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Why Porsche will go electric – but not the 911

Stephen Ottley

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Thursday 12th March, 2020 - 7:00am

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The Porsche 911 is set to remain petrol-powered.

Saving the planet and building performance cars will go hand-in-hand in Porsche’s future.

The German brand synonymous with fast, petrol-powered cars has already begun a transition to zero-emissions motoring and there is more to come. But Porsche’s global CEO, Oliver Blume, has vowed to retain its trademark engines in its iconic 911 sports car.

In a recent interview Blume confirmed the brand’s push into electric vehicles, with the all-new Taycan to be followed by the next-generation Macan as battery-powered models. In fact, within the next five years the target is to have half of all new Porsches sold to have some form of battery electrical-assistance.

“Around 50 per cent of all Porsche vehicles could be sold with an electric or hybrid drive by 2025,” Blume confirmed. “However, Porsche will always offer combustion engines, particularly in the 911. But we can’t stop the onward march of electromobility.”

The 911 appears to be safe from going hybrid or fully-electric anytime in the near future. Porsche’s head of sports car development, Frank-Steffen Walliser, recently told Autocar that he hoped the 911 “will be the last Porsche to become electric” and said he hoped it comes after he is retired.

The Porsche Taycan is the Germand brand’s first EV.

Packaging a hybrid powertrain would be a challenge in a compact sports car such as the 911, with Walliser adamant that it must retain its 2+2 seating layout and a reasonable amount of luggage space.

Having ditched diesel engines in the wake of the Volkswagen Group emissions scandal, Porsche sees electrification as a key element not only of its future, but the entire world. When asked if the ‘Fridays for the Future’ global environmental movement was a threat to car makers, Blume said it was the opposite.

“I see the movement as an impetus for society that goes in the right direction,” Blume said. “We must reduce emissions to make sure our planet remains sustainable. I see opportunities there to achieve something together.”

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