After denying the possibility of a gas-electric version of its iconic sports car, Porsche has confirmed that the next-generation Porsche 911 will indeed offer buyers a plug-in hybrid variant.
August Achleitner, head of 718 and 911 development, previously stated that the “disadvantages outweighed the advantages” for such a model, but it seems the company has found a way to make things work.
The Porsche 911 hybrid won’t be ready when the new 911 (992) arrives in 2019. When it does finally go on sale, it could be the most powerful and one of the fastest 911 ever with around 700 horsepower to work.
In an interview with , Porsche head honcho Oliver Blume, stated:
“The 911 plug-in must be a very strong performing car. It will be the most powerful 911 we’ve ever had; 700bhp might be possible.”
Blume didn’t reveal any technical specifications, but there are speculations that the plug-in hybrid powertrain could consist of a 136 horsepower electric motor and a turbocharged flat-six engine, with Porsche’s engineers appling some of the lessons learned from the 918 Spyder to create a truly world-class performance machine.
He added that the car will have “a special button for the electric punch,” indicating a race car-style push-to-pass function.
The Porsche 911 PLug-in Hybrid will likely arrive a couple years after the new 911 debuts at the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October, possibly wearing the Turbo S E-Hybrid nameplate.
Lexus Will Electrify Its Sports Car Lineup, Next Supercar?
A Lexus continues to look for ways to infuse more emotion into its lineup, a new report claims that it will further expand its performance-oriented F brand by introducing electrified models and maybe even a successor to the LFA supercar.
Speaking with at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lexus president Yoshihiro Sawa hinted that some or all of the F branded models (e.g. IS F, RC F and GS F), which to date have all been powered by a V8, will eventually offer a hybrid powertrain. He stated:
“F is very important; with F we have to think of our own original way. One solution could be a pure F GT car, which could be a hybrid with an electric motor and a strong engine, giving a different kind of drive feel. We don’t stick to V8, V10, twin-turbocharged; they’re important but we’re looking at the future. We’d like to find a way to connect to the next era.”
The discontinued Lexus LFA sourced its power from a V10 engine, so whatever Lexus has in store for its successor, if anything, will likely also be electrified in one form or another.
When asked about Lexus potentially building a sports car based on the new Toyota Supra / BMW Z4 project, Sawa said he couldn’t comment on it.
Subaru To Increase Sales With New Hybrid, SUV, Self-Driving Tech
Subaru is set to expand and modernize its lineup with a new plug-in hybrid and SUV, as well as self-driving technology, in the hopes of boosting sales.
According to , the Japanese automaker’s new five-year STEP plan, which runs through March 2026, aims to increase its global market share by 18 percent to 1.3 million vehicles by March 2026, with the U.S. playing a big role in that gain, shore up flagging profitability, and invest more in next-generation technologies.
Subaru’s newly-appointed President Tomomi Nakamura said the company will keep small while expanding its competitiveness in the rapidly changing international landscape:
“The automotive industry is now in a tumultuous time. Subaru’s fast growth in recent years has come to highlight our challenges. The question is how we, as a small-scale company, will be able to survive in this big-changing area.”
Subaru hopes that a slew of new products scheduled to arrive in the early 2020s, including a hybrid and a “global strategic SUV”, will help it reach its sales goals.
It also plans to introduce Level 2 autonomous driving technology similar to Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system by 2020 and evolve its Dynamic X Solid design language into a “bolder” expression to further enhance the character of sporty models like the WRX.
Chevy Volt Now Charges Almost Twice As Fast
For the 2019 model year, the Chevrolet Volt gets a few notable upgrades that enhanced driver convenience.
For starters, the updated Volt can be recharged in almost half the time thanks to a new 7.2 kW charging system. It now only takes as little as 2.3 hours to completely charge Chevy’s range-extended hybrid vehicle with a 240-volt outlet.
The new charging system comes standard on the 2019 Volt Premier model and is optional on the LT model, which has a 3.6 kW charger has standard.
Not only does the Volt charges faster, but it also tells you when its tires are full and the adaptive cruise control system is easier to use.
The 2019 Volt can travel up to 53 miles in electric mode and up to 420 miles or higher with the aid of a gas-powered generator.
Other upgrades includes an automatic engine-assisted heating system that can be set to turn on at lower temps to preserve energy, and new Low and Regen on Demand profiles that can increase regenerative braking capability when the driver lets off the accelerator pedal.
Inside, the improved Volt gets a new infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen boasting a new Energy App, an optional power driver’s seat, and a tire fill alert system that automatically sounds the horn when full tire pressure is achieved.
Lastly, a new dealer-installed blackout package is available. When equipped, it gives the Volt sport pedals, black bowtie emblems, 17-inch machined-aluminum wheels with black-painted pockets, and other sporty cosmetic touches.
With the Chevy Bolt hogging up all of GM’s EV limelight, it’s almost hard to forget the Volt exists. Well, it’s still around, and it’s gotten better.