Porsche has been snapped testing a hybrid version of its classic sports car.
An updated 911 was pictured lapping the Nurburgring wearing a yellow sticker on its rear window, which signifies it packs hybrid power. The centre lock wheels on this mule suggest it’s based on the 911 GTS, which is a powered-up take on the regular Carrera S.
Like previous mules, this particular test car is heavily camouflaged front and rear. It’s likely the mid-life update will bring detail changes to the air intakes up front, and the diffuser down back, along with the inner workings of the lights at both ends.
We know Porsche is working on hybrid power for the 911, but what form it’ll take isn’t yet clear.
Although the Cayenne and Panamera are offered with plug-in hybrids, the rear-engined 911 sports car is a bit different.
It’s unlikely to feature PHEV power, and is instead likely to take inspiration from the powertrain in the 919 endurance racer, using electric power to assist rather than shadow the petrol engine.
Board member responsible for the 911 and 718 model lines, Frank-Steffen Walliser, has previously told CarExpert the move to hybrid power “could come step-by-step” as Porsche works to meet the next batch of European emissions rules expected to hit in 2026.
That suggests the first move could be to a 48V mild-hybrid system, which allows the engine to switch off at low speeds and provides a power boost when you get a move on.
Mr Walliser says the first challenge is working out how much of a boost any hybrid system would provide to the petrol engine in a 911.
“The question is: With the hybridisation, what is the right level? How much power do you put in?,” Mr Walliser asked.
“This is also not solved. In the automotive industry we see different solutions, and we will see what our solution will be. Hybridisation in general is something we are considering,” he said.
Expect any hybrid to offer a handy boost to the outputs of the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat six in the 911 Carrera range. Currently the base Carrera makes 283kW and 450Nm, while the GTS makes 353kW and 570Nm.
MORE: Everything Porsche 911