Most industry observers have already guessed as much, but it’s still interesting to hear it straight from an exec’s mouth, as that seemingly takes away all doubt. Yes, the Porsche 911 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) development project is officially dead.
It was killed off all the way back in 2016, in fact — so it’s been dead a while. Perhaps the company was just waiting to reveal as much until the all-electric Mission E launch was closer?
The revelation comes to us via the head of Porsche’s 718 and 911 development programs, August Achleitner, as recorded in an interview with Car and Driver.
So, what was the reason for the project being cancelled? Too many compromises were necessary, according to August.
“In the end, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages,” he stated.
Car & Driver provides more: “The hybrid 911 would have been part of the 992-generation lineup, and we were told that it would have been very efficient at least on paper, thanks to European emissions tests that heavily favor plug-in hybrids.”
“But it also would have brought compromises — compromises that ultimately rendered it unfit to join the 911 lineup. First, the plug-in hybrid would have been several hundred pounds heavier than a regular 911, which likely would have severe consequences for its dynamic capabilities, and it also would have been so expensive to make that Porsche would not be able to match the profit margin of other versions of the 911.”
Car & Driver finished off its article with this bit: “We don’t disagree, as a hybrid 911 would be perhaps the least desirable 911 this side of an autonomous one. Instead, Porsche says it will focus on making the regular 911 even more efficient.”
A bit of a strange thing to write — wouldn’t a PHEV version of the 911 possess considerably greater “instant torque?” Wouldn’t Porsche owners prefer to have access to the sort of capabilities that only electrified vehicles with decent-size batteries possess? I don’t get it.