Heavily disguised test mule spied testing chassis for next-gen 911

These are the latest spy pictures of the next generation Porsche 911, which has been spotted testing on the Nürburgring track ahead of its anticipated launch in 2018.

This test mule, which is wearing modified bodywork from the recently revealed facelifted 911, is understood to be chassis testing for the next generation model. The only details that give away this car's true purpose are its extended wheel arches, which are understood to hide a wider rear and front axles.

Porsche's product cycles are typically eight years long. Given that the current 991 generation of 911 was introduced in 2012, and was facelifted in 2015, a launch for the next-generation model at the very end of 2018 in time for the 2019 model year seems likely.

The new 911 will be a crucial product for Porsche as it'll be the first to come with the option of a hybrid powertrain. Speaking to Autocar last September, Porsche engineers confirmed they were working on how to package a hybrid powertrain in the 911's body - something that could also account for the wider stance of this first test mule.

Porsche 911 product line director Erhard Mössle said Porsche "needs an answer" to Tesla and the Model S. "There are discussions," he said. "It’s clear that we have to do something. We have to meet the CO2 regulations in 2020. The technology available is not far away from meeting our goals for such a car in terms of range and charging speed.”

Porsche already has hybrid powertrains in its Cayenne SUV and Panamera saloon, with both cars using the same supercharged 3.0-litre petrol engine in combination with an electric motor. The 918 Spyder also features a hybrid powertrain, which mates a 4.6-litre V8 engine with two electric motors.

As well as the option of a hybrid model, Porsche is also considering an all-electric version of the 911 in the same vein as the Audi R8 e-tron.

However, this model is not seen as a guaranteed production car. Mössle said Porsche would need to “look at what is the right time and whether there is the need for it. It’s expensive and you never know if you will get your money back.”

Base models of the 911 are expected to use the same twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat six engine that made its debut in the facelifted 911 Carrera.

Mössle also confirmed the new 911 will sit on a modified version of the MMB platform used by today's car and feature only mild styling changes. "The 911 is always an evolution, not a revolution,” said Mössle. “It will always be step by step.”

Among the other innovations planned for the new 911 is an all-digital dashboard, based around the same technology as Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which currently appears in the TT, A4 and Q7 model lines. 

Before the next-generation 911 comes to market, Porsche is expected to introduce its new 911 R in time for next year's Geneva motor show. That car, which has also been spotted testing recently, is designed to be a 'pure' 911, and is likely to pay tribute to the original 911 R, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. 

Read Autocar's review of the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Our Verdict

Porsche 911
The 991 generation of Porsche 911 was launched in 2012

The Porsche 911 is a sublime all-purpose sports car

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Comments
16

23 November 2015

With the increase of traffic? Why not use that famous German ingenuity to make the 911 smaller? Active suspension can be of great help to keep body roll whilst cornering in check.

23 November 2015

Hmm... Porsche needs a Model S competitor. Gosh, if only they had a four-passenger, fully electric larger saloon on the shelf...

Not sure what would lead someone to write a story about Porsche and electrification and not mention the Mission E, but it sounds like some basic lessons on editorial control and/or basic research are called for here...

23 November 2015

Don't care what anyone says,if my numbers came up,i'd have no hesitation putting a deposit down the very next Day.

Peter Cavellini.

23 November 2015

It's stunning. If my numbers came up I'd be straight to Porsche Nottingham to order one... And a Cayman... And a 911 Targa... Maybe a Macan for my wife... And a Boxster for my daughter (to sit in with her friends and pretend they are going in holiday (she's only 11))...

23 November 2015

From the little information provided in this article and elsewhere, it seems the next-gen 911's main claim to fame will be electrics: all digital dash, hybrid powertrain, 48 volt electrical system and most likely electrically controlled turbos...a 911 for the Playstation/smartphone generation then. Not all that exciting from an engineering point of view...but what can you do, the future's coming and its zero emissions. Cars can still be great, its just that they won't sound so good anymore...mmmmmm like that!

Cyborg

23 November 2015

Not at all exciting as the Carrera Turbo, the boxer 4 Cayman, etc.
Sad future...

23 November 2015

make the 911 wider, so that it's totally unusable on public roads. Wider than Ferrari or Range. Rover.

23 November 2015

Who on Earth could support the hybridisation of sportscars? More weight, less power, worse handling and most cost. All for a few MPG and CO2, both of which are irrelevant. This is against everything the 911 stands for and God help us if it goes the way of the i8, which may be an intriguing machine but is ultimately a PR stunt. I can understand BMW wanting to be seen to be doing the "right thing" but part of Porsche's appeal was that it never used to bother with any of that crap.

24 November 2015
Norma Smellons wrote:

Who on Earth could support the hybridisation of sportscars? More weight, less power, worse handling

Quite agree, I recall the almost universal condemnation of the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918. Overweight, underpowered barges the lot of them... or perhaps not.

 

 

24 November 2015

Impressive as they are, those hypercars are PR stunts, too. They illustrate the problems inherent in adding another drivetrain to a sportscar - complexity, weight and above all, cost.

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