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Porsche 911 fights against weight. But it's hard

by ace
Porsche 911 fights against weight. But it's hard

Porsche has in the 911 the maximum exponent of what it can do as a sports manufacturer. It happens that, for many (and deserved) scrolls that the Stuttgart builder holds in this matter, the stricter carbon dioxide emission rules imposed by Brussels leave no alternative to the German builder but to embrace electrification. This would be nothing new, since all the manufacturers are dealing with this inevitability, if it were not assumed by the responsible people of the brand the fact that they are not seeing “how” to hybridize the mechanics without pinching the expectations of the customers, mainly the purists. That is, how to guarantee the same feeling and behavior on the part of the 911, having to add to the set the weight of the batteries that equip a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). And weight, in a sports car, can be a “killer”.

We are testing prototypes, but we are still not completely satisfied, mainly because of the weight ”, he revealed to the Top Gear Michael Steiner, member of the Porsche board of directors. "In a two-door sports car, any extra pounds is undesirable," he added.

Porsche is working on PHEV solutions for the 911, but so far, there is no white smoke. The responsible for the iconic model, Frank Walliser, explains the difficulty that the Germans have faced in the development of the product. “Electrifying the 911 is not easy. It is difficult to implement the desired electrification without hurting the character of this great brand ”, he justifies, before pointing out the conclusion reached by other manufacturers: the objective would be more easily achieved if the brand had a platform originally designed for electrification. "None of the ideas we tried to apply were satisfactory enough."

Ferrari apparently did not experience the same difficulty in producing the SF90 Stradale, as it showed how it is possible to electrify a two-door sports car. The beautiful two-seater Italian coupe maintains its efficiency, increased power and reduced consumption and emissions. And it also allows to circulate in electric mode.

“There is a huge difference between making a PHEV from scratch or converting a 911 that already exists into an electrified model,” says Walliser. This last option, which is the basis on which Porsche has been working, implies an increase in weight, through the integration of accumulators and an electric motor. Now, significantly increasing the weight is out of the question for Porsche officials. "We don't just want to increase the weight by 100 kg," shoots Frank Walliser.

Ferrari had no trouble producing the SF90 Stradale, its first plug-in hybrid

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In any case, the current 992 generation will have to find a solution to achieve this goal, which may involve using carbon fiber to save a few pounds or by other means. What is certain, too, is that Porsche faces the challenge of achieving the difficult balance of satisfying customers and, at the same time, responding to environmental pressure. The late hybrid and the 911 purely battery will not be a reality until 2030, according to Porsche CEO Oliver Blume himself.

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