Grab the pitchforks and torches, because one of the biggest automotive icons in the world is about to be violated. At least, that’s the reaction of some Porsche enthusiasts upon hearing that the German automaker will definitely be releasing a version of the 911 with a gasoline-electric powertrain. After all, how dare anyone mess with a car that has changed surprisingly little since the 1960s? The conversion to liquid cooling was bad enough, but a hybrid powertrain? Pure blasphemy!
There have been rumors of a 911 hybrid for years now, but after all the talk and supposition most people have given up on the idea. Meanwhile, government forces around the world have been making such a vehicle not only a possibility, but an inevitability. With the push to mandate that cars operate more efficiently, automakers are turning increasingly to technologies that have already been proven to give results. Like it or not, hybrids overall deliver better fuel economy.
The good news is that Porsche is anything but new to the hybrid powertrain game. The Panamera and Cayenne can both be had in hybrid form and they provide a smooth and quite livable way to enjoy propulsion via gasoline and electricity. Of course that kind of talk won’t win over the Porsche purists, because the Panamera and Cayenne are abominations that should never have existed.
Lest everyone forget, there is one other hybrid Porsche that any true enthusiast would never badmouth, the much-lauded 918 Spyder. It’s possible that the company wanted to release the rare supercar before announcing a hybrid 911 as a way to allay fears that such a car would be soft and unenjoyable to drive. What has been confirmed by head engineer Wolfgang Hatz during an interview with Top Gear is that the experience of creating the 918 has armed the company with significant knowledge to craft a hybrid 911 worthy of the car’s performance heritage. In other words, everyone should calm down, because the 911 won’t turn into a Prius overnight.