Advertisement

2025 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Hybrid First Drive Review: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

It’s often said that money doesn’t actually change people, it merely amplifies who they already were. When electrifying a car, particularly one with as legendary a nameplate as the Porsche 911, it arguably shouldn’t change the car fundamentally, just amplify what it already was. With the hybrid 2025 911 Carrera GTS, Porsche has achieved this.

Yes, if you haven’t heard, the Porsche 911 now comes as a hybrid. But it’s one of those hybrids that you wouldn’t even know was a hybrid unless you, well, knew. In the sports car that’s famously retained the same shape since 1964, this is arguably a good thing. Whether it was the switch to liquid cooling, turbocharging, automatic shifting, or power steering, the 911 has changed and modernized itself over the years, but it’s always used new technology to further its own agenda, not subscribe to somebody else’s.

<em>Porsche</em>
Porsche

The GTS may be a hybrid now, but the G in GTS does not stand for Green.

The Basics

Building upon the 992-generation that first came on the scene in 2018 (Good god, has it been that long already?), the 2025 Porsche 911 sees the sports car get a refresh. Style-wise, the changes are, in typical 911 fashion, fairly subtle. Fascias are slightly different, taillights are slightly different, and there’s more standard equipment than before.

Inside, the 992.2 is largely unchanged except for two things: the analog tachometer is gone and replaced with a screen, and the key-style starter switch is now a simple button. I already wrote a whole article about this—and, yeah, I know I just wrote about how new technology doesn’t have to sully the 911’s 911-ness—but both changes indeed feel like steps back. And having now driven the new 911, I can finally say: Yep, I miss the old setup. However, I’m sure the dentists and lawyers who buy these cars new will appreciate that the dash of their 911 now matches the one in their Cayenne, so there you go.

ADVERTISEMENT

The headlining change, of course, lies in this newly hybrid GTS model. Purists need not fret, though, because Porsche has electrified the 911 in a way that doesn’t change the sports car on any fundamental level. In fact, I’d even call the change incremental in terms of how the “T-hybrid” GTS actually drives. And this is by design.

T-hybrid consists of two electric motors: one dedicated to spooling up a new exhaust turbocharger and another integrated inside of the eight-speed PDK transmission. The latter helps the *newly-developed* 3.6-liter flat-six drive the wheels directly, adding about 53 horsepower and up to 110 lb-ft of torque. Both e-motors draw power from and can send power back to a 400-volt, 1.9-kWh battery located at the front axle for better weight distribution—the engine’s in the back, remember? This battery weighs just 60 pounds and isn’t much bigger than a conventional car battery you’d be able to replace at, like, AutoZone.

The new 3.6-liter flat-six.
The new 3.6-liter flat-six.
One of the GTS’ electric motors spins up the turbo.
One of the GTS’ electric motors spins up the turbo.
This battery sits between the frunk and the firewall.
This battery sits between the frunk and the firewall.

A whole electric motor devoted to assisting the turbo, a new, bigger displacement internal combustion engine, and, unlike the Acura NSXs and McLaren Arturas of the world, there isn’t an electric-only drive mode. This is how you do a hybrid sports car when you want the “hybrid” part to be a minimal part of the experience. In any case, it all adds up to 532 hp and 449 lb-ft, up 59 hp and 29 lb-ft from the previous, non-hybrid GTS, but curb weight grows by just 103 pounds. The 911 Carrera GTS Coupe hits 60 mph in 2.9 seconds with launch control and has a top speed of 194 mph.

Driving Experience

The first thing to know about the hybrid 911’s driving experience is that this isn’t a plug-in hybrid. According to Porsche, a plug-in 911 was never in the cards owing to its insistence that this car has a usable frunk and rear seats. In fact, it’s less of a hybrid than, say, a Toyota Prius since there is no scenario in which it runs on electricity alone. Fire it up and the literal fire is always on. This subtle approach to electrification colors the entire experience because, as a whole, the GTS doesn’t feel all that different from a conventional 911. It just feels like a 911 that’s been amped up.

The electrification is subtle, seamless—hidden even. That electrified turbo (that’s what the t in t-hybrid stands for, by the way) is likely this powertrain’s unsung hero. Turbo lag is effectively eliminated and, not for nothing, it makes all of the delightfully goofy whooshing and pshhh noises like it’s a modified Subaru. Look for it and there is a slightly EV-like smoothness and immediacy to the way the GTS accelerates, but if it weren’t for the hybrid-specific gauges and “t-hybrid” stickers on the doors, most drivers would likely never know that this was a hybrid at all.

Another indicator of its not-that-much-of-a-hybrid status is the fact that the GTS can still be had in your choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. (In most other cars, going for the hybrid almost always means AWD.)

