► Next Porsche 911 returns to 993 styling
► Codenamed 992, won't be in Paris
► Images from the track
We’ve already had a ride in the standard 992, but now our snappers have caught the extreme GT3 version of the next Porsche 911 in action. Sadly, this prototype features more camo than we’ve seen on other less-extreme models of the car, but it’s still easy to spot all the GT3 furniture.
All the can’t see how Porsche has made the front and rear design more aggressive, we can spot a huge spoiler on the back, and those exotic centre lock wheels. At the rear, this 992 prototype features a double exhaust, as seen on the current 991.2 GT3.
And about that engine. While some rumours suggest the incredible 991.2 GT3 could be the last naturally-aspirated GT3 Porsche will make – others suggest the GT range will continue to be a safe-haven for NA Porkers. In that case, we’d expect to see a slightly power-boosted version of the existing GT3’s flat-six, pushing out over 550bhp.
In our extensive gallery above, you’ll see totally undisguised images of the new Porsche 911 – or the 992 if you’re speaking in codenames. Keep reading for everything else we know about the new 911.
Everything else you need to know
As is customary, Porsche will fill every conceivable niche with its benchmark sports car - and we've got the lowdown from humble Carrera 2 to top-brass 911 Turbo, from soft-top convertibles (scooped below) to the red-hot new GT3 version. This is when you can expect to see the new 911 range:
- Carrera 2S and Carrera 4S Coupe Due October 2018, deliveries start February 2019
- Carrera 2S and 4S Cabriolet Presented in January 2019, on sale April 2019
- Entry-level Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet Shown in April 2019, on sale summer 2019
- 911 Turbo and Carrera GTS Due September 2019, in dealers from February 2020
Styling: evolution as usual
We’ve snapped the 911 in what looks to be Guards Red. The blue car has the double-pipe sports exhaust system, though.
Just like the other images, the new shots confirm a Panamera style rear-end and revised lines, which lend the car an ever-so-slightly more muscular look. The whole car features slightly squarer shapes and a revised windscreen rake, and it makes the entire package look a little 993 to our eyes – though that’s no bad thing.
We’re less sure about the black plastic vents around the front of the car and the exhaust area, though; we’ve seen them on several prototypes now, and they look to be a fixed part of the new design. Hopefully there’ll be an option to have them matched to the rest of the body colour.
In mid-2017, Michael Mauer, head of VW Group Design, told CAR: 'In the case of the 991, the step up from the 997 was perhaps too evolutionary. For the next model changes, my colleagues are therefore planning a set of more distinctive alterations.'
Interior: Panamera influence
The new Porsche 911 will take a leaf from the Panamera's book inside - and sport a large digital screen, judging by our latest spy photos. Although it won't be shown to the world until the 2018 Paris motor show, our spies have caught a peek inside the new sports car.
And we can now see proof there'll be a manual transmission choice, too, quashing rumours it might be PDK auto only.
This is inherently an update to the 991 family - not an all-new nine-eleven. Porsche tends to spin off two generations from its platforms, remember, so a properly new architecture isn't due until the model after this.
Models and engines
But there is a lot in store for the new 911: punchier engines are due in the 992-era cars, as well as full digital instruments and the latest 48-volt electrics, to curb CO2 and fuel consumption, and offer more trickery besides. The entry-level cars are due to get around 30bhp more from their EA9A2 family of flat-six boxer engines:
- Carrera 395bhp
- Carrera S 444bhp
A mix of rear- and all-wheel drive will be offered and we hear that an eighth cog is being added to the PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission.
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 an update to the rear- and all-wheel drive hardware. And this time, from the 992.2 second-generation model due in 2023, there will be a plug-in 911.
A hybrid 911
For sure. We hear the 992.2 will mix a 3.0 flat six with a 70kW e-motor and 10.8kWh battery pack, for short bursts of silent running and devastating performance. Like 3.5sec 0-62mph and 197mph flat-out.
We already know Porsche is working on a pure-electric production model influenced by 2015's Mission E concept, 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 confirmed to CAR that the 911 is a likely candidate for hybrid power. ‘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's to keep a place in the next-generation 911 family.
But if you prefer the PDK twin-clutch auto, fret not: that will be updated with an eighth cog in the 992 family.
911 Turbo Cabriolet
The new Porsche 911 sports car range - codenamed 992 in Porsche nomenclature - is months away from being unveiled to the world this autumn, yet still more prototypes are being papped on the world stage. Here's the 911 Turbo Cabriolet.
Our long-lensed friends shot it testing on track and public roads near the Nurburgring in Germany, as engineers fine-tune the al fresco rocketship. The wide wheelarches, chunky rear spoiler and chassis mods mark it as the range-topping rag-top, according to our sources.
The twin-turbo flat six is understood to develop in the 600bhp ballpark, so it'll become one of the fastest soft-tops on sale when it's unveiled in autumn 2019 ahead of sales slated for 2020. And there are no hard tops here: note the retention of a canvas hood.
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