It might come somewhat as a surprise, but Porsche originally unveiled a hybrid 911 back in March 2010 at the Geneva Motor Show. That wasn't a road car as it took the shape of a 911 GT3 R Hybrid destined for endurance racing. It boasted a Williams-developed kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and a pair of electric motors working with a flat-six 4.0-litre engine.
An updated model dubbed 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 followed a year later with more power coming from the dual e-motors as well as a weight loss to make the electrified race car more competitive in the Nürburgring 24H. In the years that passed, multiple reports speculated about Porsche's plans to introduce road-going 911 with a hybrid powertrain, but it never happened. Fast forward to the second half of 2021, it would appear the electrified machine from Zuffenhausen is finally inching closer.
Gallery: Porsche 911 Hybrid spy photos
Even though it looks like a fairly ordinary Turbo-based prototype, the yellow sticker in the top-left corner of the rear windscreen denotes the test vehicle had a hybrid setup. Spotted at the Green Hell, the inconspicuous work-in-progress vehicle had the side and rear windows fully blacked out. Our spies are telling us Porsche was trying to hide the batteries mounted where you'd normally find the 911's barely usable rear seats.
Believed to be called 911 Turbo E-Hybrid, the new flavour of the iconic German sports car will prioritise performance over efficiency per a statement made by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. He went on to say it would likely adopt a 400-volt system, which our spies – citing undisclosed sources – claim the prototype caught at the Green Hell had.
Blume went on to mention a hybrid 911 would "have a very high power [output] with very big performance and driving ability." Porsche has gone on record to say that while an electrified derivative is a definite maybe, possibly with the current generation's facelift (992.2), a pure EV won't be launched this decade.
In a previous interview, the very same Blume mentioned a hybrid variant would be "the highest-performance 911 of all." That tells us it would serve as the range-topping model, positioned above the traditional flagships like the speedy Turbo S and the track-focused GT2 RS. Porsche's CEO also said it would be a regular hybrid, meaning owners wouldn't have to plug it in.