A Porsche 911 plug-in hybrid is moving closer to reality but is no chance to be offered until after the next generation of the iconic sports car launches toward the end of the decade.
Development work is underway on hybridisation of the rear-engined 911, but the model line director Thomas Krickelberg confirmed to motoring.com.au that there was still resistance to the concept within Porsche.
“We are prepared if we have to do that [hybrid] but we are not convinced that we should,” he said at the launch of the 911 GTS in South Africa last week.
“Maybe depending on how big the battery is and the electronic system, you might have to give up the two seats in the rear and we are sure this is not a 911 anymore.”
Krickelberg said it wasn’t only the space the system would eat up, but the weight it would add that concerned Porsche.
“A hybrid system means you have two engine systems; a combustion engine and an electric engine; two storage systems, a fuel tank and a battery,” he said.
“Therefore you need space and weight, additional weight. We are, to be honest, not sure because this is a 911. So we haven’t made a decision, although we work on it.”
Krickelberg estimated a three to four-year lag between the decision to sell a hybrid 911 and getting it on-sale. The current 911 rolls on an architecture introduced with the 991 generation that is package protected for hybrid. That architecture will also be the basis for the next generation 911, which will debut around the end of the decade.
Krickelberg acknowledged the increasingly stringent attitude towards emissions globally would drive development of a petrol-electric 911. He said that meant was no point opting for a less weighty and less efficient mild hybrid solution for 911.
“No, the regulations seem to say that they have to drive 50km electric and mild hybrid system is not the solution for that.
“For Europe they say about 50km and China as well, but a mild hybrid system you can drive 15 or 20km and not at high speed.”
Porsche is dramatically expanding its hybrid line-up across the Panamera, Cayenne and Macan lines with a strong emphasis on performance.
By contrast, Porsche’s language about the prospect of a 911 hybrid has gone from quite bullish mid-decade to cautious late last year.
[su_quote cite=”From motoring.com.au” url=”http://www.motoring.com.au/no-porsche-911-hybrid-until-next-decade-105675/”]No Porsche 911 hybrid until next decade[/su_quote]