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Kez Casey | Jan 19, 2016

The Porsche 911 is as iconic a nameplate as you’ll find, not only because of its longevity, but also because of that rear-mounted flat-six marvel in its tail.

Along the way its biggest change has been a move from air-cooled to water-cooling - but what does an ever-tightening focus on vehicle emissions mean?

In two words, "alternative fuels", and, increasingly, for many manufacturers, that means electric vehicles. And include Porsche in that shift.

Porsche has already shown its intention to include electric drivetrains in its performance vehicle mix with the Mission E concept, a version of which is set to make the move to production before the end of the decade.

Mission E Concept
Mission E Concept

For the time being, it would seem, the 911 is safe from the move to full electrification, but that doesn’t mean that a plug-in hybrid version is out of the question.

In fact the engineering chief for the 911, Erhard Mössle, has suggested that the next generation 911 will feature a plug-in hybrid when it arrives in 2020.

The engineering development of the new 911 includes packaging the required batteries for a hybrid 911 according to Mössle, as well as ensuring that the extra weight of those batteries doesn’t have an adverse effect on handling or performance.

A hybrid 911 isn’t an entirely new idea, with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid Racer of 2010 kicking off the idea of a petrol-electric version of Porsche’s sporting hero. That car used a kinetic energy recovery system, positioned where the passenger would normally sit, providing a short power boost, similar to the push-to-pass KERS system used in Formula 1.

As for a fully-electric 911, Mr Mössle didn’t rule out the possibility either, but conceded that it would be a long way into the future before such a car was a production reality.

MORE: Porsche News and Reviews

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