Porsche has recently reconfirmed it is working on a hybrid incarnation of the 911. And now that the 2022 Nurburgring industry pool season is open, we can zoom in on a prototype of the 911 Hybrid doing its testing thing on the infamous German circuit.
The prototype, distinguished as a hybrid test vehicle by the little yellow stickers in the upper corners of the windshield and rear window, was caught on camera both on the roads surrounding the Nurburgring and on the track itself—the Ring is a toll road open to the public, but we digress.
However, the part we’re most interested in can be found at the 0:48 timestamp of the video below (lens tip to Automotive Mike). This shows the test car going all out and even pulling slight drifts, which allows us to better observe various details of the gas-electric sports car.
For one, the soundtrack does appear somewhat restrained, which can be expected due to the OPF (gasoline particulate filter) fitted to the engine.
And, judging by how little steering input the vehicle requires to alter its sliding state, it appears we’re dealing with an AWD setup.
The 911 hybrid seeks inspiration in the 919 Hybrid three-times Le Mans winner
Keep in mind that, last week, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume held an online media discussion, releasing a few important facts about the upcoming 911 Hybrid.
For starters, the head honcho made it clear that the newcomer won’t be a plug-in hybrid—such a system, which is found on the Panamera and Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, involves a larger battery. And since the Neunelfer is a sports car, its maker is striving to keep the scale footprint under control.
Blume added that the 911 will be a “sporty hybrid”, but the only detail he mentioned on the matter involved using the Le Mans 919 Hybrid champion as inspiration.
The race car sports a mid-mounted turbocharged V4 powering its rear axle and while Porsche has adopted flat-four motors for its mid-engined 718 sports cars, there’s no reason to believe it would risk diluting the 911 formula—the machine’s DNA does involve some four-cylinder motors, but this has stuck to six-cylinder boxers for decades now.
However, unlike the said four-door plug-in hybrids, which have the electric motor integrated into the transmission and send power to all four wheels like “normal” AWD Porsches, the three-times Le Mans winner uses the internal combustion engine to power the rear axle, while its front axle is electrically fed. So perhaps this could be a clue towards the architecture of the future 911 Hybrid.
The 911 Hybrid will be part of the 992.2 mid-cycle revamp. And since the 991.1 was introduced in 2019 and the typical life cycle sees the facelift coming after four years, we should meet the gas-electric Neunelfer in 2023.