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Two plug-in hybrid Porsche 911s to arrive next year, and exclusive images preview the look.

The next all-new Porsche 911, set to be unveiled in 2019, will be the first-ever production version to get hybrid power.

And the shock news is, there could be two new 911 plug-in hybrids on the way: one to sit in the middle of the range as an alternative to the regular Carrera model, and then another positioned at the top of the range, potentially alongside the flagship 911 Turbo.

There’s a passionate debate in play among Porsche engineers and decision-makers surrounding the creation of a top-flight 911 hybrid. The iconic sports car is a precious commodity to Porsche, so comes under the biggest scrutiny of all in terms of future development.

Yet the inevitable move towards hybrid and full-electric models is already well underway at the company, hence the debate over what to do with, and which powertrains to offer in the next 911, previewed in the images, and captured on the test by spies.

What’s certain is that the basic platform for the car has already been “fully developed to accept a hybrid powertrain”, according to our source.

In basic form that powertrain will be similar in principle to the four-wheel-drive, 3.0-litre turbo, 100kW electric propulsion system launched recently in the Cayenne E-Hybrid, which, in V6 form, produces a combined 455bhp and 700Nm. But in the flat-six 911 the powertrain will be tuned to produce more sporting responses and sounds. It will be linked to a dual-clutch PDK gearbox.

Expect a 0-100km/h sprint time of less than four seconds from the basic 911 hybrid, with a maximum speed of more than 180mph, as well as official economy of 80mpg-plus and CO2 emissions of less than 80g/km.

Crucially, a hybrid powertrain will also add at least 250kg to the kerb weight of the next 911 compared with petrol-only equivalents, but Porsche insiders say the lessons learned from the 918 Spyder and Cayenne E-Hybrid projects will help them maintain the 911’s agility.

In certain dynamic respects hybrid power can be used as a plus, say the firm’s hybrid engineers, with four-wheel-drive e-power adding not just traction but also handling flexibility to the 911 recipe.

But it’s the potential for Porsche to add a second, more powerful hybrid 911, to sit alongside the Turbo and Turbo S right at the top of the range, that’s causing the most consternation behind closed doors, our sources claim.

The brand’s move towards hybrids and fully electric cars in future is now in full swing, with the Mission E saloon and entrance to Formula E also confirmed.

So a range of hybrid-powered 911s at various price and performance levels would fit the mission statement, even if some fans of the traditional 911 might not approve. To appease them, the GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS models will remain firmly in the development programme and will stay resolutely petrol-powered for many years, according to our source.

What are your thoughts on the plug-in hybrid Porsche 911s? Let us know in the comments...

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