For years, there have been talks about the Porsche 911 getting some form of hybrid power. After all, the German automaker made several leaps in the field of electrification. They even won Le Mans several times with a hybrid.
But when the subject of a hybrid 911 comes up, purists go up in arms about it. As a result, even Porsche seems on the fence about adding a hybrid option to the sports car. So far, there are several conflicting reports from Porsche. Some high-ranking officers from the brand like it, while others don't.
In a recent interview with Motor Trend, Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zellmer says there is potential for a partially-electric 911. “I'm in contact with my colleagues in Germany in our research and development center. One of my most important responsibilities is representing the customer's voice here in the United States and Canada to make sure we have cars that keep us on the success track going forward, and [the cars] customers want and expect from us," said the executive. Does this mean there is a 911 hybrid test mule somewhere in Porsche's headquarters? It is possible, but it doesn't mean it's green-lit by Porsche for production.
However, Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Motorsport and GT Road Vehicles, said that hybridizing the 911 adds weight, and therefore affects the handling dynamics and signature of the iconic, rear-engined sports car. He also mentioned at the next-generation model, dubbed the 992, isn't engineered to accommodate a hybrid arrangement. However, he didn't close the door on the possibility of a 911 with electric assist. After all, he is part of the team behind the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car that won on its first competition attempt.
Should Porsche electrify the 911? Of course, the purists will say no. But one cannot deny the direction of the industry, which is banking more on hybrids and electric powertrains. The technology is already there, and it proved its worth in racing. If Porsche wants to keep the 911 alive, they should do it, but perhaps once electric power becomes more mainstream.
If anything, it reminds us of the time when Porsche made the 911 water-cooled instead of air-cooled. The die-hard fans were furious, but the sports car still has a massive cult following. If Porsche plays their cards right, they might even embrace the idea of an electrified 911.
Source: Motor Trend