So will it be built or not?
We know it’s coming. It’s just a matter of when, although Porsche has yet to even confirm the program’s existence, but we all know the real truth. The Porsche 911 plug-in hybrid is supposedly in development and we have no doubt it’ll have incredible performance specs. But could it turn out to be the best 911 ever? Porsche technical communications manager Hermann-Josef Stappen believes so. Speaking to Motoring, Stappen stated that “If we bring a hybrid 911, it will also again be the best 911 ever.”
There are, however, still some doubts at Porsche that longtime 911 buyers will even accept the electrification, even partially, of their beloved butt-engined sports car. “There are more things to think about…How many cars can we sell if we do it? Will our customers accept it?” If you think about it, the just launched Panamera Turbo S Hybrid-E is sort of a test bed for this technology. If Porsche customers embrace this gasoline-hybrid technology in the Panamera Turbo, then why wouldn’t they do the same for the 992 911? Furthermore, there was also the 918 Spyder, and we didn’t hear anyone complaining about that.
But Stappen also noted that hybrid technology, specifically the battery pack and electric motor, are not easy to adapt to the 911’s now unusual engine architecture. Fortunately, the 992’s platform has been designed to handle plug-in hybrid tech, but assuring maximum performance is another issue entirely. The bottom line issue, according to Stappen, is weight. But Porsche doesn’t seem to be in any immediate rush to launch a 911 plug-in hybrid. In fact, it likely won’t even be the first Porsche sports car to feature the technology. That honor will go to the 718 Boxster and Cayman, whose mid-engine setup is more ideal.
“We showed with the research cars on the basis of the Boxster that the mid-engined layout is very good for electrification,” Stappen added. “There would only be minor changes to the platform to put in electric drive.” Eventually, Stappen truly believes most 911 fans will accept hybrid tech – as long as that 911 is performing at the top of its segment. “We have the hybrid high performance sports car with the 918 Spyder so you can use the components and the know-how to do this also with the 911,” Stappen summarized. “From a technological standpoint it would be a great car, but would our customers want to have their four-seat capacity instead of batteries?”