Porsche still deciding on one or two new 911 plug-in hybrids

700-hp flagship would eclipse other models, and that's the problem

  • Image Credit: SpiedBilde
Back in March, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told Autocar that the coming Porsche 911 plug-in hybrid "will be the most powerful 911 we've ever had." That quote portended a 992-series 911 with 700 horsepower or more. A new report in Auto Express, however, suggests Porsche is having energetic debates about just what the 911's hybrid strategy will be, and that the only agreed-upon plug-in hybrid 911 so far is a milder version to sit in the middle of the range.

Putting all our rumors in a row, in January, Automobile reported on an electrically-assisted 911 with 485 hp and 561 pound-feet of torque. The new AE piece effectively endorses that, saying the mid-range hybrid would follow the program established by the all-wheel drive Cayenne e-Hybrid that produces a combined 455 hp and 516 lb-ft. The 911 would naturally use a flat-six instead of the Cayenne's 3.0-liter V6, and the sports car would be tuned for better sound response and sharper reflexes.

AE says fuel economy for this hybrid should be at least 80 eMPG, with emissions of less than 80 grams per kilometer. The current base Carrera is currently rated at a maximum 38.2 mpg in the UK, with minimum emissions of 169 g/km. The hybrid, fitted with a double-clutch gearbox and Porsche's mechanical all-wheel-drive system, could run from a stop to 62 miles per hour in less than four seconds, making it more efficient than a base Carrera and much faster than a Carrera 4S.

AE says there remains only "the potential for Porsche to add a second, more powerful hybrid 911," and says its sources claim that's what's "causing the most consternation behind closed doors." This one would be the twin-turbocharged, 700-hp beastie that, as a series production car, would have a hard time not usurping the 540-hp Turbo, 580-hp Turbo S, and 607-hp Turbo S Exclusive. True, the hybrid would be handicapped with a 550-pound battery pack, but the instant acceleration and handling benefits of electric AWD — with no connection between the axles — could provide the final edge over the other three.

As such, it makes sense that there'd be a whole lot of debate about a flagship 911 hybrid. On the other hand, such a monster seems like an eventuality in view of Porsche's electrified aspirations, the lessons gained from the 918 Hybrid and the 919 Hybrid Le Mans racer, and the fact that CEO Blume has already spoken. The Stuttgart carmaker expects a sales mix of 25 percent electric, 25 percent hybrid, and 50 percent conventional powertrains by 2025. The 992 series will move the brand into that future elsewhere, too, with a flush-mounted center touchscreen, digital instruments, and a wide-ranging app ecosystem.

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