Porsche has clearly stated that it’s not getting on the fully autonomous bandwagon; the 911 sports car will always have a steering wheel, the automaker recently underscored. But Porsche has embraced another big trend: electrification. A plug-in hybrid 911 is confirmed to be back on the table, spurred by the success of the brand’s Le Mans Prototype hybrid race cars, and the electrification of the fabled sports car might not stop there.
According to Stefan Weckbach, head of electric-vehicle development at Porsche, the automaker now sees a day when a version of the 911 could go fully electric.
“We will be introducing the next generation of the 911 quite soon, and the new platform will be ready for electrification,” Weckbach said this week at a Geneva auto show roundtable, adding that the automaker hasn’t finalized the exact technology or the timing for a plug-in hybrid 911.
While Porsche is considering going plug-in hybrid, it’s also thinking about applying the full Mission E treatment to its longest-running nameplate, Weckbach explained. “The same answer is there regarding a fully electric 911,” he said. “This will take a couple of years to work on that and realize a car that’s within the 911 package, with the racetrack performance, with the weight everybody’s expecting from a 911.”
Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman, Macan: Electric for All?
The 911 isn’t alone. Eventually, Porsche plans to have—or at least consider at the development stage—an electric version of all of its vehicles, according to Weckbach. “When is the real timing for electrification of the Panamera? We answered that [with the Mission E]. When is the right time for an electric 911? We haven’t answered that so far. We do it for every car. We need to do it. We need to be ready if the market asks for it and the technology is ready.”
As for why Porsche is embracing electrification but not fully autonomous vehicle tech, Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, said that it comes down to one fundamental thing: the idea of being technically engaged. Contrasting the debut of the naturally aspirated Porsche 911 GT3 RS track wizard with the Mission E, Zellmer doesn’t see the two very different ideas as being mutually exclusive, since both will deliver a lot of driver involvement. Here’s hoping the same can be said for an eventual electric 911.