Hybrid Porsche 911 in development for 2023 launch
Prototype spied testing provides potential first look at upcoming electrified variant of the German brand’s iconic sports car
While the prototype in the images above is sporting the same body as the current-generation 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S, the yellow sticker on its rear windscreen supposedly indicates that it's an electrified vehicle.
Unconfirmed rumours about the spied test vehicle claim it has a 400v charging system and that the battery for the hybrid system is located behind the front seats, which may account for the blacked-out rear windows. However, those details have not been officially confirmed by Porsche.
And while a charging port can't definitively be made out on the photographed 911 prototype to confirm its plug-in hybrid status, Porsche has already confirmed it's developing an electrified 911, citing a 2023 on-sale date.
Speaking to DrivingElectric in early 2020, Porsche’s head of research and development Dr. Michael Steiner said: “The [911’s] platform is hybrid-ready, and we have prototypes. I drive it myself; it's fun to drive.”
He added: “One thing that should be decided on is whether it's a more performance-orientated hybrid or range-orientated plug-in hybrid. This is one of the main decisions we have to take – deciding which direction such a variant of the 911 should take.”
Insiders at Porsche have said that cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and Porsche Cayenne hybrid have informed the hybrid 911’s development, helping it to remain agile – but also that the company’s engineers aren't happy with the weight penalties a large battery brings.
Porsche engineers have suggested that the associated four-wheel-drive system can be a plus point, however, adding traction and handling flexibility to the 911’s already stellar dynamics.
“It's also once again to do with weight,” Steiner told us. “The more range you would like, the more weight you have to add, but if you're only looking for performance, you could have a really small battery that boosts the car and regenerates under braking.”
Electrified vehicles are set to become a large part of Porsche’s future, as the Taycan electric saloon and Taycan Cross Turismo electric estate will soon be joined by an electric version of the next-generation Macan. The replacement for the current generation of Boxster and Cayman sports cars could also be fully electric.
Porsche’s current range of plug-in hybrids spans the electrified versions of the Cayenne SUV, the Panamera saloon and the Panamera Sport Turismo estate. The company anticipates that pure-electric cars will make up 25% of its global sales by 2025, with 25% of sales being hybrid cars and the remaining 50% using traditional petrol power.