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Porsche 911 Hybrid on hold


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Battery boosted Porsche 911 on the backburner again

Porsche has put a hybrid version of its 911 on the backburner, leaving the world’s oldest series-production sports car yet again resisting the future.

The German sports and premium brand has talked publicly about hybrid boosting for its 911, in the form of lithium-ion battery-electric power chiming in to help its all-new flat-six turbo engines.

Porsche's former development boss August Achleitner even suggested to motoring.com.au last year that Ktwo different 911 hybrid variants would be available as part of the '992-series' range due around 2018.

But current Porsche development chief, Michael Steiner, appeared to put a dampener on the car during the Paris motor show, insisting there was no approved model development program for a 911 Hybrid – at least in this generation of the sports car stalwart.

“A 911 hybrid? It’s possible, yes. It’s possible to have 918-derived technology in a 911. It’s possible with today’s technology in a 911,” he said.

“However, there is no decision to do this on short notice, but we have this constantly on our radar,” he said.

If the problem isn’t converting the expensive 918 technology or the even more expensive 919 LMP1 race car technology to series production, what is the problem?

Porsche's Mission E concept has concentrated all of the company's intellectual forces into making the 2019 battery-electric sports sedan not just the best it can do, but both a blueprint and an organ donor for whatever battery-electric Porsches follow it.

“It at least looks like the market potential on a new vehicle with completely electric (drive) is more than another derivative of the 911,” the company’s engineering head explained.

“We decided we would do the Mission E as our priority one. It’s in serial development.

“If you look at the alternatives, what would be more important to us?” the company’s engineering head asked.

That’s not to say a 911 Hybrid is never coming for Porsche, especially with European emission regulations tightening in 2020, forcing the next generation of the teardrop two-door to adopt turbocharged power across the board.

There are, as ever, unique engineering constraints with the 911, which mean Porsche would be unable to introduce hybrid power in the form of a disc-shaped electric motor inside a relatively standard, off-the-shelf transmission.

It would be able to offset the extra weight that typically comes with the extra battery, electric motor and regeneration hardware of hybrid systems by using it to replace the mechanical hang-on front differential in its all-wheel drive Carrera 4, Carrera 4S and 911 Turbo models.

“We would be able to act within a reasonable time and we would be prepared for it (a 911 Hybrid),” Steiner said.

“But it’s in competition for resources within our development centre in Weissach.”Porsche_911.jpg?height=700&aspect=FitWit

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