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Porsche: the 911 will be the last car to be electrified

By Alex Inwood, 10 Jul 2019 News

Porsche: the 911 will be the last car to be electrified

Lusting after an all-electric 911? You’re going to be waiting a long time

HERE’S some news sure to please sports car enthusiasts the world over: Porsche has no plans to build an all-electric 911. 

That might sound a little obvious, given how sacrosanct the 911’s iconic recipe is, but nothing is a ‘sure thing’ in this modern, electrified age.

Audi, for example, has confirmed the next TT and R8 will both be fully electric. And Jaguar is rumoured to be going full EV with the next F-Type. 

Plus, Porsche is something of an EV trailblazer in the performance car world. The company’s first EV, the Taycan, will be officially unveiled in a few months, and Porsche has already confirmed that it will hybridise the 911. In fact, the 992 is already ‘hybrid ready’. 

But speak to the man in charge of the 911 model line, Frank-Steffen Walliser, and you begin to understand just how far away a fully electric 911 actually is.

“I would say bringing good hybrid technology to a 911 is not a problem as long as the car gets better,” he told Wheels. “I don’t need a hybrid because it’s a hybrid, it must be better, it must fit for the character, the weight, the throttle response of a 911. Then I’m fine. 

“I don’t see a fully electric 911. Really not. Or way in the future. But not short term. Not at all. There’s still a huge market and a huge demand of people that are looking for combustion engine cars and you cannot do everything with an electric car. 

“For sure the world will be more different, we will see different propulsion technology, but maybe I’m joking, maybe I’m right when I say the 911 will be the last car that will be electrified. If I’m wrong or not, the future will tell.”

Frank has form when it comes to electrifying things. After a stint heading up Porsche’s motorsport division, he worked full time in the company’s electronics department before taking the lead on the 918 project. There, he helped set the blueprint most modern hybrid supercars are now following. 

The more you speak to Frank, the harder it is the shake the feeling that the future of the 911 is in safe hands. He isn’t afraid of change though he’s equally aware of what makes a 911, a 911.

“It’s a period of transition for the industry,” Walliser added. “It’s very tricky to make the right decisions, about which technology and when, and so on. We are very, very careful what we change on a 911. Believe me this is the car we discuss most if we change something. But we have 55 years of experience of what to change. 

“Of all the history of the car we’ve changed many, many things. Normally we got some bold feedback from the hardcore fans when we introduced power steering, water cooling and ABS, that they all destroyed the 911. It did not. The result was normally that we sell more cars. And this is what we are still looking for. We are aware of the subject but we are not afraid of changing things as long as the car keeps its character and stays the nimble sportscar that it still is.”