Porsche's Most Heretical 911 Yet Could Arrive Very Soon

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porsche 911 turbo s
Porsche

It's certainly safe to say the car market is moving toward electric power rapidly — perhaps faster than most could have predicted even two years ago. (Could you imagine mainstream politicians contemplating outright combustion bans back in 2019?) That's set mean major changes for even defiantly combustion-powered vehicles; full-electric Dodge Charger and Ram 1500 models may be on the road by 2024, hot on the heels of the electric Hummer and Ford's EV F-150 Lightning. One that may be about to join that movement? The Porsche 911.

How do we know? Well, U.K.-based publication Autocar recently came across spy shots of an unusual 911 Turbo testing at the Nürburgring. The blacked-out rear windows strongly suggest that Porsche is hiding some battery assistance back there; plus, the car also has a yellow warning sticker, mandatory for testing hybrid vehicles in Germany. Logic would suggest that's Porsche working on the promised "very powerful" hybrid 911.

Starting with the 911 Turbo would be a sensible place to begin hybridizing the 911. When you get to the super-expensive 911s, the GT3 is for the Porsche purists; the Turbo is the car that chases mad, super-car levels of power and performance. Adding a hybrid option for the Turbo would be more palatable to those buyers — and probably necessary for Porsche to keep up with performance rivals who are also adopting hybrid tech, like McLaren and Ferrari. The tech could filter down from there to the daily-driver 911s. (Then again, it's also possible Porsche is just testing hybrid tech in a Turbo body for some other reason, and will launch it as a standalone model.)

It's unlikely we will see a full-electric 911 soon. Porsche has previously said one wouldn't arrive before 2030. Even with the brand at the forefront of EV technology with vehicles like the Taycan, the technical hurdles to getting an electric 911 that still looks and drives like a 911 may currently be insurmountable. (And Porsche could still try to save combustion as an option for 911 buyers with a synthetic low-carbon fuel.) Still, with the 911's future a prerequisite for Porsche's survival and the 992 model on the verge of a mid-life cycle refresh, we wouldn't be shocked (pun intended) to see a 911 hybrid debut by the end of 2022.

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