After months of rumors, spy shots and reported leaks, Porsche has finally confirmed that it is indeed working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the 911.
During discussions with Autocar at the Detroit auto show, the engineering boss of the 911 Turbo, Erhard Mossle, said that work on the car has commenced. Despite that, we're unlikely to see a hybrid 911 before the next-generation 911 arrives around 2020.
“It takes some time to bring something like this to market", Mossle conceded. "With the packaging problems of the car, there are a lot of things to solve before then.”
One of the biggest difficulties in creating such a version will be to find enough space to install a large battery pack alongside the rear-engined six-cylinder engine. Due to the inclusion of batteries and at least one electric motor, the 911 hybrid will also weigh more than regular variants. Porsche is therefore eager to ensure it is as light as possible, without using overly expensive exotic materials.
According to Mossle, using carbon fiber heavily in the car would be uneconomical given the high production volumes of the 911. Of course, as the car remains some years away from production, not much has been set in stone - and carbon fiber is becoming cheaper as it finds its way more and more into the automotive industry.