There's a lot more to know about its familiar body design.
At first glance, it might be difficult to distinguish between the previous 991 911 and its successor, the 992. But the differences are there, and many are hidden beneath its sexy sheet metal. As we all know, weight is the ultimate enemy when maximum performance and handling are desired. Porsche is all too aware of this and the only solution was to innovate new lightweight components.
The all-new 992 Porsche 911 features more aluminum, less steel, and new composite materials that shave nearly seven percent of weight off its bodyshell. Impressively, no compromises were made in the areas of stability, rigidity, and safety. All three categories are at least at the same level, if not higher than before. How was this accomplished?
For starters, different plastic materials were utilized to create a hybrid A-pillar design that replaces the old tube reinforcements made of high strength steel. This alone cuts weight by nearly six pounds and even reduces the center of gravity. The composite material itself consists of three elements: pre-fabricated Organo sheets made of fiberglass, a ribbed pad made of die-cast plastic, and a layer of structural foam. The latter actually expands when exposed to heat during the painting process, thus securing the A-pillar’s reinforcement. Both the new 911 coupe and cabrio’s outer skin is now made entirely of aluminum, though with two exceptions: the front and rear aprons.
Porsche also had to develop specific tools to avoid damaging the aluminum during factory production. There are also more die-cast aluminum parts, such as the front spring strut mount and rear tunnel housing. Die-casting is beneficial because many major components can be produced as single units, meaning they’re lighter because they no longer have to be screwed or welded together. All told, there are no less than ten methods involved in assembling the new 911’s body.
While there’s plenty of discussion regarding the new 992 generation’s engines and performance capabilities, it’s also worthwhile to have a better understanding of what helps make that all possible: weight reduction. There’s a lot more to the body design that seemingly never changes much over the years.