We've heard some different, sometimes contradictory things about Porsche's plans to build or not build a hybrid 911. At the LA Auto Show, we asked August Achleitner, the head of sports cars at Porsche, to clear things up for us. Here's what we learned.
Currently, Achleitner is leading development of the next-gen 911, which should arrive within the next few years.
"This new 911 will show a modified platform, and this platform will be able to accommodate a hybrid layout," Achleitner told R&T. "But when we launch this 911, we will not offer [a hybrid]."
Achleitner explained that Porsche is designing the next 911 to accommodate plug-in hybrid technology, but right now, the automaker doesn't believe the current technology is suited for a 911. Achleitner cited the plug-in hybrid versions of the new Panamera sedan, noting that the hybrid drivetrain components in that car are too big and heavy for a 911. In particular, Achleitner said he would need to see greater energy density from a hybrid battery system before including it in a 911 variant.
"The next 911 will have the opportunity to install a hybrid system when we're satisfied with the rest of the technology," he said. "But a hybrid 911 has to fulfill our own expectations. Right now, it wouldn't do it."
Achleitner says that he'd only consider doing a full plug-in hybrid 911—not something like a mild hybrid with a 48-volt electrical system. He's paying close attention to changing emissions regulations, especially in urban centers in Europe and China, but he doesn't believe the 911 will have to give up its trademark flat-six.
"In my personal opinion, I'm not convinced the time of [internal combustion] ends in 2030," Achleitner told us.
Elsewhere, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume also confirmed that a hybrid 911 is imminent.
"We will come with the plug-in hybrid with the next battery generation and with the next evolution step," Blume at the show. "It will be very important for the 911 to have a plug-in hybrid."