Porsche Will Make A Decision On The 911 Plug-in Hybrid This Year
Porsche has been doing a bit of hemming and hawing when it comes to the decision to stuff the 911 with a hybrid drivetrain. Rumors of an electrically boosted version of the flagship sports car first appeared in early 2014, and since then the German automaker has yet to give a final word on whether or not it’ll actually happen. Now, Porsche AG CEO Matthias Mueller says a firm decision will be made some time this year.
At the moment, the marque’s catalog boasts three plug-in hybrids, including electrified options for the Cayenne and Panamera, not to mention the warp-speed 918 Spyder hypercar. So far, sales for the green alternative models look good in the U.S., with plug-in technology-equipped vehicles accounting for roughly 15 percent of Panameras sold and roughly 11 percent of Cayennes sold.
According to a new report from Automotive News, Mueller says the 911 may be next on the list to receive the thunderbolt treatment, with Porsche leaders currently “negotiating about that.”
Despite dismissive statements from Porsche in the past, a hybrid 911 currently appears to be a very real prospect: “We are firmly convinced that the plug-in technology is the solution for the nearer future,” Mueller said.
And while the 911 is the most likely candidate for hybridization, Mueller said the tech was also a possibility for any model in Stuttgart’s stable: “Why not? That is a technique which we at Porsche are very familiar with, so we can suppose that we could have plug-ins all over the model range, not only to save fuel but also to boost the performance of these cars.”
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Why it matters
While most Porsche purists would rather eat six horizontally opposed air-cooled pistons than see the introduction of a hybrid 911, the fact of the matter is emissions regulations are a pretty big deal at the moment. Automakers are scrambling to reduce CO2 output across the line, and nowhere is this felt more intensely than at the major sports cars manufacturers.
Look at it this way – if Porsche makes a hybrid 911, it might enable the continuation of hardcore enthusiast models in the future.
Look at it this way – if Porsche makes a hybrid 911, it might enable the continuation of hardcore enthusiast models in the future. And while many will whine about the new watered-down models, you can bet there will be something out there to satisfy even the most jaded performance aficionado.
Take the recently released Cayman GT4 as one example. When the fans complained about a muddied driving experience and the lack of a third pedal option, Porsche responded by delivering a stripped-down, corner-slicing track killer with a six-speed manual.
So before you fly off the handle and post in the comments section how Porsche is ruining its best sports car, try to remember that the company is well aware of its fan’s desires, and will most likely give them a choice when it comes to driving experience.
And who knows? Maybe a hybrid 911 will be amazing, like a baby 918. Because after all, even if you don’t agree with some of the marque’s decisions (the styling on the Panamera comes to mind), you can’t argue with its performance.
The 911 has been Porsche’s primary sports car icon since 1963, and since then, its rear-engine design and trademark styling have seen surprisingly little evolution. Throughout the years, the 911 has been offered in several different body styles, including coupes, convertibles, and targa tops. Well known for its high-end performance capabilities, the 911 is considered one of the most successful racing platforms of all time, competing and winning in rally racing, GT racing, hill climbs, and just about every other four-wheeled motorsport in existence. While a hybrid 911 directly from Porsche has yet to make an appearance, German manufacturer Ruf did create an all-electric version in 2008 called the eRuf Model A.
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Source: Automotive News