The Dawn of the Hybrid Era: The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Electrifies the Road

Porsche has finally brought a 911 into the hybrid age with its new Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. It is a hybrid 911 – the cult classic car fused with futuristic tech – and it is the first hybrid to be sold in a Porsche sports car line-up. What we have here is the pioneering use of hybrid tech in a super-legendary drive brand. Let’s look at what this evolution of the 911 can offer.

Porsche's Hybrid Revolution Begins

The introduction of Porsche’s hybrid 911 Carrera GTS reinforces this commitment to change: it is a truly marvellous and wonderful car – a perfect example of an electric motor working in harmony with the soul of the car.

Blending Power with Efficiency

Rather than merely being an ‘electric vehicle’ of the kind found in any suburban Skoda, the new hybridised 911 is true to its heritage in that its wholly conventional underpinnings drive it to ever higher levels of performance. The flat-six, the jewel in the Porsche’s crown, remains intact, but now it is 3.6 litres instead of the old 3.0 L — and it wipes out any doubt that the 911’s glorious sound and power (478 HP) are enhanced, rather than sacrificed.

The Heart of the Hybrid

It’s the first vehicle in the world to use a dual-hybrid system. The first part is a syncro motor built into the PDK transmission and delivering 54 HP, and the second is a motor-generator unit, which directly spins the second turbocharger and adds another 295 HP at its highest setting. The net result is a rapid and smooth acceleration that is always fluid through the entire rev band, creating 532 HP and 449 lbft of torque.

A New Generation of Power

This novel system is not a bulky addition to the 911. It weighs only 103 lbs more than its predecessor, a slight price to pay for the huge boost in efficiency and power.

The 911 Goes Lean and Green

And quite remarkably, a large, 400 V high-voltage traction battery, essential to the hybrid drive system, has been squeezed up front to preserve not only the single-seat profile of the Baby 911 but its ability to handle like a go-kart. This is how Porsche keeps hybrid the sporty, unobstructive petrolhead technology of the future.

Optional Rear Seats

But in a reversal of that earlier tradition, the twin rear seats of the 911 have become an optional extra – free, even – as the coupe is by default now a two-seater. Those in search of a more ‘pure’ sports car will enjoy the tight cabin. For those who want to indulge less intrepid passengers, the back seat option remains open.

Interior Innovations

Step inside, and drivers are greeted by a centrally mounted 12.6-inch curved digital display, a digital nod to the former’s digital modernity and analog nostalgia.

Choosing Your 911 Carrera GTS

Would-be owners can choose from either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and from a coupe, a convertible, or the unique Targa with its retracting hard top. But the new hybrid powertrain makes the manual transmission something of a relic, taking the 911 another step into the future.

Pricing and Availability

Hybrid utopia doesn’t come cheap. Today’s 911 Carrera GTS starts at $164,900. That’s a lot more for a 911 than the $56,000 price of the entry-level Carrera. It might be painful for environmentalists to accept a hybrid that costs as much as a mid-level luxury sedan. It might also be painful for old-school sports-car enthusiasts who prefer no compromise to the notion that sports cars can be made greener. But it’s also a forward-looking recognition that sports cars must change in terms of both performance and environmental responsibility.

Embracing the Future with HP

In this migration to the future of sports cars, Porsche has had the courage to keep true to itself by going back to the 911’s soul, in the form of hybrid technology, to produce both usable power and the most efficient Porsche engine of them all. – and so HP no longer stands just for horsepower, it also ushers in the time of ‘hybrid power’.– text by Greg Hastings Porsche has pioneered the intersection of excellence in performance and sustainability, thus assuring the continuous development of the 911 for generations to come. 911 Carrera GTS by Porsche courtesy the author.

May 29, 2024
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