioned engineering that Germany is so well known for. Though the 911 is Porsche’s bread and butter sports car, it’s a bit odd that the company has given up on a plug-in hybrid variant.
Especially so given that the 918 Spyder proved Porsche is more than capable of making a world-beating hypercar while using a hybrid drivetrain. As lovers of that raspy metallic growl, we can’t complain too much.