Porsche is poised to join the electric hypercar class, while the upcoming 911 hybrid could eclipse Turbo S as the line's performance flagship.
Porsche is getting ready to embrace an electric future — including a flagship hypercar successor to the 918 Spyder (pictured here) — but insists it will continue to build petrol-powered two-door sports-cars for as long as regulations allow.
The German sports-car maker says the 911 hybrid due in the next few years has the technical ability to become the new flagship of the range — eclipsing the performance of the upcoming 911 Turbo S — but is yet to decide how much electric power to unleash.
“When we will bring a hybrid version for the 911 it has to be the best and the most performing one we put into this car,” the global boss of Porsche, Oliver Blume, told media during a roundtable discussion at the 2019 Geneva motor show.
“When we will introduce the hybrid we haven’t decided yet if it will be the top of everything [but] it’s technically possible,” he said.
Porsche is also evaluating whether or not the next-generation mid-engine 718 Boxster and Cayman will have hybrid or electric capability.
However, Porsche is closing in on plans for a pure electric hypercar once battery technology catches up.
“The evolution of the batteries in three or four years can offer this,” said Mr Blume.
“In future I see a possibility for a hypercar [powered by] the next generation of batteries. That should be a very high performing car,” said Mr Blume.
Porsche is working on solid state batteries that can deliver a driving range of up to 1000km.
“Today we work with liquid batteries but … in future the biggest opportunity is in solid state batteries, therefore we have to wait until 2025 or more. These batteries will have a big advantage for distance. In future you will be able to drive 1000km [between recharges].”
Porsche says its research shows solid state batteries are 30 per cent lighter than current battery packs, and 99 per cent of the materials are recyclable.
“But there needs to be a way to make them fit for the automotive industry,” said Mr Blume. Porsche says, for now, there are challenges with production processes, discharge rates when not in use, and daily use in extreme weather conditions.
“It’s not decided yet if [the next hypercar] is a hybrid or a full battery car,” said Mr Blume. “We wait [on] the development of the batteries. It will be 2025 or later.”
Current Porsche hybrid battery technology has 37 amp hours per cell, the next step is 47 amp hours per cell, and for 911 hybrid the company is “aiming for 60 amp hours per cell, to have the performance and the distance”.
Lovers of petrol-powered sports car fear not, however. “We will continue with high performance petrol engines in our two-door sports-cars as long as possible,” said Mr Blume.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling