Refreshed saloon is much more convincing inside, but range-topping 2.5-litre...
As expected, the 992-generation 911 will be an evolution over the current model in terms of styling, although under-the-skin updates will be more thorough as the car enters its eighth generation.
911 model director August Achleitner didn’t say exactly which autonomous features the car would have, but hinted that it would be more advanced than before, adding that the driver will always be the focus of the model: “a 911 will always have a steering wheel,” adding that “the 911 will be one of the last cars to drive autonomously.”
Lane keep assist, the system which inputs small movements in the steering wheel to keep the car in the middle of the lane, is expected to make it into the new car - it’s currently not available on the 911. The driver will be able to switch off the assistance systems too, says Achleitner: “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.”
The car will not be a full-electric model, said Achleitner, although the approach of a full-EV 911 is ever closer: “Two years ago I’d have said no way. Today I wouldn’t categorically rule it out.”
Just days before the official preview, the car's new rear design was shown long before it is officially revealed thanks to a leaked image.
A single image of the new model's back end was posted to Instagram but has since been removed. The image captures the new rear light bar, raised rear engine cover and vertical vent slats. Porsche UK made no comment when Autocar asked about the image's authenticity, but the similarity in design and shape to spotted development cars suggests it is indeed genuine.
When it arrives, the next-generation 911 range will be led by a 630bhp Turbo S. As shown by our spy pictures, the entire line-up will receive a more muscular look that takes influence from the iconic design of Speedster models from yesteryear.
The Turbo and Turbo S models will remain the most aggressive, with wide rear arches and a fixed rear wing signalling their potent performance (more on that later).
Much of their added muscle comes from the next-gen 911's haunched back, which resembles that of 2011's 997 Speedster (itself a model influenced by the original 356 Speedster from 1954).
The raised rear is likely to be a design feature rather than a technical requirement to fit a hybrid powertrain. Although the 992-generation 911 will be the first to be offered with hybrid technology, Autocar understands that this change will have no noticeable impact on the car's exterior design.
Engines and power outputs
The future 911 range, including the GT3, will exclusively use turbocharged six-cylinder engines, marking the end of naturally aspirated units for the line-up.
The GT3 will deliver more than 500bhp, while the standard models are set to get an extra 10-15bhp over today’s Carrera and Carrera S. The current Carrera and Carrera S deliver 364bhp and 414bhp respectively, so the 992-generation 911 will produce 375-429bhp.
The electrified powertrain has provided engineers with a packaging challenge, but product line director Erhard Mössle, now retired, previously told Autocar that "CO2 regulations in 2020" have spurred on the hybrid model's development.
The range-topping Turbo S will be powered by a ramped-up version of the current car's 3.8-litre flat-six to become a genuine threat to the Ferrari 488 GTB. Porsche engineers have decided against including hybrid technology on the variant in a bid to save weight.
The future flagship model will borrow engine hardware from the GT2 RS to ensure that its output jumps by 50bhp to 630bhp compared with today's Turbo S - edging it to within 30bhp of the 488 GTB.
The regular Turbo model that sits beneath the Turbo S is predicted to have 592bhp, which is 61bhp more than today's 991 version. Both the Turbo and Turbo S will be capable of more than 200mph.
The 992 911, which is the eighth generation of the sports car, will be built around an evolved MMB structure with a wider footprint than the current 991-gen range. The photographed test car above (spotted last year) wore wheel arch extensions - evidence of a wider track that will give the 992 improved high-speed stability and better space for rear passengers. The car's length will remain unchanged.
Modular design will enable the structure's use for next-generation versions of the Boxster and Cayman, while it could also influence the design and engineering of future Audi R8 and Lamborghini Huracán models. The updated structure will make more extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminium in order to cut weight.
Visible on the photographed cars is a full-width retractable rear wing. This will come as part of several active aerodynamic parts tasked with enhancing stability with downforce when additional grip is required. An active front spoiler is also a possibility, although this hasn't been seen on test cars so far.
Interior and dashboard
The latest Cayenne and Panamera offer the biggest clues as to what the 992 911's dashboard design will be like. Spotted development cars have featured a central rev counter that's flanked by two digital screens, located in a cluster that curves around the centre console touchscreen.
The technology mimics the wraparound design of Volkswagen Group stablemate Audi's Virtual Cockpit but keeps a more traditional layout, with revs remaining the main focus.
Like its forebears, the 992 911 will also be produced in Targa form, although this isn't expected to arrive until later.