While many expect that Porsche will continue to carry on the 911's heritage as a rear-engined rear-wheel drive coupe, Porsche is looking to the future and investigating the advantages of hybrid powertrains. If Porsche sees upside to incorporating new technology, they will do it. And, we couldn't agree more with that approach.
Just look to the 918 RSR hybrid. Engineers took technology from the GT3 R hybrid and placed it into this race car concept. The rear tires of the car are powered by a 563 hp 8-cylinder that can rev up to a screaming 10,300 rpm. The front wheels assist the rear using hub-mounted electric motors powered by a flywheel spinning at 36,000 rpm. These motors are capable of outputting 75 kW, bringing total power to 767 hp. That sounds pretty good for a hybrid.
Porsche has announced that they will bring this car to market in the form of the 918 Spyder, but with modifications. Obviously, the flywheel (which sits shotgun on the 918 RSR hybrid concept) won't make it to market. Who would buy a Porsche with no one to share the experience with? Okay, maybe a few of you. In place of the flywheel, Porsche decided to focus on a regenerative braking system to recover energy. The hub driven motors should also make it into production.
So the question remains: Will Porsche ever go all electric? It's possible, as they've already shown with their Boxster E prototype, but will such a car ever see production? They will continue to look at the market, and if enough customers want it--and they can optimize the platform enough to still call it a "Porsche"--it could very well happen.
Until then, check out our other Porsche episodes: 911 GT3 RS, 911 GT3 R hybrid, Porsche's hybrid history, and the most recent 918 RSR hybrid.
Ed. Paragraph 6 has been edited to include a more overt reference to the Boxster E prototype, for the sake of clarity.