Porsche’s icon does not change often….but when it does….
Porsche’s new 911 will arrive in Australia around April. Codenamed 992, it replaces the 991 generation of the rear-engined German icon introduced in 2012. The $265,000 S and $281,100 4S versions will lead the charge. These prices represent small increases over the current models.
The 992 will bring perhaps the single greatest change in the long history of the 911. It has been engineered to accommodate a hybrid drivetrain, though Porsche execs won’t say at what point in the car’s six-year-or-so life cycle it will go into production.
But with the new 911’s European on-sale date drawing near, Porsche is talking fine detail on the technologies that will arrive with the Carrera S and 4S.
Capacity of the twin-turbo flat-six remains unchanged at 2981cc, but Porsche’s engineers have entirely redesigned its cylinder heads. One key change is asymmetric inlet valve lifting to promote efficiency-boosting fuel-air charge swirl. In the S models maximum outputs increase 22kW and 30Nm to 331kW and 530Nm. All you 911 trivia lovers need to know that the updated engine’s turbos now spin in opposite directions. The 991 had identical turbochargers, and this choice meant a flow-impeding kink in the plumbing for one side of the engine. For the 992, Porsche engineers have fixed this problem with mirror-image turbochargers.
Porsche engineers confirm the rear-engined 992’s standard eight-speed dual-clutch uses the same innards as the PDK in the front-engined Panamera. As in the big four seater, it’s a hybrid-ready design with room for an electric motor between the engine flywheel and transmission clutches.
Steel is no longer the majority metal in the 911 body. Where it was 63 percent of a 991’s structure and skin, it’s only 30 percent of the new 992. Aluminium is now used extensively; nearly all of the Porsche’s skin is stamped from the stuff, while extruded and die-cast pieces now take much of the structural strain.
Wider tracks front and rear give the 992 broad but seductive hips. Porsche has also opted for larger diameter wheels at the rear. In the case of the Carrera S and 4S, this means 20-inch rims at the front, 21-inch at the rear. It’s as hard to spot in real life as in the photos.
Inside the 992 the large central touch screen is a window into more advanced infotainment, connectivity and driver-aid tech. Porsche is adopting many of the systems first seen in top-end Audis, like the use of digital map data to influence timing of the PDK’s shifts.
By John Carey, 20 Dec 2018 Features