Talk of a hybrid 911 dates back several years but despite the longevity there hasn’t been much in the way of official commentary on the topic. In 2012 we learned that a hybrid 911 was inevitable, due to the ever-increasing harshness of fuel economy and emissions regulations. Now, Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz has revealed when we’re likely to see such a car.

Speaking with Top Gear, Hatz explained that reducing emissions was important for Porsche and that engine downsizing (with turbochargers to maintain performance) and hybrid technology were the two methods Porsche would employ to reach its goals.

He confirmed that most of the 911 range would go the turbo route with the introduction of the model’s mid-cycle update later this year, and that by the time the next-generation model arrives towards the end of the decade we will see hybrid technology on the car. He went on to explain that knowledge gained from the 918 Spyder supercar and 919 Hybrid race car put Porsche in a good position to develop a hybrid 911.

The next 911 is expected to ride on a new modular platform being developed by Porsche for its own cars plus some from fellow Volkswagen Group brands. The hybrid option is expected to be introduced initially on high-end variants like the 911 Turbo to help boost performance.

Expect the first hybrid 911 to be a plug-in hybrid like the 918 Spyder, with an electric motor at each axle. All-electric driving will be possible for short distances and together with the internal combustion engine the electric motors should help boost output well beyond the 560-horsepower rating of the current 911 Turbo S.