Porsche unveils new 911 hybrid as more consumers embrace hybrids over electric vehicles

Porsche unveils new 911 hybrid as more consumers embrace hybrids over electric vehicles

Porsche unveiled the first hybrid version of its most famous sports car, the 911, on Tuesday, a move that could help electric motors become more acceptable even in performance cars.

The move also marks a major step in the evolution of one of the world’s most recognizable cars. Given the generally greater fuel efficiency without sacrificing power, hybrids have become commonplace in many types of vehicles. They have become increasingly popular in the United States even though sales of purely electric models have begun to slow.

German automaker Porsche, a division of Volkswagen AG, already sells plug-in hybrid models like the Cayenne e-Hybrid SUV and the Panamera e-Hybrid four-door car, but the 911 hybrid is something else.

Initially, hybrid power will be available in only one version of the car, the high-performance 911 Carrera GTS. With an electric motor integrated into the car’s eight-speed transmission assisting the car’s six-cylinder gas engine, the new 911 model will produce up to 532 horsepower, 59 more than the current Carrera GTS model.

Few cars are as defined by a gasoline engine as the 911, and few automakers are as defined by a model as Porsche is by the 911. Although Porsche sells far more SUVs than sports cars today, the 911 remains the automaker’s core model. Even the Porsche Macan and Cayenne SUVs, with their rounded edges and sloping hoods, have a design that matches the 911.

In another big change for Porsche, this car will not be a plug-in hybrid, like other Porsche hybrid models. The Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid and Panamera e-Hybrid are plug-in hybrids with batteries that can be charged from an EV charger as well as by the vehicle’s own engine. The model can also drive quite a distance on just electric power after the battery has been fully charged. The 911 Carrera GTS will be a full hybrid, powered only by power from the engine and from the brakes. It won’t be able to drive significant distances on electric power alone.

In addition to hybrids, Porsche also sells fully electric cars, the Taycan and the new Macan Electric SUV. But executives have said the 911 will be the last Porsche to go all-electric, because its engineering is so unique and so important to the brand. By eliminating the engine at the back, which gives the car its distinctive shape and rear-weighted driving feel, what makes it a 911? This new hybrid model, which still has a rear-mounted gas engine, will be the closest Porsche can get to an electric 911 without raising such questions.

Although sales of electric vehicles in the US continue to increase, the rate of growth has slowed significantly in recent months. Meanwhile, sales of hybrids are growing faster. Blame for slowing EV sales has been placed on relatively high prices for models currently on sale and a lack of reliable public EV chargers. Hybrids are usually cheaper and don’t require a charger.

This particular hybrid won’t come cheap, though. Pricing for the 2025 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS will start at around $165,000.

A Porsche test driver drove the hybrid around Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack in 7 minutes and 17 seconds — 8.7 seconds faster than the comparable current-generation 911 Carrra GTS. The Nürburgring is a twisty and challenging track, so the faster times also show the car’s handling isn’t hampered by the extra weight of the battery and electric motor.

The launch of the new hybrid version comes some 60 years after Porsche launched the 911. The first 911 was introduced in 1963 but didn’t go into production until 1964. It was a bigger and more powerful addition to Porsche’s original model — the 356.

Both models, which were produced together for only a few years, had a small rear seat and the engine was mounted behind the rear wheels. The layout is similar to the Volkswagen Beetle, a car designed by Ferdinand Porsche Sr., father of Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, who created the 356. Ferry’s son, Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, worked on the design of the 911, modeled after the shape of a water drop 356 points. The shape, including the increasingly narrow rear seat, has remained essentially the same since the original model.

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