► Next Porsche 911 due later this year
► Codenamed 992, due 2018 Paris show
► Coupes, Cabriolets, Turbos and more
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. Today we publish new spy photos of the 2019 Porsche 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.
It's the latest in a series of 992-generation prototypes we've shot over the past few months. Keep reading for the full lowdown on what to expect.
GT3: the last of the nat-asp 911s?
Our sources suggest the incredible 991.2 GT3 could be the last naturally-aspirated GT3 Porsche will make – and now we appear to have snapped its replacement. Our photographers captured another 992 testing, and several interesting details point to it being the next GT3.
At first glance, the car pictured below looks a lot like the 992 Turbo prototype we’ve already spotted, but a look at the rear reveals a significant difference. The 992 pictured here features a totally different exhaust layout compared to earlier Turbo 992s we’ve spied. That suggests Porsche is using a 992 Turbo mule to test its new forced-induction GT3, which would be a logical decision.
It's no wonder we're being kept busy posting spyshots of the new 911 range: it's one of the most diverse model ranges in the sports car firmament - a clear sign that Zuffenhausen knows how to manage its models' lifecycles, adding just enough extra zip and interest to keep sales ticking over as models age.
Porsche 911 (992): interior
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.
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
Keep reading for everything we know so far about the 992-generation Porsche 911.
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.
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.
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. We can see full-width lights under the disguise, 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 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. We're also expecting to see tech from Audi carried over, so skinny OLED indicators and matrix LED headlights could become standard fare.
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.'
What else 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 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? Really?
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.
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