Thoughts on a 911 Hybrid

December 31st, 2018 by

We live in a bit of a strange time for motoring enthusiasts; electric vehicles are becoming a mainstay, with Porsche working on their new Taycan, many European automakers having pledged to stop producing gasoline powered vehicles in the near future, and other changes that many petrol heads from years back would consider blasphemy. Yet, I want to argue that both hybrid and electric vehicles are fantastic, not just for the sake of their intended goal which is the betterment of the environment and reduction of toxic fumes (which is still a great reason to support them), but rather for the sake of performance.

Ever ridden or driven an all-electric vehicle? It’s fairly similar to a punch in the gut the first time you hit the accelerator hard in one; the torque throws you back, instant acceleration throwing the vehicle into action, reaching your desired speed within seconds. The power of electricity resides in the fact that it can generate instant torque and power from a low rpm, something that is just not possible in combustion motors. So off the line, all-electric vehicles can easily outpace combustion vehicles; yet, due to the limitations of peak RPM in electric motors, reaching the same top speeds is almost impossible. However, when you combine a dual motor system, one utilizing both combustion and electric motors, you can get some even better results.

A prime example of the is the Porsche 918 Spyder: A mid-engine monstrosity on the road, with a total horsepower of 882 horsepower, the powerhouse of the vehicle is a combination of a V8 built on the same architecture as the RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype and two electric motors. The horsepower coming from the V8 is 600 horsepower, with the two electric motors supplying an additional 282. This power, combined with high performance materials and extensive aerodynamics means the 918 Spyder is able to reach 0-60 miles per hour at a neck-breaking pace of 2.2 seconds, and 100 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 218.4 miles per hour. Complimenting each other’s weaknesses, the electric motors and petrol motor ensure that both acceleration and top speed are at their peak.

But we’re not here to talk about the 918 Spyder (check that out in a future article), but instead for the sake of arguing that should Porsche ever produce a 911 hybrid, that it would be a fantastic idea. Admittedly, yes, the 911 has an identity to keep; rear mounted engine, small backseats, and lines that have defined the rest of the lineup and Porsche brand. Yet, Porsche has fitted the newest 911, the 992, with an all-new gearbox that, should it ever come to pass, could fit a hybrid system. As Klaus Zellmer put it, “the car is prepared technically to accommodate an electric machine, if needed,” but is the Porsche fan base ready for that?

I’m still unsure on the compromise on the 911’s identity, but for the sake of performance, I would be excited to see a hybrid 911. Creating instant torque, acceleration that would be radically increased, and meshing it with one of my favorite vehicles to drive, the agility and overall performance of a 911, could make for a life changing experience. To put it in perspective, top of the line Panamera models are available with hybrid systems that push out 680 horsepower and still get 80 miles per gallon. But to see the same technology that pushed the 918 Spyder to prominence, and prices of over 1 million dollars (such as the one we sold), and put it into the 911 that is more readily available, more easily seen, and of such iconism would truly change the game. Let us know your thoughts on a hybrid 911 down in the comments below, but I think that it would be the right decision.

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