SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There’s been a great deal of the latest communicate traveling around about the risk of a factory-developed Porsche 911 hybrid. But additional latest reviews from the higher-ups at Stuttgart feel to have thrown chilly h2o on that possibility, at least in the close to term. Anything about sacrilege and the existence of the all-electric Porsche Taycan they just invested a good deal of time and resources making.

That might be Porsche’s official posture, but the fact that the dilemma will come up regularly suggests that some degree of need is simmering out there. Enter Vonnen, a Silicon Valley-dependent issue that started everyday living as a facet-job at Elephant Racing, a distinguished developer of Porsche suspension update elements. I a short while ago satisfied up with CEO Chuck Moreland to drive a 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 outfitted with what they connect with Vonnen Shadow Travel, a hybrid procedure that adds 150 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque to the donor auto.

An included layer of general performance

The name Vonnen wasn’t chosen for any unique purpose, except that it sounded cool, wasn’t trademarked, and did not conjure up images of request-your-medical doctor prescribed drugs. Shadow Push, on the other hand, properly encapsulates what the Vonnen hybrid procedure is all about. This is a bolt-on improve that will work in the shadows to bolster the current Porsche flat-6 engine, which stays intact and entirely unmodified.

Shadow Generate is built all around a 110-kilowatt electric motor-generator (MG) that slips practically invisibly among the motor and transmission. The MG also generates power for the battery by siphoning off motor output for the duration of durations of reduced demand and by deploying regenerative braking. The Vonnen Regulate Unit (VCU), which is co-located with the electric power inverter in a separate housing, orchestrates the action immediately after decoding throttle position information tapped from the Porsche’s CAN bus and brake method need from a Vonnen-included stress transducer.

Rated at 1 kilowatt-hour, the Vonnen’s battery capacity is about the exact same as that of a Prius. But which is wherever the similarity ends. Moreland suggests this battery is optimized for electricity density as a substitute of power density, and so it can deploy or soak up electric power at a healthful 110 kilowatts. He would not disclose numerous particulars, other than to say it takes advantage of a proprietary lithium-primarily based chemistry of a form that isn’t vulnerable to thermal runaway and is the one most pricey component of the method. This dear piece is sandwiched involving two liquid-cooled “cold plates” and occupies the base half of the frunk, leaving ample place previously mentioned for just one roller bag laying crossways.

All a few of these principal parts make copious warmth, so Vonnen provides two cooling circuits, each individual with its possess bumper-mounted heat exchanger mounted driving the common Porsche radiators. A single circuit handles the battery and the other requires care of the MG device and the electricity inverter. The last major ingredient is a virtual one: the Vonnen smartphone application. This ought to be managing at all times, as it shows technique status and lets the driver to decide on from a few operational modes by using a dwell Bluetooth connection to the VCU.

Porsche 911 Hybrid with Vonnen Shadow Drive Review | Performance, batteries, aftermarket

Like bolting on two added cylinders

Stealth method is the one particular that is most valuable for each day driving and back-street touring. It starts to include torque when you depress the throttle past the 30% mark. Activity method is intended for track-day lapping and intense canyon carving, and it saves the electrical increase for greater peak electric power wherever the driver pushes the throttle earlier 80%. And then there’s Overboost, which unleashes all the things practically straight away. It can only keep the get together going for little extra than the time it usually takes to entire a quarter-mile run, so it is a lot more of a demo mode.

I punched up Stealth mode for the flowing backroads close to my house, and its effects had been profound. With the flat-6 singing as normal, the additional torque manufactured the 911 pull considerably harder at decrease revs, as if two extra cylinders had been grafted on. I could practically imagine a new torque graph in my head as the process filled-in and bolstered the early increase of the engine’s torque curve. Electricity shipping and delivery remained easy and coordinated as the PDK transmission shifted up or down, but Moreland claimed that did not come very easily. Vonnen had to reflash the PDK controller to re-optimize the clutch strain map to much better clean and synchronize shifts with the added electric torque. This isn’t required with a guide transmission, of system, mainly because a driver will subconsciously compensate. And indeed, that does mean you can get it with a manual.

As a result of it all, the cell phone app’s virtual gauges made it effortless to see how significantly ability was remaining unleashed, and it also offered apparent readouts of battery cost, battery temperature and inverter temperature. At some level, even so, I started off acquiring a lot more intense with the throttle and these temperatures began to climb to the stage in which the system disengaged alone to neat off. It was a indicator that my approach to the street experienced become superior-suited to Activity mode. I made the change by tapping the cellular phone, and the character of the electrical power shipping morphed to favor top-close electrical power. Shadow Generate was spectacular in a entire new way, but this higher-pace placing wasn’t as well-suited to the highway I was on. I desired a middle placing in this article, but there was not one particular.

Porsche 911 Hybrid with Vonnen Shadow Drive Review | Performance, batteries, aftermarketPorsche 911 Hybrid with Vonnen Shadow Drive Review | Performance, batteries, aftermarket

Not a Diy work

Shadow Drive is indeed a bolt-on system, but it’s nothing at all like a Do-it-yourself position. Early builds took two technicians a complete 7 days, but now it’s closer to 3 complete times. At present just two retailers are authorized to do the perform: Vonnen headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., and Kelly-Moss in Fitchburg, Wis.

The to start with issue they do is eliminate the motor and transmission, and individual them. The flywheel and starter are taken out for the reason that the MG unit serves both equally capabilities. But the motor’s rotating things weigh considerably much less than the flywheel, so a supplemental inertia disc is bolted to it. This further disc also replicates the external flywheel tooth the engine’s crank angle sensor requires to functionality normally.

The MG is 2.75 inches thick, but it only jacks the motor and transmission apart by an inch since considerably of it protrudes into the transmission bellhousing. The motor and its mounts keep on being in the stock locale, so it is the transmission that ought to shift ahead. One of its mounts can be modified and reused, but the other is changed with a Vonnen-built substitute. The drive flanges scoot 1 inch forward, but Moreland claims the CV joints can very easily cope with this, and that’s still the circumstance if you also run a 1-inch suspension reducing package.

After that they install significant-voltage cabling amongst the frunk-mounted battery, mid-mounted energy inverter and the MG device, alongside with a community of cooling traces and the heat exchangers. Then there is the CAN bus taps, the additional brake force transducer and the PDK reflash — along with numerous lesser tasks. In all, the car’s net body weight improves by just 170 kilos, and pounds stability is not affected for the reason that the extra mass is evenly dispersed.

Porsche 911 Hybrid with Vonnen Shadow Drive Review | Performance, batteries, aftermarket

Final thoughts and what is future

Moreland claims the upcoming advancement stage will concentrate on an application rethink that will enable for over-the-air updates of the VCU itself by means of the in-motor vehicle Bluetooth link. This would open the door to supplemental travel configurations, such as an Eco method, intermediate modes, and it’s possible even an Auto environment that would self-change to driving style. No existing installation would be still left out, either, mainly because the new features would stem from a simple app update.

Vonnen Shadow Drive is engineered to suit on Porsche 911s that incorporate the 997.2 (2009-2012), the 991 like the one particular I sampled (2012-2019) and the recent 992. It functions with the C2, C4, Turbo, GT3 and GT2 RS. Boxster/Cayman entrepreneurs from 2009 onwards (such as the current 718) can enjoy, also. As for the cost, the Vonnen Shadow Push system and its set up will lighten your wallet to the tune of $75,000.

Up to that difficult-to-swallow level, I can’t enable but assume how genius the full thing is. Shadow Drive represents a profound ability increase that will not anxiety the engine and minimize its everyday living, and there is no cause to think it would increase the ire of any smog-regulate authorities. With regard to equally counts, the engine has not been touched at all. It is an exceptional aftermarket general performance improve strategy for the very well-heeled Porsche fanatic, but I can see how it’d be acceptable for any selection of automobiles if they could travel the price tag down.

Vonnen might perfectly have its sights set on executing just that. Moreland outlined the system’s possible suitability for other programs, and he broadly mentioned pickup vehicles. I can see how that may carry matters down to earth on a number of fronts. There’s a lot additional packaging area to enjoy with, a substantially much less unique battery would suffice, and bigger volumes would generate fees down. Retain your eye on these guys. Vonnen may possibly be onto one thing further than its impressive 911 hybrid.

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