Review: 2035 Porsche 911 GTE
The long-awaited 998-generation 911 GTE has finally debuted, Porsche's first all-electric 911 in history. But is it the 911 you were hoping for?
Oh, how they moaned in 2026 when the first hybrid 911E was introduced, "The end of the 911!" they called it.
You see, Porsche enthusiasts love nothing more than running around in circles bemoaning the latest evolution, which, in their minds, marks "The end of the 911."
Whether it be the switch from air-cooled to water-cooled, the switch to electric steering, the turbocharging of the entire 911 range, or the recent illegalization of the manual gearbox, Porsche enthusiasts have always had something to complain about.
But if they'd had their way, we'd still be driving about in 901 Carreras.
I, on the other hand, am grateful to Porsche for being one of the few remaining automakers to have continued the development of a car that most predicted would no longer exist.
The 998 GTE draws heavy influence from the iconic 997 GTS, as it tries to lure back buyers after the disastrous launch of the 995 E in 2026.
Interestingly, the introduction of Porsche's first-ever electric 911 is not the biggest news here, as the 998 GTE is the first car in Porsche's lineup to make use of the new Evenchikz platform.
Much like the PDK system, which Porsche pioneered in the early 2000s, Evenchikz aims to simplify and expedite all aspects of the vehicle's powertrain loss.
Thankfully, unlike the rest of their lineup, Porsche has opted not to use the ancient two-speed transmission from the first-generation Taycan. Instead, they have designed the Evenchikz platform to manage motor efficiency, battery temperatures, and torque vectoring, taking the place of components such as the ECU and the differential, which weighed down previous generations of the 911 for oh so long.
This should be music to the ears of 995 E owners, as the uprated (but still aging) hybrid technology from the now-defunct 918 Spyder program plagues early 995 models, with both battery and powertrain failures becoming increasingly common as these cars grow older.
And while simplicity is traditionally a good thing, putting the heart of a 911 into a 6x8 carbon fiber computer seems to go against the very ethos of a German, "over-engineered" Porsche.
But how does it drive?
In all honesty, I've never driven a car that is so good, yet so contrived and confusing.
In the old days, if a car handled especially well, somebody might exclaim that "It corners like it's on rails!"
Well, the 998 is the physical embodiment of that statement, as much to the dismay of 911 enthusiasts everywhere, Porsche has finally ditched its iconic electric steering in favor of a world-first "fly by satellite" steering rack.
Meaning that every steering and acceleration input is sent over SpaceX's vastly-expanding Starlink network and straight to the nearest PDS (Porsche Dynamic Steering) satellite to be combined with both road and camera data. After this, the modified signal is sent straight to the Evenchikz, and through to the wheels to ensure the new GTE takes the coming corner at maximum efficiency.
And despite the recent bombing of the Nürburgring, Porsche claims that simulations show the application of PDS and Evenchikz has increased on-track efficiency by over 43 percent, despite minimal alterations to chassis geometry when compared to the old 995.
Yet, I can't help but feel that this is finally the computer taking the wheel. Sure, you're telling it what to do, but it seems like it's only giving the illusion of obedience, all while doing whatever the hell it wants in the background.
But is it a "True 911?"
The 998 has lost so much of what a 911 has traditionally been. Rear weight bias, an engine, and most of all, its lost that quintessential feel which drivers have cherished for the better part of a century.
But at the same time, this car embodies so much of what a 911 is supposed to be. Because it is unquestionably an amazing performer, all while maintaining the fit, finish, and comfort that would make a Rolls Royce shudder in fear and self-disdain.
So, I guess what I leave you with is a question.
What is the Porsche 911?
Is it the peak of "civilized" road-car performance?
Or is it the pinnacle of driver-engagement?
Because if it's the latter, this isn't the car for you.