From the outside it'll look very familiar. Underneath the skin is a whole different story.
You’ve seen the spy shots and heard some tidbits here and there, but now it’s time to put together everything we know so far about the next-generation Porsche 911. Internally called the 992, the new 911 is expected to debut at the 2019 Paris motor show. The first thing you need to know, and probably already do, is that the 992 911 will retain its rear-engine layout. It wouldn’t be a 911 if that weren’t the case. Flat-six behind the rear axle. Case closed. However, sources claim the engine may be moved forward in the chassis by an inch or so.
Overall, the next 911 will be quite a big step forward from the current 991 generation. Remember how big the changes were from the 997 to the 911? Expect that once again. The exterior design will not be mistaken for anything other than a 911, as the styling will be evolutionary from the current model. Both coupe and convertible body styles will be on offer. However, the overall proportions, based on what we can clearly see from spy shots, will be altered. Along with new head- and taillights, there’s a wide rear spoiler and wider track. Also notice the hood, which extends all the way down to the front end, reminiscent of the classic bodied 911.
The rear-end styling, at least from what we can tell from a leaked image, bears a resemblance to the Mission E concept’s rear. Speaking of which, what will power the world’s favorite butt-engined sports car? Just like the current 991.2, there will be a range of turbocharged flat-six engines, beginning with the Carrera’s 3.0-liter flat-six rated at around 400 hp. Moving up the lineup, the Carrera S and GTS will contribute an additional 20 to 30 ponies, give or take. The new 911 Turbo, however, may or may not retain the current 3.8-liter turbo. It’s possible Porsche has opted to reduce displacement instead, and will therefore utilize the 3.0 turbo once again, although it’ll produce more power than current 911 Turbo’s 540 hp.
Rear- and all-wheel drive will be offered and rumor has it an eighth clog will be added to the PDK dual-clutch transmission. Will the seven-speed manual also return? For Europe, likely not, but US buyers still continue to show a loyalty to the manual. Keep your fingers crossed. As we recently learned, Porsche fully intends to keep the GT3 and GT3 RS naturally aspirated for as long as possible. The current 4.0-liter flat-six could be retained although some updates are expected. GT3 models, however, are expected to keep the six-speed manual. Porsche experienced the surprising demand for it with the 911 R as well, which lead to the GT3 Touring Package.
We can confirm a four-cylinder engine has been ruled out, as it would make the 911 too similar to the 718 Boxster and Cayman. What’s still very much possible, however, is a plug-in hybrid 911. The new car’s platform is capable of handling the necessary hybrid hardware. Porsche has yet to give a 911 plug-in hybrid the greenlight, but we suspect it will in time for the 992’s mid-life refresh due in 2023. As for an all-electric 911? It’s not even in the cards yet. Did you really think Porsche would use its signature model to be the first to have such a revolutionary new powertrain? No way. That’s what the production-spec Mission E is for, and maybe the Macan as well.
The chances of a 911 EV in the 992 generation are slim. Prices will likely increase a little, but won’t be dramatically different than the current model, which begins at around $90,000. Porsche is aware that bringing an all-new 911 to market is a big task that needs to be handled with care. Purists will always find something(s) they won’t like, but Porsche has demonstrated time and again it is the master of the 911’s fate. There’s no reason to believe this confidence will change.