Porsche delays electrification for its most iconic sports car
The 911 will be the last Porsche to go electric. So says none other than Frank Walliser, head of Porsche’s sport car lines. In fact, in an interview with Drive-My columnist, Andrew Franklel, Walliser made it clear he fundamentally opposed the very notion.
“I will fight to let the 911 keep its gasoline engine,” Walliser said, adding that if it had to happen, he hoped it would come after his retirement so that he could not be blamed. Those comments were addressing the possibility of a pure electric 911, something Porsche has never specifically confirmed or denied previously.
What has been discussed is the transition to hybrid petrol-electric power in the medium term, something we’ve covered on numerous occasions in Drive-My. Indeed, Porsche has detailed how the new eight-speed PDK gearbox in the latest Type-992 911 has been expressly engineered to accommodate an electric motor. Porsche’s previous messaging has likewise implied that expectations for the introduction of hybrid power for the facelift of the 992, due in the next two to three years, would be reasonable. Porsche’s overall boss, Oliver Blume, even went so far as to say that this 992 hybrid would be the most powerful car in the 922 range.
However, Walliser was dismissive of that idea, too. “It’s really difficult to do with the 911 and the way it is packaged. We want to keep it as a two-plus-two, we want to keep decent trunk space and we don’t want to destroy the shape of the 911. Also, I am not ready to put that amount of additional weight into the car. If you wanted to make such a car, it would be easier to start from scratch,” he said.
On a side note, Walliser also reaffirmed Porsche’s commitment to the high revving atmospheric engine in the 911 GT3, GT3 RS and related products from the company’s Motorsport department. “We stick with the race engine,” Walliser said. “It’s expensive but we develop it on the track and learn more with every passing race. That is the way we will continue.”
All of which means that the 911 will remain purely petrol for the foreseeable future, which currently takes us to roughly the end of the present decade. At that point the sale of combustion cars of any kind may begin to be banned in some territories. If that happens Porsche will be forced to either drop the 911 from those markets or possibly offer two dramatically different 911s in parallel.
The 911 is safe from the electric curse for the time being and the 992 is unlikely to get a hybrid option.