When a car maker installs their latest technology in a limited edition model, it’s usually their way of showing off what they’re capable of. The Volt was Chevy’s way of saying, “Look what we can do!”, not, “Look for this powertrain under the hood of every one of our cars in five years!” But when a car company spreads out their tech across an entire model range, then you know it’s something they’re taking seriously.
So if this latest report from Autoblog is correct, Porsche is damn intent on juicing up their cars—with a little help from their racing division. According to Autoblog, Porsche has confirmed that all next-generation 911 models will use a kinetic energy recovery system that scoops up lost brake energy and stores it in a flywheel generator. It’s the same principle seen on Formula One cars this year (and in 2009), as well as on Porsche’s 918 RSR concept and their 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car.
Supposedly, the KERS system is the reason the new 991 rides on a wheelbase four inches longer than the outgoing 997—it’s to make room for the flywheel between the gearbox and engine. The added juice reportedly helps the 991 beat the 997 out of the blocks, with the help of the 100 pound weight savings Porsche supposedly managed to scrape out of the new car. It also purportedly helps the 991 eke out better fuel economy than its predecessor.
Yet despite the confirmation to Autoblog, we’re going to remain skeptical of this until we hear it from the horse’s mouth. While it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, a flywheel system like this would seem an awfully expensive proposition to spread across the 911 range; besides, using this sort of futuristic hybrid tech in the “regular” 911 takes a lot of the luster off the production 918‘s more conventional hybrid setup, and we find it hard to believe Porsche would do anything to dampen enthusiasm in their new supercar. We’re not saying this is impossible…we’re just saying when the 991 turns up at the Frankfurt Motor Show, we won’t be surprised whether it has a flywheel or not. [via Autoblog]
Pictured: Porsche 991 illustration, created by Teamspeed user Wild-Speed, whose work is always dynamite.
Update: In an interview with Autocar, a Porsche insider dismissed the KERS report as pure hokum. Your next 911 should remain flywheel and hybrid free, folks.