Lee Sibley By Lee Sibley 2 months ago

Hybrid Porsche 992.2 spied testing

9WERKS spies have captured a test mule which reveals more about the forthcoming 911 hybrid

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has already confirmed that a hybrid 911 is on the way. Now the car has been spotted winter testing by our friends CarPix AB – offering more clues about the forthcoming petrol-electric Porsche’s styling and specification.

The giveaway here are yellow ‘hybrid technology’ stickers behind the door and on the active rear spoiler. These are mandatory on test mules to warn emergency responders of the high-voltage shock risk, in case of an accident.

A hybrid derivative will form part of a mid-life update for the current 911 – kicking off with the 992.2 Carrera in 2023, though we've also recently reported on what appeared to be a 992 testing with a naturally aspired engine, which could perhaps be reserved for 992 GTS models as with the current 718. 

Previous spy photos of the 992.2 hybrid, taken at the Nürburgring, showed a prototype based on a 992 Turbo. This had dark-tinted rear windows, leading to speculation that batteries occupied the space normally given to the rear seats.

The latest pictures seen show a car without blacked-out rear glass, suggesting the 911 hybrid should remain a four-seater. This mule also has a Carrera body for a more subtle look – note the lack of vents in the rear wheelarches – but the production hybrid will likely be based on the Turbo.

Unlike the existing Panamera and Cayenne S E-Hybrid models, the electrified 911 won’t be a plug-in hybrid. Instead, to minimise the weight penalty, it will use ‘self-charging’ tech, as pioneered by Toyota with the Prius, which harvests braking energy to recharge the car’s batteries on the move. A standard PDK automatic gearbox is a dead-cert. 

In terms of power output, the 992.2 Turbo S E-Hybrid could exceed the 680hp Cayenne and 700hp Panamera, positioning it as a new performance flagship for the 911 – above even the 650hp Turbo S. With four-wheel-drive and the turbocharged 3.8-litre engine still providing most of the thrust, bank on 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds or less, plus a price tag north of £150,000.

Indeed, Oliver Blume has stated that the hybrid will be “the highest performance 911 of all”. In an interview with Germany’s Automobilwoche magazine, the Porsche boss also said the 992.2 “will be a very sporty hybrid from Motorsport”.

What exactly this means isn’t clear, although the car could share technology with Porsche’s LMDh hybrid, due to race at Le Mans in 2023. The development team at Weissach can also draw upon experience from electric Formula E racing and the highly successful 919 Hybrid LMP1 car – itself a triple Le Mans winner.

Porsche has a long history with hybrids. In 1900, Ferdinand Porsche built the world’s first car with a hybrid powertrain: the Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus. Some 110 years later, his company debuted the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car, with two 60KW front electric motors to assist its 480hp flat-six.

The plug-in Panamera S E-Hybrid arrived in 2013, closely followed by the 918 Spyder supercar – the latter with a combined 875hp from two motors and a naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8. Focused on performance rather than efficiency, the new 992.2 hybrid could offer a similar turn of speed.

Importantly, the car will also serve as the warm-up act for a fully electric 911. Blume says Porsche’s icon will retain its trademark flat six for as long as possible, but even a hybrid can’t be sold in the UK after 2035. EV versions of the Macan and 718 Boxster/Cayman will come first, with a battery-powered 911 arriving in 2030, or soon afterwards.

If the 992.2 hybrid can combine punchy electrified torque with the superb handling we know and love, it could make the prospect of a 911 EV just a little more palatable…