LOS ANGELES – Porsche lifts the veil on the eighth-generation 911, revealing the familiar shape and predictably evolutionary styling cues together with the lightly altered dimensions and contemporary digital-based interior appointments of the much-anticipated ’19 model.
The 911 in coupe guise is on sale now and planned for North American delivery in March.
One of the key attractions at this week’s Los Angeles auto show, the new Porsche adopts revised horizontally opposed 6-cyl. gasoline engines featuring a new fuel-injection process for added combustion efficiency.
The rear-mounted, turbocharged 3.0L units offer slightly more power than their predecessors and can be mated to either a standard 7-speed manual or new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
In the new rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera S and all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4S the reworked powerplant delivers 444 hp, 30 hp more than before. Together with the revised gearing of the 911’s new dual-clutch gearbox, this reduces by 0.4 second the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time for both the launch models to 3.7 seconds and 3.6 seconds, respectively.
These times are lowered a further 0.2 second with the inclusion of the optional Sport Chrono Package. This brings launch control, revised gearbox software allowing faster gear shifts and a sport response function for added performance, giving the new 911 Carrera 4S with a 0-62 mph time that is a full 0.6 second inside the time of the outgoing 911 Carrera 4 GTS at just 3.4 seconds.
Despite the claim of improved aerodynamics, top speeds are little changed from the outgoing seventh-generation 911, with the Carrera S put at 191 mph (308 km/h) and the heavier Carrera 4S pegged at 190 mph (306 km/h). Combined cycle fuel consumption on the superseded European NEDC cycle also is close to the old 911 at 26.4 mpg (8.9 L/100 km) and 26.1 mpg (9.0 L/100 km).
The new 911 has been re-engineered with a new platform structure featuring more aluminum within its rear section for improved front-to-rear weight distribution. A revised chassis brings rear-wheel steering to both Carrera and Carrera S models for the first time in a move Porsche claims provides added agility and improved high-speed stability.
Stylistically, the new 911 continues the evolutionary theme that has characterized all of its predecessors since the original’s 1963 debut. The ’19 model is the second to be wholly designed under the guidance of Porsche design boss Michael Mauer, who also oversees design activities for the entire Volkswagen Group.
Overall, the initial coupe model takes on a more muscular appearance with tauter surfacing. Departing from tradition, Porsche no longer offers two body structures of differing widths. Instead, the new 911 has one standard body featuring rear fenders described as being slightly wider than those on the wider body of the old model.
Up front is a newly designed front bumper with a more prominent splitter element along its leading edge as well as three larger cooling ducts. Above the outer cooling ducts are new LED driving lights that, like those of the old model, double as turn signals.
The new model adopts a longer hood with more angular leading edges and a more defined indent though its middle section. The reshaped headlamps are mounted within wider front fenders with slightly larger wheel houses than before.
Further back, classical elements such as the comparatively upright windshield and shape of the glasshouse have been brought over without much change.
At the rear is a wider window with more rounded top edges than that used by the old model; a newly developed spoiler element that deploys in various stages from the top of the engine lid to provide added downforce at speed; and revised LED taillamps connected in the middle by a full-width LED light band.
Other changes include new Porsche identification, model badges that include the 911 name for the first time and a more heavily structured rear bumper featuring a wide black valance cover housing both air ducts for the engine bay and large oval tailpipe openings.
The new 911 has increased in every vital exterior dimension from its predecessor, though the only confirmed measurement is a 1.8-in. (46-mm) increase in its front track. However, officials tell WardsAuto it also has a slightly longer wheelbase for improved packaging.
The interior of the new Porsche receives a more noticeable update than the exterior with a dashboard the German automaker says is inspired by that seen in 1970s-era 911 models. Its design is more angular than that of more recent 911 models and comes with a new multifunction steering wheel fitted with the sports response rotary dial first included in the outgoing 911 that allows the driver to alter the driving modes.
The classically shaped five-dial instrument binnacle receives a central analog tachometer but digital displays for all other information conveyed to the driver. There is also a standard 10.9-in. (28-cm) touchscreen monitor within the center of the dashboard for the Porsche Communication Management system, which groups infotainment and other connectivity functions in a central unit.
Between the driver and front-seat passenger is a center console (left) housing a newly designed gear lever and electronic handbrake switch as well as a combination of touch-based and toggle-style switchgear for ancillary functions.
A new 12V electrical architecture has allowed Porsche to equip the new 911 with a series of new driver-assistance systems, including a so-called wet mode that detects water on the road and suitably calibrates the Porsche Stability Management system; adaptive cruise control with automatic distance control; night vision assist with a thermal imaging camera; and a brake-assist system which detects an impending collision and initiates emergency braking if necessary.
Other new functions include three apps available for the first time on the new 911. They include Porsche Road Trip, designed to help in the planning, organizing and navigating over selected routes; Porsche Impact, which calculates financial contributions to climate-based projects required to offset carbon-dioxide emissions; and Porsche 360+, described as a personal lifestyle assistant.
Although Porsche confirms just one engine for the new 911, the 444-hp turbocharged 3.0L unit used by the initial 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S models, WardsAuto understands others are planned. They include a less-powerful version of the horizontally opposed 6-cyl. in price-leading 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera 4 models.
Porsche also is developing plug-in hybrid versions of the latest 911. However, they are not likely to figure in the lineup until closer to a planned 2022 facelift, which will see the new model receive a 48V electrical system that supports not only part-time electric drive but also a new range of semi-autonomous driving functions.