OPINION: The ‘fried egg’ lights should return to the Porsche 911

10th June 2024
Ethan Jupp

The more things stay the same, the more they change. Okay, so that’s not quite how the saying goes, but it fits no car better than the Porsche 911 – the car about which everything changed over its 60 years, besides where the engine is and, at least loosely, the shadow it casts at night when you light it up in profile.


But in its time, especially over the last 25 years, it’s a car that’s taken leaps in evolution, albeit in sporadic bursts. Since 2012 especially, the 911 has had to evolve, in a market of rising performance, exponentially increasing technology levels, and tightening legislation around safety and emissions.

Indeed the 991 and 992 are a pair of 911s that, by Porsche’s own will or through a forced hand, dared to be different. The 991 introduced everything from direct injection to electric steering, initially quite unsuccessfully, in the case of the latter. In its later life, it introduced turbocharging to the ‘normal’ range. 

But comparatively, these aren’t on the same level of top-to-bottom change in terms of what came before, as when the 996 first came along. The 996 was such an overnight leap that – in my humblest of opinions – after all the changes the 991 and 992 have endured, it’s only now hybridity has arrived in the 992.2 GTS that they can match it.

Image courtesy of Chris Watson in AI Generated Cars, Facebook.

Image courtesy of Chris Watson in AI Generated Cars, Facebook.

Between that, and some truly spectacular renderings of a 992 wearing a Taycan’s front lighting, I got to thinking: given what’s happening under the skin, should Porsche have tried once again to be a bit adventurous in terms of design? It certainly did with the 996, successfully or unsuccessfully. 

I like the 996 – every 996, in terms of design. The so-called ‘fried egg’ lights modernised and moved the model on from its rather archaic 993 predecessor, a car that still retained the same basic upper body as the original 911 of 1964. Even though the 997 returned to the round light formula, and built upon everything the 996 did three times over to create a more complete car, the 996 gave the round headlight look the break I think it needed. Does it need it again? Do we need it again? Quite possibly.

Because quite often, we do become too wedded to what we think a 911 should be to the point we don’t take so willingly to Porsche asking what the 911 could be. No, the 996 wasn’t the thoroughbred everyone expected a 911 to be at the time, but it introduced a footprint and a bloodline that ended with arguably one of the greatest Porsche 911s of all time, the 997 4.0 RS. 


Likewise, the 991 had everyone up in arms, first with the numb-steering Carrera S, then again with the PDK-only GT3, and again with the facelifted turbocharged Carreras. But it’s a platform that’s allowed Porsche to give us the 911 R, the 991 GT3 Touring, and now the utterly sublime 992 S/T. That’s to say nothing of all the wonderful be-winged track weapons in between.

Is the 992.2 GTS a bit of a conservative effort, given what a herculean change its undergone under the skin, embracing electrification on the road for the first time in the 911’s six decades? I genuinely think so. 'New fried eggs’ may not be the right solution, but that Taycan-faced render looks epic in a ‘flat nose for the 21st century’ kind of way. 

Regardless, with a GTS that has the throttle response and power output of the outgoing naturally-aspirated GT3, you just know Porsche has grand designs for the rest of the 992.2 range – 700+PS (515+kW) 992.2 Turbo S hybrid, anyone? I’m excited to see it, even if I kind of wish they’d been a bit more adventurous with the redesign.

  • Road

  • News

  • Opinion

  • Porsche

  • 911

  • you_need_to_drive_a_porsche_goodwood_23042024_list.jpg


    OPINION: You need to drive a Porsche to get the hype

  • audi_r8_most_significant_performance_car_goodwood_28032024_listimage.jpg


    OPINION: The Audi R8 was the most significant supercar of the last 20 years

  • no_replacement_for_displacement_goodwood_mercedes_20032024_list.jpg


    OPINION: There's still no replacement for displacement