PHOTO CAPTION: 2017 Porsche 911 convertible

Porsche 911 Plug-In Coming

Packaging the battery into the 911 is proving more of an engineering challenge than imagined, forcing Porsche to create an entirely new platform.

Published: 25-Jan-2016

Do a Google search for "Porsche" on EV World's search engine and you'll see all kinds of entries about various proposed electric-drive models from the Germany manufacturer: 8,150 entries to be exact! They've proposed all manner of high-performance, high-ticket electric-drive sports cars, but never the iconic 911. That is until now.

Several media outlets report that Porsche has confirmed that their engineers have started work on an electric hybrid (plug-in) 911, the car that made Porsche famous and that every car enthusiast would like to own, at least once in their life.

Based on the original Volkswagen rear-drive, air-cooled engine concept, the 911 is nimble and quick. Its drive system also is extraordinarily well-packaged, meaning there ain't a lot of room for more stuff like a battery pack, which is why it likely won't be until after 2020 that the PHEV version of the 911 will make its debut.

According to Erhard Mössle, the 911 Turbo’s engineering chief, the company is going to have to develop an entirely new vehicle platform in order to squeeze the necessary batteries into the 911 to give it any meaningful EV-mode driving range. Talking with AutoCar in Detroit, he indicated that the challenge of electrifying the 911 has to do with the mass of the battery pack. There's no room for it in the current platform, like the convertible in the above photos. The pack adds weight, which means it has to be cut somewhere else. More extensive use of carbon fiber, like what BMW has done in the i3, reduces weight, but also adds cost.

The bottom line is that it will take Porsche time to engineer a plug-in 911, though the curious thing is, the 911 has been one of the platforms long favored by EV converters. Just Google "911 conversion" and you'll see what I mean.

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