The hybrid Porsche 911 isn’t about saving trees but shaving milliseconds

Porsche took the wraps off the T-Hybrid, the first electrified version of its iconic 911 sportscar. Don’t expect it to be a Prius with nostalgic coachwork. The electric assistance is primarily used to boost performance, which is why the GTS is entitled to kick off the technology.

There’s a good reason why Porsche keeps silent about any consumption figures in the press release of the T-Hybrid. Firstly, they still need to be homologated, and, secondly, the improvement is believed to be only marginal. Apparently, compared to the outgoing GTS, the T-Hybrid gains 0.1 litres per 100 kilometres. Not a big difference, then. So why a hybrid?

Like a Turbo S

Featuring a revised flat-six with turbo, boasting a 3.6-litre displacement (instead of 3.0 litre) and an output of 450 hp, the T-hybrid hits 100 km/h from a standstill in 3.0 seconds and reaches a top speed of 312 km/h. It’s even more compelling when those figures are put into perspective. In the first 2.5 seconds, the GTS covers the same ground as the current Turbo S. Call it nitty gritty, but it exmplifies the true role of the battery-powered assistance.

Porsche calls it a performance hybrid system, drawing heavily from motorsport innovations. In that sense, it also differs from the hybrid systems in the Cayenne and Panamera, which seek to balance performance and efficiency. Integrated in the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is an electric motor of 56 hp, capable of serving a boost to 65 hp. The combined system output reaches 398 kW (541 PS) and 610 Nm, significantly increasing power over its predecessor. Until now, all electrified sports cars were plug-in hybrids, including the 918 Spyder, but this time, Porsche chose lightness over height.

According to the German sports car maker, the 1.9kW battery doesn’t weigh more than a 12-volt pack and has roughly the same size. As for the 12-volt battery, Porsche has installed a lighter lithium-ion version. The sum of all the add-ons means the T-hybrid pulls away with an excess weight of no more than 50 kilograms.

The turbo acts as a generator

The battery is recharged by a brake regen and also by the single turbo—note that the previous GTS featured a twin-turbo—which acts as a generator because it’s an electric version providing instant spooling up of the blades. This is why the T-Hybrid’s reactions from standstill are so lag-free. The electric turbo delivers an extra 15 hp.

Porsche has refined the exterior design to improve aerodynamics and performance, including new bumpers, matrix LED headlights and adaptive front diffusers. It also features comprehensively revised suspension, with standard rear-axle steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) integrated into the hybrid system. The sports suspension with a variable damper system (PASM) and a ride height lowered by 10 mm enhances handling. The facelifted 911’s interior now has a fully digital instrument cluster.

The GTS also has four-wheel drive. Though Porsche hasn’t made any official statements, the facelifted Turbo versions are also expected to benefit from hybridisation.

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