The Porsche 911 is headed down the path of electrification as ever-toughening emission laws force the sports car manufacturer to further evolve its lineup.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S range in Tenerife this week, the company’s director of boxer engines, Thomas Wasserbach, admitted that Porsche is actively looking at a hybrid version of 911 for the future.
“We are reviewing [it]” Wasserbach told CarAdvice about a hybrid 911.
“[We are] checking viability for the future to get hybridisation of 911. It’s something we would look to do because in some cities you need it, so we have to look.”
Wasserbach admitted, however, that the issue of making it happen isn’t necessarily a philosophical one but more to do with the negatives that a hybrid systems brings to a sports car such as a 911.
“The challenge is to get low weight, not too much weight in a sports car. Naturally we want high electric power but we don’t want much batteries because of the high weight. So at the moment we are thinking about what could be the next step to hybrid.”
The current 991 Porsche 911 doesn’t have the technical ability to carry a battery pack, having not been designed with that in mind - but that could change in the future.
“Hybrid is a technology that we have much experience in, [such as in] Le Mans and Panamera and Cayenne hybrid, so we know what to do but for sports car we have to look for new technologies of batteries… the weight is the problem, in Le Mans with the 919, it has lightweight battery system but it’s too expensive, so we have to work around it and get these requirements to the 911.”
But while Porsche is willing to combine its flat-six boxer engine in the 911 with an electric motor for assistance and better fuel consumption, the German company is so far ruling out a full electric model for the iconic sports car.
“We think a 911 needs a flat six engine, this [full electric variant] we do not see it at the moment. If the regulations some time [in the future] say no way [to internal combustion engines] then… but we want to go as long as we can with a flat six engine. It’s typical for this model, it has a long history and we think our clients want this.”
A hybrid version of the 911 is unlikely to surface until well in to the next-generation model’s life cycle, which would put it a good 4-5 year away.