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Not ‘if’ but ‘when’: It’s official, Porsche’s iconic 911 is going hybrid

Rumors of a fuel-sipping Porsche 911 powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain have been circulating around the auto industry for years. They’ll materialize before the end of the decade, the Stuttgart-based car maker has confirmed in a Twitter post.

“Now we’ve reached a point in time where we’re setting the course for the future. This means that we’re now making decisions that will lead to products which will be a success in ten years’ time,” said company boss Oliver Blume.

Technical details are few and far between, but Porsche insiders recently told British magazine Autocar that the company is moving forward with the development of a hybrid 911 in order to comply with the strict emissions norms that are scheduled to come into effect across Europe in 2020. The company is allegedly also looking into building an all-electric version of the sports car, but the model is still at the embryonic stage of development and it hasn’t been given the green light for production yet.

Fear not, purists, the 911 isn’t going all-hybrid. Entry-level models will be powered by an evolution of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six engine that was inaugurated by the 2017 Carrera and Carrera S last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Porsche will continue to offer both rear- and all-wheel drive, though the hybrid might be exclusively paired with the latter configuration.

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All versions of the next 911 regardless of what drivetrain is mounted out back will ride on a modified version of the current car’s platform. The exterior design won’t drastically change; looking back over the past five decades, the 911’s updates have been more evolutionary than revolutionary. The same applies to the cabin, though it will benefit from new tech features such as a digital instrument cluster.

Look for the next-generation Porsche 911 to make its public debut at the 2018 edition of the Paris Motor Show. It will go on sale across the nation the following year as a 2019 model. Of course, more details about the 911 — and, specifically, the oft-discussed hybrid — will likely emerge before then.