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New Porsche 911 hybrid at least four years away

New Porsche 911 hybrid at least four years away
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Jonathan Burn

2018-11-29 18:00

The new Porsche 911 will go hybrid but it’s not due until at least 2022, Auto Express can confirm

Porsche 911 - full front

A hybrid version of the new Porsche 911 is at least four years away from showrooms, bosses have announced. 

The new 992 generation of the iconic sports car, which was launched at the LA Motor Show, has been developed to adopt hybrid technology, but 911 product line director August Achleitner has confirmed we won’t see such a model for some time. “It will be the next evolution of this car, that means at least four years from today,” Achleitner told us.

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And unlike Porsche’s current PHEV models such as the Cayenne E-Hybrid, the 911 will focus more on performance. Achleitner added: “When I am thinking about a hybrid version of the 911 I do not mean like the Panamera or Cayenne, I mean like the 919 Le Mans car.”

That means the 911 hybrid is unlikely to be a plug-in hybrid model, instead using an exhaust energy recover system and a lithium-ion battery to power the front axle.

However, there could be the possibility of two hybrid 911s: one to sit in the middle of the range as an alternative to the regular Carrera model, and then another positioned at the top of the range, potentially alongside the flagship 911 Turbo.

Auto Express understands there’s a passionate debate in play among Porsche engineers and decision-makers surrounding the creation of a top-flight 911 hybrid. The sports car is a precious commodity to Porsche, so comes under the biggest scrutiny of all in terms of future development.

Porsche insiders say the lessons learned from the 918 Spyder and Cayenne E-Hybrid projects will help them maintain the 911’s agility. Engineers are not currently happy the weight and performance today’s batteries would bring, hence the delay in developing such a model.

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In certain dynamic respects hybrid power can be used as a plus, say the firm’s hybrid engineers, with four-wheel-drive e-power adding not just traction but also handling flexibility to the 911 recipe.

But it’s the potential for Porsche to add a second, more powerful hybrid 911, to sit alongside the Turbo and Turbo S right at the top of the range, that’s causing the most consternation behind closed doors, our sources claim.

The brand’s move towards hybrids and fully electric cars in future is now in full swing, with the Taycan saloon and entrance to Formula E also confirmed.

So a range of hybrid-powered 911s at various price and performance levels would fit the mission statement, even if some fans of the traditional 911 might not approve. To appease them, the GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS models will remain firmly in the development programme, and will stay resolutely petrol-powered for many years, according to our source.

By 2025 Porsche anticipates its global sales will be 25 per cent full EV, 25 per cent hybrid and 50 per cent conventional power. But sales of the latest Panamera have been 75 per cent hybrid in the UK lately, so Porsche has the flexibility to easily alter those percentages, our source claims, if and when the tide continues to turn in favour of EVs and hybrids.

Click here for all the latest from the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show...



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