The only hybrids that automotive customers can get now from Porsche are its Panamera four-door saloon and its Cayenne sports utility vehicle. While the German sports car maker has confirmed that it would build a hybrid version of the Porsche 911 sports car, that won't happen in the near term. For those who can’t wait for Porsche to offer a 911 hybrid, Vonnen Performance is offering to convert your sports car into one.
Porsche’s main reason for not offering a hybrid version of the 911 is that the German company still doesn’t believe that the current battery technology is on par with its expectations for its venerated sports car. But with the rapid pace that the battery technology is growing, that could happen in the next few years. Porsche chief executive Oliver Blume had said that a 911 hybrid may arrive on the mid-cycle refresh of the 992 generation, which should happen by around 2022 or so.
Because Porsche won't do a 911 hybrid now, Vonnen Performance is offering to do so for 911 models built between 2012 and 2016. This also applies for other Porsche offerings currently not having a hybrid version, like the Boxster and the Cayman. The conversion kit and the entire setup would cost a Porsche owner around $75,000.
Based in California, Vonnen Performance will install a couple of devices into a conventionally powered Porsche 911 to transform it into a hybrid sports car. These devices include a motor generator unit (an electric motor weighing 38 lbs) that replaces the stock flywheel on the crankshaft; an inverter sitting on top of the engine; and a battery module in the front trunk that has a capacity of 145 kW. A Vonnen control unit (VCU) sits behind the battery pack.
Essentially, Vonnen’s system observes the operation of the conventional unit, taking note of details like RPM, throttle input and vehicle speed. These details are sent to Vonnen’s system, which prompts the MGU to deliver more power for the 911. Vonnen’s hybrid system can provide up to 175 hp (130 kW) of additional output and up to 150 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of extra torque.
Of course, the addition of the hybrid kit results to additional weight. The electric motor weighs around 38 lbs (17 kg) while the inverter adds 16.5 lbs (7.5 kg). On the other hand, the battery module and its cooling system weigh 80 lbs (29.5 kg). Minus the weight removed from eliminating the flywheel, the hybrid kit results to a weight penalty of just around 120 lbs.
This system is currently offered as a Stage I kit. A Stage II package is currently on the works, which doubles the battery capacity as well as the power output. We could be looking here for an additional output of 350 hp (260 kW).