The future is electric and Porsche knows it, but that doesn’t mean fans of the iconic 911 need to panic about its soul.
Ahead of Porsche’s annual general meeting held in Stuttgart, Germany, last Friday, CEO Oliver Blume told a group of reporters that there are no plans to launch an electric 911, and that there may never be any, CNBC reported.
“The 911 is our icon,” he said. “We will continue to build the 911 with a combustion engine.”
Blume already ruled out an electric 911 in a 2018 interview but in his latest briefing explained the reasoning behind the decision.
“The concept of the 911 doesn’t allow a fully electric car because we have the engine in the rear,” he said. “To put the weight of the battery in the rear, you wouldn’t be able to drive the car.”
Blume is referring to the unique driving experience the 911 delivers by having its engine, one of the heaviest components of the car, behind the rear axle. Adding even more weight there with a big battery could make the 911’s handling unruly.
But to keep the 911 alive in a world of ever-tightening emission regulations, Porsche will have to take some drastic actions. Hybrid technology is an obvious route, and a hybrid 911 is coming, most likely with the current-992 generation whose big footprint enables engineers to fit the necessary hybrid hardware.
However, Blume has previously said that more-efficient engines and synthetic fuel will also keep the engine in the 911 for at least 10-15 years.
Porsche is already producing carbon-neutral synthetic fuel similar to gasoline in a trial, by combining captured carbon dioxide with hydrogen. While expensive today, synthetic fuel will be an option in the next decade, Porsche estimates. It’s not just new Porsches that synthetic fuel is vital for. Porsche also wants to keep its classic cars on the road by giving owners a CO2-neutral option.
While the future is electric, it’s clear Porsche 911 enthusiasts who love the visceral growl of a gas-powered engine can rest easy…for now.