Porsche 911: 2011’s new 991 generation scooped

Published: 04 November 2010

These are the best shots yet of the new Porsche 911, which will be unveiled in 2011. It’s codenamed 991 and represents one of the biggest shifts in 911-kind since the transition from air-cooled 993 to water-cooled 996.

Our spies have caught both coupe and convertible 911s on test on the Continent. The location was so secret, they’ve had to remove the background to hide their location.

But it looks the same as today’s Porsche 911!

Yes, yes – but that’s the Porsche way. For now, at least. Volkswagen is steadily integrating Porsche into its portfolio and group styling chief Walter de’Silva has already publicly criticised Porsche’s conservative designs in an interview with CAR Magazine (July 2010).

‘Design is very important [to Porsche], but it is based on an icon that is the 911,’ he told us. ‘To compete in the future, it has to spend a lot of time on design. Not to change its history, heritage or philosophy but I think its fixation with 911 proportions makes it very, very hard. We have to do better, but we need time.’

What’s underneath the Porsche 991 is more important

So while the 991-generation 911 looks very similar to today’s second-generation 997, the tech is arguably new. The 997 is a derivative of the 996 (the first water-cooled 911) so next year’s newcomer is arguably a big leap forwards for Porsche.

How new? Well the platform is significantly different, the wheelbase stretching by a substantial 100mm, the overhangs shrinking and the overall car is 70mm longer. It’s around 50kg lighter, too, thanks to more detailed use of high-strength steels and some composites.

The 991-spec coupe and convertible will follow the Carrera and Carrera S template, with both rear- and four-wheel drive models available. The entry-level car downsizes to a 350bhp 3.4-litre flat six, while the S sports an identical capacity 400bhp 3.8.

Seven-speed manual and twin-clutch auto transmissions will be offered, stop-start arrives and electric power assistance trims the mpg and CO2.

When will we see the new Porsche 911?

Not until 2012 in UK showrooms. But trust us, you’ll see it first at a motor show in late 2011, most likely at Frankfurt expo on Porsche’s doorstep.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet