By on November 17, 2017

2018 Porsche 911 GT3, Image: Porsche

Porsche is considering an electrified variant of the iconic 911, which isn’t all that surprising, considering Volkswagen Group wants a battery-enhanced version of every model it builds. But changing the 911 is tantamount to sacrilege among some circles and is likely to receive some mixed responses.

That said, it’s not as if the model remained unchanged since 1963. Porsche has implemented loads of electronic aids over the last decade and even chucked in a turbocharger. Besides, Ruf Automobile already built an all-electric 911 — which it called the eRuf Model A — way back in 2008. The foundation has been set. But we’re not convinced Porsche will walk that path.

Much more likely is that the company will use electric motors to supplement a semi-traditional internal combustion unit, or perhaps utilize a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

However, according to Bloomberg, the manufacturer wants to keep all options on the table regarding engine specifications. So it is possible that Porsche could make the 911 a plug-in hybrid.

Inside sources claim a performance hybrid could be introduced a few years into the life cycle of the 911’s next generation, which is set to be unveiled sometime next year. But Porsche engineers are allegedly still working to how to reduce battery weight in order to offer an electric driving range of about 40 miles (and not accidentally turn the car into an overweight pig).

Either way, the next-gen model is supposedly being designed to facilitate a battery pack and electric motors, and no amount of outrage is likely to change that.

[Image: Porsche]

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24 Comments on “Smart, or Sacrilege? Porsche Considering Production of an Electrified 911...”


  • avatar
    James2

    Cayenne. Panamera. Macan.

    I’d say Porsche has already nixed the word ‘sacrilege’ from its lexicon.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Porsche has needed to do something for a long time. They, much like Rotax, Lycoming, Subaru, and Continental, need to get rid of those ancient technology agricultural boxer engines with that horrendous droning sound. /s

  • avatar
    raph

    >>shrugs<< the world is going electric whether purists or ICEophiles want it or not. In another 20-30 years purely ICE powered vehicles will be a niche for geezers and luddites with maybe a few hybrids around for specialized applications where a pure electric isn't feasible.

    IMO everybody is jumping on the bandwagon now so that development costs are mostly absorbed by people who can afford to be socially conscious and want to the world to know.

    Also I suspect the last mainstream ICE vehicles will be motorcycles since they seem to offer a level of performance with an internal combustion engine in a lightweight package a EV motorcycle isn't quite capable of matching.

  • avatar
    raph

    >>shrugs<< the world is going electric whether purists or ICEophiles want it or not. In another 20-30 years purely ICE powered vehicles will be a niche for geezers and luddites with maybe a few hybrids around for specialized applications where a pure electric isn't feasible.

    IMO everybody is jumping on the bandwagon now so that development costs are mostly absorbed by people who can afford to be socially conscious and want to the world to know.

    Also I suspect the last mainstream ICE vehicles will be motorcycles since they seem to offer a level of performance with an internal combustion engine in a lightweight package a EV motorcycle isn't quite capable of matching.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I mean, we got Tiptronic, water cooling, the cabrio, the Turbo and the turbos, etc. I don’t see a problem, particularly if it enables the engine to return to natural aspiration.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    ICE will be like manual transmissions…things that 95% of the public wants nothing do with but with most loyal 5% you’ve ever seen.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      That depends on who these “most loyal 5%” you are talking about. Depends if they are new car buyers or just enthusiast.

      Those can be two very different things. New car buyers will actually purchase the vehicles and support the company, but not all enthusiast are new car buyers.

      Waiting 3 years to buy them used off the “sucker” who took the depreciation doesn’t help Porsche in continuing production of manual tranny cars.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Either go all in or none at all.

    Don’t make a hybrid 911. All electric or all ICE.
    Offer both versions and see what happens.

    But the idea of carrying around all that extra battery weight for fuel economy gains is a silly goal that makes a vehicle needlessly complex and expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @whitworth: The electrics aren’t for fuel economy. It’s the next step in performance. Not just for acceleration. You can do some amazing things with traction and handling when you have an electric motor at each corner. Rimac has their independent wheel drive system and has some interesting videos on youtube demonstrating it.

      Batteries are getting lighter and you can also use the electric motors to eliminate a traditional transmission like in the Koenigsegg Regera.

      Some of you have to get away from this idea that everyone that wants an EV is trying to be green or save money. Some of us are convinced it’s the future of performance.

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        Despite Musk at his used car-salesman zenith talking up his Roadster, well-documented range reduction and thermal problems of Model S’s – cars that actually exist out in the wild – when driven hard illustrate why pure EV’s are not serious performance platforms (yet).

        That said, a pure EV 911 would (should) be a better thought-out, debugged, and built vehicle than a Tesla. It would be a clearer evaluation of both merits and compromises of a performance EV, with a directly comparable top-shelf gasoline-powered counterpart.

        Porsche should build it.

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          Pretty silly criticisms of the range reduction, what gasoline vehicle doesn’t have a range reduction if you drive it hard?!? I get 12mpg in my Cayman if I’m wringing it out, which results in a pretty crappy range.
          The Model S definitely has thermal issues if you try to race it, but this 911 isn’t competing against a Model S nor does anybody actually track large family sedans in this class anyway (seriously, who actually tracks an S63 AMGs). At least based on the Roadster prototype they’ve come up with a way to address the sustained performancel issues, they were doing full throttle runs back to back all night.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Can’t be left behind. If the performance is there will it sell? This same idea has been floated for the Vette – called the E-Ray. Sports car buyers are a finicky bunch and radical change is not always welcomed.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      CORVETTE E-RAY, trademark serial number 86850510 published for opposition June 6, 2017 General Motors LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

      It’s probably based off of that new mid-engined Corvette.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein!

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I have long-championed a small Diesel engine charging a battery pack that powers a motor in each of the four wheels – and I despise Diesel engines. The performance would be electr… incredible, despite the weight and the clatter and the smell. Amend my dream to a rear flat-6 sports car with direct drive to the rears and electrons to the fronts when needed/wanted, combined with defeatable regenerative braking, and you’ve got my vote, Jack.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    SACRILEGE!!!!

    It’s about as wrong as taking out the flat-six and replacing it with a LSx.

  • avatar
    RHD

    The 911 started out as a variant of the Beetle, and has been in a continual process of modification and evolution for many decades. That history is not likely to change.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @RHD; You’re right about the continuous evolution. That’s the 911’s real legacy. So keeping it stagnant as a pure ICE vehicle would be wrong. If it remains a pure ICE vehicle it will be doomed to a place in the “driving a slow car fast” category as performance electrics begin to dominate the world.

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