California-based Vonnen has Built the First Ever Porsche 911 Hybrid
【Summary】California-based firm Vonnen now offers a plug-in hybrid conversion kit for any stock Porsche 911. The kit costs $75,000.
The demand for electrification of premium cars is on a constant rise. In Europe, the plug-in hybrid variants of the Porsche Panamera comprise 60 percent of the model's overall sales. Porsche has also announced that it will launch a hybrid version of the 911, its most popular offering, in a few years. The automaker is expected to launch its plug-in 911 when the upcoming 992 series gets a mid-cycle refresh.
However, California-based firm Vonnen has beaten the German supercar manufacturer to the chase. The company is offering a plug-in hybrid conversion for any stock Porsche 911—with a price tag of $75,000.
First and foremost, Silicon Valley-based Vonnen carries out this conversion by adding a 145 kW battery pack to the 911's 'frunk'. In addition, the gas-powered rear-mounted engine gets a small electric motor as an attachment. The electric motor is attached to the flywheel.
The setup also consists of a power inverter which can be found at the rear shelf and uses the power from the battery pack to give the gasoline motor an additional boost. The company had to maneuver around several big challenges during this conversion. After installing the battery pack and inverter, the team at Vonnen addressed the issue of overheating.
The electric motor and battery pack require extra cooling. To govern it, Vonnen added a dedicated computer module that manages the cooling operations. After the conversion, the electric motor adds an additional 175 hp and150 lb-ft of torque to the stock powertrain. This conversion can also be carried out on a naturally-aspirated Porsche Carrera and Turbo S models.
For those Porsche enthusiasts who demand higher performance figures, the company offers another kit. Vonnen developed a Stage 2 kit, which an additional delivers 350 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque to a standard 911.
The kits are all so impressively lightweight that they only add 120 lbs of additional weight to a standard 911. The weight reduction is made possible by getting rid of components which are no longer needed after the conversion.
The electric starter for the gasoline motor as well as the flywheel have been done away with. The duties of these components are carried out by the electric motor post-conversion. In addition, the standard 12 volt battery that comes with a stock 911 has been ditched and the new battery pack supplies any power needed by the new hybrid powertrain.
It should also be noted that Vonnen considers this conversion to be a performance upgrade. Other than the performance tweaks done to the original powertrain, there has been no word on any upgrades made to the sports car's steering or braking systems.
While the conversion adds additional power to the legendary sportscar, adding a hybrid powertrain to the highly engineered 911 comes with some trade offs.
After conversion, there is a substantial increase in power, but a minimal increase in overall weight. Which means Vonnen's hybrid 911 will have a much higher power-to-weight-ratio compared to a standard 911.
This can substantially hamper the handling characteristics of the hybrid 911.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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