Some components were packed with electrification in mind

It’s not even 2019, and we’re already talking about the hybridized version of the new 992-generation Porsche 911. Yes, the plug-in model will only be unveiled in late 2020 for the 2021 model but August Achleitner, Porsche’s current head of sports car development, has already shed some light on how the German company prepared for this move.

We knew ever since the new 911 was presented to the world at the L.A. Auto Show that it would have some built-in features that would, later on, make the adaptation of a hybrid powertrain simpler. Now, we get a bit of insight of how Porsche is working to fit the battery pack and the electric motors onto the 911s platform.

The ’table’ is already set for a plug-in hybrid 911

Porsche Came Up with a Pretty Slick Way to Electrify the 992-Gen 2020 Porsche 911
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Porsche took the wraps off the new, wider, and better 992 911 at the L.A. Auto Show where the S and 4S models were presented. However, we knew that, for the 992 generation, Porsche is finally cooking a hybrid version. After all, the now-retired 918 Spyder was a hybrid and Porsche’s been playing with hybrid technology on the 911 platform in racing since 2010.

While the S and 4S will both be equipped with the 3.0-liter flat-six engine capable of 443 horsepower, certain components of these gas-guzzling models have been designed with hybridization in mind.

For instance, the car’s gearbox is packed tighter than ever to be able to house an electric motor.

“We’ve taken the experience we gained with hybrid versions of the Cayenne and Panamera, as well as the 918 Spyder, and applied it to the new 911," Achleitner said, quoted by Autocar. "In the future, this will allow us to offer it with pure-electric capability.”

Porsche Came Up with a Pretty Slick Way to Electrify the 992-Gen 2020 Porsche 911
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What freed up some space in the gearbox housing is the use of a new gearset that’s akin to those that come on the new Panamera and Cayenne. This new gearset is 3.93 inches shorter than the old one which means that there’s now enough room for a disc-shaped electric motor.

What is more, the 8-speed PDK gearbox that's manufactured by ZF is designed to cope with over 500 pound-feet of torque.

The AWD system - available on the 4S - has also been tweaked and can now send half of the engine’s power to the front wheels. The brake booster is also new and it’s fully electric, like on the 918. This means that energy recuperation under braking and acceleration is now better than ever before.

Porsche Came Up with a Pretty Slick Way to Electrify the 992-Gen 2020 Porsche 911
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What we don’t know, yet, is how potent will the hybrid 911 be. Achleitner was reticent to put lay down any numbers, but he did refer to the Panamera Hybrid as an example of what can be achieved. The company’s 4-door coupe sedan has, in its top-end variant, a 135 horsepower electric motor that has a torque rating of 218 pound-feet. Add that to the 5423 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque developed by the 4.0-liter internal combustion engine, and you end up with a grand total of 673 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque.

That's already a lot but remember that there were talks of a 700 horsepower hybrid 911.

The Carrera S or 4S with their 443 horsepower engines wouldn’t be a powerful enough base to achieve that combined output unless a new and heavily improved electric motor is installed. Instead, Porsche might, instead, pitch this figure for a hybrid 911 Turbo S model.

Porsche Came Up with a Pretty Slick Way to Electrify the 992-Gen 2020 Porsche 911
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In any case, the battery pack that will allow the 911 hybrid to travel for a few miles on electricity alone should be placed up front to balance the heavy engine hanging at the tail end.

The Carrera S, that weighs 3,350 pounds, has a weight distribution of 39% up front and 61% at the back.

Apparently, Porsche tries out the idea of outfitting a smaller fuel tank so that the battery pack can be placed neatly underneath to also lower the center of gravity. We don’t know how much power the battery pack will store but the one on the Panamera has a capacity of 14.1kWh, enough for an electric-only range of 31 miles as per the old NEDC standard. But the Panamera is almost 2,000 pounds heavier than the 992 911 so expect the rear-engined sports car to go much further on electric power alone with the same pack although Porsche will, probably, come forth with an improved one until the model is unveiled in 2020.

Further Reading

Performance Comparison: 2019 Porsche 911 991 vs 2020 Porsche 911 992
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Performance Comparison: 2019 Porsche 911 991 vs 2020 Porsche 911 992

Porsche Came Up with a Pretty Slick Way to Electrify the 992-Gen 2020 Porsche 911
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Read our full review on the 2020 Porsche 911

2017 Porsche 911 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the base, 2017 Porsche 911

Source: Autocar

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