Assessment: 2024 992.2 Porsche 911 GTS T-Hybrid

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By Car Brand Experts


It’s a familiar tune being played once again! Back when the 996 series decided to swap the traditional air-cooled engine for a modern water-cooled boxer engine at the back of the Porsche 911 Carrera, devoted Porsche enthusiasts were in an uproar. There were even whispers suggesting that security had to be beefed up temporarily at the Zuffenhausen headquarters. Then with the introduction of the 991 series, turbocharging the engines on the 911 Carrera for the first time was another bitter pill for the fans to swallow. And now, the latest saga! The 911 is going through electrification with a facelift, sparking outrage among die-hard supporters on social media. Comments ranged from, “At times one might question if this is a Hyundai or a Porsche” to “Not exactly the epitome of cool,” with more extreme reactions such as, “A disgrace to the 911!! Unbelievable.” When it’s about their sacred icon, the community of 911 fans exhibits zero tolerance for jokes.

The expectations were set high right from the beginning for the new engine era that makes its debut with the Porsche 911 GTS. The Porsche 911 series chief, Frank Moser, emphasized the stakes by stating, “We cannot afford any missteps with the Porsche 911!” His predecessor and current CEO of Bentley, Frank-Steffen Walliser, had hinted three years ago, “We have possibly discovered the secret formula.” The speculations about hybridization with capacitors derived from motorsport hinted at futuristic possibilities, which turns out wasn’t too far from reality. A 400-volt battery with 216 cylindrical cells and a total capacity of 1.9 kilowatt-hours drives the hybridization of the vehicle. Apart from its feather-light weight of 27 kilograms, the battery’s quick power absorption and release capability are critical for the intricate system to function flawlessly.

Let’s delve deeper into the main culprit, christened by Porsche as the T-Hybrid. The engine now boasts 3.6 liters of displacement as opposed to three, sporting only a single turbocharger. In the past, Porsche employed a twin-turbo arrangement. However, now with a solitary turbo, it implies a larger impeller, somewhat akin to the renowned Porsche Turbo 930. This immediately brings to mind the notion of “turbo lag!” And rightly so. To counteract this, engineers have adopted the concept of an electric compressor. An electric motor positioned between the compressor and turbine assists the slow-moving impeller, especially at low revolutions. The outcome is instantaneous responsiveness: a forceful 500 Newton-meters of torque is on tap at a mere 1,500 rpm, peaking at a maximum of 610 Nm below the 2,000 rpm mark. The brilliance lies in the fact that the eTurbo, boasting an output of 11 kW / 15 PS, channels energy to either the battery or the electric motor as required by the driving scenario.

Once the “starting aid” becomes unnecessary, this transition is initiated through the motion of the impeller. Consequently, there is no need for a wastegate valve to manage the boost pressure. Positioned on the engine, a high-voltage distributor directs the harvested energy either to the battery or the electric motor depending on the charge level and the driving context. To maximize the efficiency of the system, a wider exhaust system facilitates better flow. To integrate the hybrid elements, the engineers had to reconfigure the engine, resulting in an eleven-centimeter decrease in height compared to the prior unit.

GTspirit 992 GTS T 7
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The PSM electric motor, generating 41 kW / 54 PS, is meticulously adapted and placed within the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, between the crankshaft and the driveshaft. It actively contributes to propulsion or recuperates energy for the high-voltage battery during braking regeneration. Given the absence of a clutch, the Porsche 911 GTS cannot run solely on electrical power, which could have been handy in urban settings. Nonetheless, the system’s primary objective is to meet the stringent EU 7 emission standard, accomplished through maintaining an almost ideal fuel-air mixture ratio (Lambda = 1) across the engine’s entire operational spectrum. Performance is of paramount importance to Porsche, as they harmonize the E-power with the combustion engine (357 kW / 485 PS) to yield a collective output of 398 kW / 541 PS—45 kW / 61 PS more powerful than before.

The crucial question looms: how effectively does this sophisticated setup perform on the road and the circuit? On paper, it appears splendid. Demonstrating its prowess at the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS T-Hybrid surpasses its predecessor by 8.7 seconds, clocking in at 7:16.934 minutes, despite a slight increase in weight of around 50 kilograms. To put it simply, the new GTS tips the scales just shy of 1.6 tonnes sans the driver. This has raised some concerns among a section of the fan base. In contrast, the McLaren Artura, a plug-in hybrid equipped with a significantly bulkier battery, weighs 200 kilograms less. Granted, it is a markedly more expensive supercar featuring a carbon monocoque, but with a starting price of 170,600 euros for the GTS T-Hybrid, Porsche certainly isn’t positioned as an affordable option either. “We meticulously scrutinized every gram for three years,” elucidates project lead Clenn Giebenhein.

GTspirit 992 GTS T 14
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On the open roads, the new 911 GTS, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in a brisk 3.0 seconds and boasting a top speed of 312 km/h, faces scant contenders. The synergy between the classic and modern power units is largely seamless, save for a minor hiccup during cold weather conditions once. The chassis, inclusive of standard rear-axle steering and a body lowered by ten millimeters, keeps the Porsche planted firmly through every bend. The calibration of the suspension is undeniably effective. Even in the spirited driving modes, the suspension strikes a harmonious balance without being overly rigid, breathing life into the GTS (Gran Turismo Sport) moniker.

The active roll stabilization system, intertwined with the high-voltage network, enables precise electrohydraulic control via an electric motor, enhancing accuracy further. Once again, the electromechanical Porsche steering lives up to its esteemed reputation, executing the driver’s commands precisely and consistently relaying the traction conditions. The melodious six-cylinder boxer engine resonates delightfully, emitting a resounding but tasteful soundtrack. On the track, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS T-Hybrid shines bright, making it effortless to master even the most challenging sequences of corners with agility and speed. For those desiring a more responsive rear end, the GTS with rear-wheel drive beckons; while those inclined towards nimble front-end grip should opt for the all-wheel-drive variant. In essence, there’s a GTS 911 tailored for all, provided the financial horsepower in your pocket is adequate.

GTspirit 992 GTS T 10
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