The Porsche 911 doesn’t ever seem to age, and not just because every generational iteration introduces but the most subtle of visual changes. That said, even by Zuffenhaufen’s standards, the new 992 - revealed overnight in Los Angeles - could be perceived as being too familiar to its predecessor, the 991.
That could be an attempt at tempering our expectations, perhaps, as this 992 or eight-generation 911 has come at an interesting time for Porsche, specifically during the height of its throws as the company wrestles with its sporty, driver-focused, motorsport-honed history with the advent of electrification.
Technologically, as they’re keen to point out, this is a different beast over the car that it replaces. Before we detail the new 911’s high-tech innards, we should outline the car’s exterior evolution. They might seem minor, and indeed they are relative to other cars, but many cues have been taken from more classic examples of the breed.
The headlights are now situated higher on the belt line than before, leading to a single-piece bumper design as well as a more dramatically recessed front bonnet (or boot). The showcase variant for this new generation might be the Carrera 4S, known for its wider hips, but the 911 range has had its front track expanded by 45mm, a change that should carry over to all variants while the rear girth of the 4S has been made a standard body feature.
These wider body 911s also means that the midsection is made more recessed and therefore Porsche has taken the opportunity to add more curvature to its door panel, which now sees it adopt electrically extending door handles that otherwise sit flush with the panel. The company assures that the 911 shell is now made entirely of aluminium.
The rear is an area where the most readily seen changes are concentrated, but these aren’t at all unforeseen to Porsche trend followers. Its higher air intake with vertical centre brake light was previewed long before this reveal when the car was undergoing testing while the full-width light strip that connects both tail light clusters are a design already made common by the 718, Panamera, and Cayenne. Sitting above that is the equally full-width active rear spoiler.
Dual exhaust exits return on these turbocharged Carrera variants, though here they are more gracefully integrated into the bumper fascia, sandwiching the registration plate.
Under that (rear) bonnet lies a revised version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six first deployed for the 991’s mid-cycle refresh. Here the unit produces 335kW and 530Nm, but importantly can deliver that shove from just 2,500rpm. Overall, it’s an improvement of roughly 20kW and 30Nm from the outgoing car, credit to a new intercooler and turbocharger layout.
With the lighter body and increased power, the all-wheel drive Carrera 4S now boasts a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.4 seconds if the Sport Chrono Package and its overboost function is optioned. Being rear engined, of course, even the rear-driven Carrera S is almost equally quick on the sprint, managing it in 3.7 seconds.
Standard on all 911 variants now is autonomous emergency braking along with adaptive cruise control with traffic assist built in. Porsche is also touting a more advanced stability control system and ‘Wet Mode’ which uses plenty of algorithmic calculations to drastically improve agility and safety in greasy conditions. There’s also a Night Vision system with integrated Thermal Imaging and Infrared cameras.
Moving into the interior, again we find plenty of established design elements already found in other Porsche models. Nonetheless they have been tweaked for an increased driver focus on the 911.
The dashboard is now dominated by a 10.9-inch touchscreen for the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system while the raised transmission tunnel is met by the centre HVAC vents and cascade to reveal a quite a minimal array of beautifully milled switches and a slightly odd looking and quite minuscule gear selector for the PDK dual-clutch transmission. A manual will arrive further down the road, we hear.
Elsewhere, the instrument cluster retains the classic centred analogue tachometer while it’s flanked by a pair of angled screens that can display a variety of vehicle parameters in unison with the main PCM screen.