► Next Porsche 911 due in 2019
► First glance at the new car’s body
► Brand new platform, wider tracks
The current Porsche 911 is arguably one of the finest sports cars in the world today, so coming up with a replacement is no mean feat. But replace it Porsche must, and now photos have surfaced of the next-generation 911 due to land in 2019, wearing what is believed to be its production body.
We’ve previously spied a test mule using a wider-tracked variation of the current car’s bodywork, which you can see furthest to the right in the gallery above, but the latest shots give us a clearer picture of the production car’s shell.
Most evident is a wider track than the current 911, a key indicator of the car’s brand-new platform.
911 evolution: the Porsche 992 stays true to its roots
Unsurprisingly, there's no drastic revolution on the styling front. The bonnet has a longer journey to meet the front bumper than the current car, and the tail-light layout is reminiscent of 2015’s Mission E concept, hooded by a much more expansive rear spoiler treatment. New door handles to set 911 forums a-chatter, too…
Check out the pictures below contrasting the new spoiler in both its raised and lowered position. The clunky looking high-mounted stop light is most likely a temporary measure on this prototype - expect a neater integration for the finished article.
Incidentally, these latest shots suggest a different exhaust system from the earlier mule; whereas the original car spotted is thought to be a standard S model, this latest car may be working on a development of the optional sports exhaust system.
What do we know about the 2019 Porsche 911?
Although the current 991 generation received a batch of ‘991.2’ updates in 2015, including a new family of turbocharged engines, it was originally launched back in 2011 – so it’s no longer in its first flush of youth.
The upcoming eighth-generation 911 will be built around a new modular platform and feature a wider range of powertrains – potentially to include, for the first time, a hybrid set-up.
A hybrid 911? Really?
Latest whispers we’ve heard from Stuttgart are that the hybrid 911 project has been pushed to the backburner, but nonetheless, Porsche’s engineers are hard at work upon a part-electric 911.
Porsche is working on a pure-electric production model influenced by 2015's Mission E concept for a 2020 debut, while other large cars in its range - such as the new Panamera - will supplement their engines with electric power to boost both performance and efficiency. Porsche's chairman Oliver Blume hinted to CAR in our October 2016 issue that the 911 is a likely candidate for hybrid power too:
‘For the simple reason that electrification still carries a substantial weight penalty, sports cars will hold on to classic propulsion solutions a little longer than other vehicle types,’ Bloom said. ‘But even the 911 must eventually adjust, and according to analysts and the media, even plug-in supercars are making headway!’
That won't spell an end to traditional-style 911s, though. If anything, the 911's idiosyncratic character is likely to be preserved all the more carefully:
'Porsche needs to launch puristic racing cars like 911 – we will go to both strategies, new and old,' Bloom said. 'Think of sports shoes: you can buy shoes of the ’70s and ’80s, people love them. In 10 or 15 years, fans would like to drive sports cars where they can feel it’s a real car. Porsche will in future be Porsche, that’s our strategy.'
Don't be surprised to see naturally aspirated, manual gearbox models like the current 911R to keep a place in the next-generation 911 family.
What other cars will share this new sports car platform?
The next Boxster and Cayman, pencilled in for 2020, will use the same hardware and electronics. Potentially – if certain intriguing rumours are correct – a Lamborghini model line will too. Should the Audi R8 get a third generation, it may borrow bits of the new Porsche platform as well.
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