Opinion: There’s no need to be scared of a hybrid Porsche 911
Last month we got our first look at the next generation neunelfer as an early Porsche 992 Carrera prototype was spotted out in the world undergoing some on-road testing near to Stuttgart.
In itself, spying a test mule just after a new generation launch is nothing too out of the ordinary (especially as the 991.2 is more of a facelift – despite the turbocharged engines – than a full platform revision).
However, the big news that accompanied the Porsche 992’s first public appearance was that Zuffenhausen is apparently planning to integrate a hybrid system into the next generation 911.
While some Total 911 readers have been quietly optimistic about a hybrid Porsche 911, there have been many who have questioned the decision, feeling it another step away from the traditional neunelfer values.
Unlike introducing turbocharging on the 911 Carrera though, I am not worried about the advent of hybridisation on the world’s most famous sports car, especially if Porsche persists with forced induction on the majority of its models.
Even with their four decades of experience with turbocharging, Porsche’s 991.2 Carrera still has a small amount of throttle lag and lacks a tiny bit of shove at the very top end of the rev range. A hybrid system could fix that though.
With some electrical assistance, a hybrid 911’s turbocharged engine could be made to feel and respond like a naturally aspirated flat six; Porsche has proved they can do it with the 918 Spyder, after all.
What’s more, although the battery packs and e-motors would add extra weight (going against the ‘leichtbau’ principles of the original 911), the mass could be place strategically to counteract the neunelfer’s rear-biased weight distribution, providing some extra front-end bite.
Finally, Weissach is putting hybrid power to good use on the track, winning the FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 919 Hybrid. The Porsche 911 Turbo was an icon born from Porsche’s motorsport successes; a 992 e-hybrid could just turn out to be Zuffenhausen’s latest legend.