Newsflash: Porsche’s released a new 911, the eighth generation of its talismanic sports car. For all its 21st century tech it’s still a 911 – and a very handsome one at that.
LIVER BLUME, Porsche CEO, is addressing the assembled media at the Los Angeles Auto Show. ‘Continuity doesn’t mean stagnation,’ he says, delivering a polite middle ﬁnger to ac-cusations of same-again laziness on Porsche’s business-as-mostly-usual 911 evolution. And he has a point. For while you might still need a little help telling this one apart from the 991-generation car, the technology beneath the 992’s skin would suggest Stuttgart’s hardly been dragging its heels.
Many will welcome the familiar Coke-bottle shape, now with a front end 45mm wider than before.
Porsche has also conﬁrmed that the rear arches will remain the same width across all models, so there won’t be a wider-track version as used for the likes of the Turbo and GT2/GT3 in the past. The rear aspect has made the most pro-gress, having sprouted a central high-intensi-ty brake light amid the vertical slatted vents, above a full-width strip light, and there’s a variable-height spoiler (in line with other current Porsches).
The door handles now slide out electron-ically, Land Rover-style – not just for better aerodynamics, but also because it’s ‘a thing’ now, apparently.
Welcome changes inside include the 10.9in infotainment screen lifted from the Panamera, Cayenne and refreshed Macan. Amortise those costs! It’s always connected for swarm data-based live mapping, and it’s not the only screen; Porsche fans everywhere will be relieved to still see the analogue central revcounter, but the dials ﬂanking it have been replaced by screens oﬀering more versatility – much like the Cayenne and Panamera. This also allows infrared night vision cameras to project a live feed – nothing new, but a burgeoning tech nice-to-have. Adaptive cruise with traﬃc functions and autonomous emergency assistance also features on the equipment list.
Evolutionary it might be but the new 911 was hands-down the most important new reveal of the show. Porsche’s conference, split oﬀ from every other brand in its own separate (and com-pact) hall, was limited in space and therefore attendance numbers.
Why an LA reveal in the ﬁrst place? Detlev von Platen, Porsche’s head of sales and mar-keting: ‘No other country comes close to the US in terms of 911 sales. It should come as no surprise that we sell more 911s right here in California than in any other state.’
911’s bodyshell is all aluminium. Design is confidently muscular, as you’d expect given this will be the only body for all future derivatives. ‘It’s been to the gym,’ says CEO Blume.
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The Carrera S and 4S – the first cars out of the blocks – still use a 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six, just like the 991.2 911, but power is up a not insignificant 30bhp to 444bhp.
Porsche Impact app tracks your CO2 so you can work to offset it, while Road Trip plots routes with suggested restaurants.
Despite the 991 generation coming to an end, appetite is still huge for the 70-year-old brand’s icon.‘In the seventh and ﬁnal year of the 991, sales are not declining but increasing – up nine per cent through to October,’ adds von Platen.
Then, the big moment: reserved appreciation in the form of polite applause greets Blume as he introduces the new car. If the response is a little lukewarm that’s probably less about the new car failing to blow socks oﬀ and more about the fact that most of the audience – media and employees – saw it the evening before at a preview event.
Thankfully, the new 911’s powertrain remains reassuringly familiar. The Carrera S and 4S models unveiled at LA still use a 3.0-litre turbocharged ﬂat-six, just like the 991.2. Power is up to 444bhp – 30bhp more than before, and as powerful as the outgoing GTS – while the 0-62mph launch sprints have been trimmed by 0.4sec (3.7sec for Carrera S and 3.6sec for 4S), cut by another 0.2sec if you go for the Sport Chrono pack complete with launch control.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a new eight-speed PDK ’box, which, coupled with compulsory petrol engine particulate ﬁlters and NOx reduction gadgets, is designed to meet stringent RDE emissions test. ‘Of course, later next year, our traditional manual will be available as well,’ says Blume.
A new Porsche Impact app will track your CO2 output and let you know how much you’d need to pay in order to oﬀset it, through projects like forest conservation and wind, solar and hydro power. New noise regs mean a quieter exhaust on start-up.
Want one? A Carrera S PDK will be yours for £93,110, with the all-wheel-drive model coming
in at £98,418. They, of course, will
not be the only 911 ﬂavours; the ﬁrst cabriolets are due in January, lower-powered Carrera variants (with a power boost from 365bhp to 395bhp) will arrive in April and the Turbo and more hardcore Carrera GTS are due in September – most likely debuting at the 2019 Frank-furt motor show. The Turbo will still be one of the loftier 911s, with output expected to nudge 610bhp. There is, of course, going to be a GT3 variant, too, which has already been spotted tested in the wild, complete with race-spec wing.
But that’s not all; when the 992 gets its midlife facelift, one of the all-new variants will be a plug-in hybrid. When that arrives, it will combine the familiar 3.0-litre ﬂat-six with a 93lb ft electric motor and 10.8 kWh battery, all-wheel drive and a newfound fascination with torque – 560lb ft of the stuﬀ, combined with 485bhp.
‘Porsche embraces the current shift towards hybrids and elec-triﬁcation, of course, but our 911 shows that stability and continuity are principles for more than just electric mobility’, says CEO Blume. And for that we’re grateful.
The 911 (992): The Next Three Years
The official unveiling, with S and 4S models revealed first
S and 4S Cabriolet presented, on sale in April
Base-spec Carrera, C4 Coupe and Cabrio set to join the ranks
Turbo and GTS performance models should spice things up
992.2 midlife facelift with updated engines
Plug-in version of 992.2 with 40-mile EV range
2025 and beyond
Next generation to include all-electric 911