The new 992-generation will be "the best 911 of all time" according to its model director.
Following this week's leaked photo, Porsche has released the first official preview images of the new next-generation 911. Codenamed the 992, the photos show the 2019 Porsche 911 wrapped in camouflage previewing its more muscular proportions inspired by Speedsters of the past. Don't expect a dramatic design overhaul, though – this is still instantly recognizable as a 911. "Even where the public might be expecting a bigger 'wow factor,' in the long run a certain aesthetic reserve pays dividends," said model director August Achleitner.
Porsche has been closely monitoring industry trends like digitalization, electrification, and connectivity. Achleitner hinted that the new 911 will have more advanced autonomous driver assists, but that the driving experience will still be at the forefront. "That's why a 911 will always have a steering wheel," he said, adding that "the 911 will be one of the last cars to drive autonomously." For the first time in the model's history, Lane Keep Assist is expected to feature in the new 911. According to Achleitner, the driver will be able to switch off driver assists. "Those are convenient and useful things. But the customer has to make the choice to use them and, above all, be able to switch them off when they're not desired."
Porsche admits that the 911 will not change radically, but it's still evolving. 1997 marked the end of air-cooled engines and the dawn of water-cooled flat-six engines. More recently, in 2015 the Carrera's rear-mounted naturally aspirated engine was replaced by a turbo engine. "Some fans rushed the barricades; it was all gloom and doom for many," said Achleitner, yet newer models have been even more positively received. "And then the same thing happened as always: nothing. That encourages us to think about fundamental innovations in the future as well." Achleitner is of course referring to Porsche embracing electrification for the 911.
Rumors suggest the new 911 will be offered as a 485-hp plug-in hybrid for the first time, possibly as part of its mid-cycle update in 2023. And while the new 911 won't be fully electric, Achleitner isn't ruling out the possibility in the future. "Two years ago I'd have said no way. Today I wouldn't categorically rule it out," he said. "I drove the prototype of our coming electric sports car, the Mission E, and it was a very compelling experience. And the performance of the Porsche LMP race cars with hybrid drive systems is quite simply sensational." Powering the new 911 will be an upgraded version of the current car's turbocharged flat-six. Leading the next-generation 911 range will be a Turbo S with 630 hp.
The base Carrera will reportedly have 400 hp, while the Carrera S will be bumped up to 450 hp. Achleitner teased the evolutionary changes to the new 992-gen model will make it "the best 911 of all time," but we'll have to wait until the Paris Auto Show in October to find out if it lives up to the hype.