<em>Porsche</em>
Porsche

Regardless of driven wheels, though, the hybrid 911 still steers, handles, and cruises flawlessly—as any 911 should. The GTS gets wider 315-section rear tires wrapped around new center-lock wheels while brakes borrowed from the 911 Turbo now have the ability to recuperate energy for the hybrid battery (optional ceramics are bigger than before). Rear-wheel steering is now standard, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) that minimizes roll is made more responsive and precise, Porsche Active System Management (PASM) Sport lowers the car by 10 mm over (under?) the base Carrera and is firmer than before to compensate for the increased curb weight. That new flat-six sits 110 mm lower than the engine that came before it to accommodate pulse inverters and DC-DC converters.

On both road and track, the 911 GTS is quite the weapon. Predictable and agile, it bombs, grips, and dives with an unerring, granite-like stability that just isn’t there with other cars. The steering isn’t terribly chatty (you’ll likely need to pony up for a GT3 or similar for that kind of fun) but it is extremely precise and well-weighted. The brakes, the acceleration, the body control, it’s all extremely solid yet adjustable at the same time. Given enough room and solitude, this car gets up to prison speeds like nobody’s business with uncanny stability. Braking and indeed any deceleration now results in regen for the hybrid battery, but you’d never know if the displays didn’t tell you. The left pedal remains a positive, precise instrument that reins the GTS in with commanding authority.

<em>Porsche</em>
Porsche

PDK is great left to its own devices and feels like an extremely durable piece of equipment, but manual shifts on-track aren’t quite supercar-immediate while the paddles themselves—even though they feel very robust—aren’t the most exciting things to grab hold of. What’s more, as capable and engaging as it is, this car doesn’t do that thing of “shrinking around you.” Modern 911 is and feels like a big car, a fact amplified by the narrow Spanish switchbacks we had as proving grounds for this test.

Given the room of a closed course, though, the hybrid 911 feels perfectly sized. Circuito Ascari is 3.37 miles of banked curves, barely-lift straights masquerading as bends, and autocross-tight chicanes. The GTS made entertainingly light work of it all. There’s a reason the Porsche 911 is to sports cars what the iPhone is to handheld electronics. After years of careful iteration, the damn thing just works.

Calmed down and treated as a daily driver, it’s unsurprisingly manageable—everyday performance is what the 911 is known for, after all—but the slightly lower, stiffer ride can indeed be felt, especially driving it back-to-back with the base Carrera. For that reason, the basic car may be the one to get if you never plan on venturing onto a racetrack, but I’ll have expanded, more thorough thoughts on that car on this website soon.

The Early Verdict

With the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and Maserati Gran Cabrio Folgore being some of the most entertaining EVs we’ve driven mostly on the back of the fact that they hide their EV-ness very well, a theme seems to be forming with electrified performance cars: the best ones don’t feel electrified at all. The Porsche 911 may not be an EV (yet) but its first step into the land of electricity is already a good step in this direction. The fact that the GTS is a hybrid isn’t shoved in your face nor is it the focus of why it’s enjoyable. On the way to electrification, the 911 hasn’t become untenably heavy or a silent snoozer.

<em>Porsche</em>
Porsche

The GTS is simply what it’s always been: a more serious beast than the standard Carrera but not so serious as to become harsh, unmanageable, or excessive. Ergo, the core Porsche 911 personality remains and the typical Porsche 911 verdicts still apply. There may be more beautiful cars in its class, and there may be more evocative engines out there. But the 911 GTS offers what is arguably the most complete driving tool among its peers: so solid, so easy, so quick. At the same time, you’d be hard-pressed to call it “boring” because it just isn’t.

It’s controlled drama; exquisite motoring.

If you think about it, the Porsche 911 has always been a hybrid: one part track tool, one part grand tourer. And the new GTS’ status as a hybrid in the powertrain hasn’t altered its status as a hybrid in purpose. It’s made it even better.

2025 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Specs

Base Price (Carrera 4 GTS Coupe as pictured)

$166,895 ($208,225)

Powertrain

3.6-liter e-turbo flat-six hybrid | 8-speed dual-clutch automatic | rear- or all-wheel drive

Horsepower

532

Torque

449 lb-ft

Seating Capacity

4

Cargo Volume

4.8 cubic feet

Curb Weight

3,536-3,869 pounds

0-60 mph

2.9 seconds

Top Speed

194 mph

EPA Fuel Economy

TBD

Quick Take

Electrification has not gotten in the way of the 911’s magnificence. The opposite, actually.

Score

9/10

Got a tip or question for the author about the 911 GTS? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com