The biggest factor holding the vehicle back is the weight of the batteries.
Porsche is allegedly returning to the idea of creating a hybrid 911 (rendered above). Anonymous insiders with knowledge of the project confirmed its existence to Automotive News.
If all goes to plan, the hybrid 911 would arrive during the iconic model's next generation but wouldn't be available at launch. The vehicle's arrival isn't certain yet because the company's engineers are still working out how to lighten the electrified powertrain enough to maintain the model's handling while also allowing for a 40-mile (64-kilometer) electric range.
This new info fits with previous reports about Porsche's goals for an electrified 911. “Fully electrified sports cars would work very well for longitudinal acceleration,” Porsche R&D boss Michael Steiner told Autocar earlier this year. “But the weight disadvantage is in the handling.” The company believes that solid state batteries' energy density advantages could be the game changer.
Porsche had a 911 hybrid under development in the past but abandoned the project in 2016. August Achleitner, the model's development boss, admitted earlier this year that the extra weight and additional production expense made the vehicle unviable for production.
Gallery: Porsche 911 Prototype With Digital Gauges
The company already has hybrid variants of the Cayenne and Panamera and more electrification is on the way. The Mission E is the firm's first full EV for the public, and there's a $743 million investment into a new assembly plant and paint shop to build it. The money is in addition to $3.5 billion going towards developing EV tech.
The next-gen 911 will likely debut in 2018. Spy photos (above) show that the exterior design doesn't change much, but the vehicle becomes somewhat larger. Inside, there's now a digital instrument cluster with an analog tachometer.
Source: Automotive News