Here's the new Porsche 911 in the lightest of camoulage
The new Porsche 911 – the eighth generation in 55 years – will be the star of the Los Angeles Motor Show when the doors open on Monday (26 November). The new series number for the 2019 version of the iconic sports car? 992.
Apart from teasing us with the inevitable pictures of some prototypes undergoing last-minute testing – and in all the usual places, Nürburgring to Death Valley to the Arctic Circle et al – Porsche is dropping few clues as to its new hero.
But, come on, it’s a 911, so by now we really should know what to expect. As with all previous seven generations, the 992 is bound to tick all the usual boxes: most powerful and fastest 911 yet, most efficient, most technologically advanced, most aerodynamic and, probably, the biggest yet (rumour is 20mm longer), one reason why it may not be the lightest 911 so far, despite its new aluminium-dense structure. Indications are this structure will make it the most rigid 911 ever though.
Oh, and as the pictures of these lightly camouflaged cars indicate and the 911’s unstoppable evolutionary path over seven decades promises, the unmistakable 911 profile is retained – finessed, again, but entirely recognisable.
Nice touches we can discern from the pictures include muscular new rear haunches, new intakes and lights which at the back form full-width strips in the manner of other Porsche models. Expect too reshaped bumpers, flush door handles and new active aero.
Porsche has confirmed that, inside, the car gets an entirely new operating system, with new digital displays and revamped Porsche Connect connectivity features, along with new driver assistance systems.
A 911 is unthinkable without a six-cylinder boxer engine and the 992 series will get exactly that of course – but as part of a powertrain story that promises to be both diverse and fast-changing, with all engines turbocharged and many featuring petrol-electric hybridisation.
In the beginning a bread and butter Carrera with turbo 3.0-litre (and, says the rumour mill, 390bhp) is likely to kick off the range. It is thought a manual gearbox will remain an option. At the other extreme the 4wd Turbo S hybrid is likely to get 600bhp and a top speed of 200mph.
And longer term? All we have are questions. When do we see the first plug-in hybrid 911? Will there be a pure electric 911? Is a 912-style four-pot 911 really a possibility? Other questions to ask include how the new platform, which is believed to share some elements with other cars in the wider group, will affect traditional 911 character.
Answers on a postcard please, meanwhile we will have a clearer picture next Monday in Los Angeles, prior to sales beginning in 2019. It will likely be a small range from the get-go but soon to develop into all those 911 variants and body styles, for both road and track, that have dominated the sports car’s world so brilliantly for so long.
The best 911 of all time? There’ll be something amiss if it’s not…