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Porsche adding electricity to perfected 911 formula

Porsche is adding a battery to its 911 sports car for the first time with the model’s electric motor working in tandem with its conventional gasoline engine to boost performance.

The technology in the hybrid 911, which doesn’t feature a charging plug, has undergone extensive testing, Porsche said Monday, including lapping Germany’s punishing Nürburgring test track.

It got around the course 8.7 seconds faster than a conventional predecessor.

Porsche has no plans to turn out a fully electric or plug-in hybrid version of its best-known vehicle, instead betting on the use of green synthetic fuels in the push toward carbon-neutral driving.

The 911 was first introduced in 1963, with its cachet built around full-throated combustion engines and an instantly recognizable design.

The signature model, with a current average selling price of €184,000 (R3.65 million), remains a key profit center for parent Volkswagen.

Porsche isn’t the only elite sports-car maker to see potential in the technology: Ferrari said 46% of its shipments in the first quarter were hybrid-engine models.

The new 911 is set to be unveiled on May 28, Porsche said, declining to offer further details.

The manufacturer has been selling the electric Taycan since 2019 and this year unwrapped the e-Macan.

Hybrid models are powered by a gasoline engine and an electric motor connected to a battery pack, while plug-in hybrids feature a bigger battery and charging port to recharge.

Registrations of hybrids across Europe jumped 20% in the first quarter from a year ago — nearly twice the growth seen for plug-in hybrids and more than five times the growth for pure EVs, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

Hybrid sales in the US have more than doubled since 2020 and are heading toward a 35% increase this year, according to researcher GlobalData.

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