In contrast to the definitely numbered days of the internal combustion engine in future Bentley models, there will be plenty of life remaining in the fossil-fueled Neunelfer as Porsche chief Oliver Blume said that the iconic sports car “will have a combustion engine for a long time to come,” Bloomberg reported.

“Let me be clear; our icon, the 911, will have a combustion engine for a long time to come. The 911 is a concept of the car that is prepared for the combustion engine. It is not useful to combine it with pure electric mobility. We believe in purpose-designed cars for electric mobility,” Blume told Bloomberg.

The current, 992-generation model’s platform can accommodate electrification, though beyond the idea of a pure sports car, even hybrid electrification does not provide a satisfactory end product, despite having made hybrid prototypes. Porsche board member Michael Steiner told Top Gear in March that the weight penalty incurred by drive batteries “is not something we are satisfied with today.”

Half of all Porsches sold will be electrified by 2025, either fully or partially, Blume said. A fully electric 911, should that come to fruition, won’t arrive before 2030, said Porsche Porsche sports car line director Frank-Steffen Walliser to Autocar. However, Porsche is more likely to birth an all-new model for a two-door sports car to take the fully electric route, Blume indicated.

“I think, for the future, there is also space for very sporty pure electric sports cars to join other sports cars. There are big opportunities,” he said. Porsche has committed to investing 15 billion euros (RM73.2 billion) in e-mobility, sustainable production and digitalisation over the next five years, the brand chief added.

Porsche is also looking for partners for the development of synthetic fuels, or eFuels using 100% renewable power sources in order to comply with increasingly restrictive emissions regulations that will eventually outlaw internal combustion engines altogether.

According to Porsche, eFuels are produced from CO2 and hydrogen using renewable energy. These will be similar to kerosene, diesel or petrol processed from crude oil in terms of eFuels’ basic properties, but will be more climate neutral. A breakthrough in this development will help sustain the 70% of Porsches in operation today for the next 10 to 15 years, Bloomberg observed.

“To stop internal combustion engines isn’t the right discussion. We come from both sides – electric mobility and eFuels – [in the approach] to CO2 [reduction], Blume said.

As for the electrified Neunelfer, the research for hybrid-electric powertrain systems carries on. “In the future for the 911, there are good ideas for a special kind of hybrid, a very performance-oriented hybrid, where we use, for example, a 400-volt system for our electric engine. That’s more or less our idea of how to continue with the 911,” Blume revealed.