Rear-engined. Flat-six. Iconic shape. Pure 911.
After months of spy shots and rumors and a leak here and there, the eighth-generation Porsche 911 has finally arrived, making its live debut here at the 2018 LA Show. Code-named 992, the new 911 is unmistakably a 911, retaining its overall iconic shape and rear-engine setup. But this new 911 has a more muscular look, an all-new interior, and a new generation of turbocharged flat-six engines. Both 911 Carrera S and 4S come powered by an upgraded version of the twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six tuned to develop 443 hp – a 23 hp gain over the outgoing S models. Porsche claimed it achieved this additional power with improvements to the fuel injection system, higher compression ratio, and relocated intercoolers and turbochargers.
For now, a new eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is standard but Porsche promises the seven-speed manual will return at a later date. These engine improvements and new gearbox add up to even better performance. Porsche says to expect the rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera S to blast from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds. The all-wheel drive 4S will do the deed in 3.4 seconds. Both figures are a 0.4-second improvement over its immediate predecessors.
Adding the optional Sport Chrono Package will decrease each of those times by two tenths of a second. Top speed has been clocked at 191 mph for the Carrera S and 190 mph for the 4S. Engineers also focused on new systems for increased safety and comfort, specifically Wet Mode. This new and standard feature detects water on the road, preconditions the stability control and anti-lock brake systems as necessary, and warns the driver about those road conditions. There’s also a camera-based warning and brake assist system, also standard, capable of detecting the risk of collision with moving objects, specifically other cars, and will initiate emergency braking if deemed necessary.
Other impressive pieces of safety tech include optional Night Vision Assist, which utilizes a thermal camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, and an Emergency Assist Function. But this is all mostly invisible to human eyes; what about the exterior design? Well, what can we say? It’s without question a Porsche 911. There are, however, several changes. Among them, the LED headlights are redesigned, as are the front and rear bumpers. The door handles are now electric units, and the taillights are much slimmer and feature a full-width LED bar.
Take a tape measure to both the 992 and the outgoing car and you’ll discover the wider wheel arches that increase overall width by exactly 1.77 inches up front. Rear body width is now the same width of the previous Carrera 4 and GTS, 72.9 inches. Those larger wheel arches can accommodate a wider 1.6-inch front track. To help reduce overall weight, every body panel on the car is now made of aluminum, the sole exceptions being the front and rear fascias. Wheel sizes are staggered with 20-inches up front and 21 at the rear. For 911 fans, Porsche also made a styling tribute to past 911s with the front hood’s pronounced contours and extending all the way to the bumper.
The all-new cabin takes inspiration from 1970s era 911s, most noticeably with the dashboard’s straight lines with recessed instruments. Both left and right of the centrally-located tachometer are two thin, frameless driver information displays. Under the 10.9-inch touchscreen is switch panel with five buttons that provide access to a number of vehicle functions. Adaptive 8-way sport seats with improved lateral support are optional.
For now, Porsche has only revealed the S and 4S models, so we don’t know just yet what the new base price will be for the Carrera and Carrera 4 models. But the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S will begin at $114,250, including the $1,050 destination fee. The 4S starts off at $121,650. Both prices are over $8,000 more than before, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar increase for the base 911s as well. Both the S and 4S will arrive in dealerships next summer and Porsche is already taking orders.