One of 2004’s crunch new cars, the new Porsche 911, is finally uncovered today. Autocar’s exclusive photographs of this barely disguised example reveal for the first time dramatic new details of Porsche’s reworked sports car, suggested in our artist's impression (right). The new 911, codenamed 997 to replace today’s 996, and revealed in more detail in our gallery, will not be shown publicly until September’s Paris Motor Show before arriving at UK dealerships in October. The most obvious change outside is the loss of the ‘runny egg’ headlamps, which revert back to a simple oval shape, although many other exterior details such as bumpers, spoilers and lights, are also modified. But the biggest changes lie under the skin and in the cabin.
Unlike the outgoing 911, which departed radically from its forerunner in every single aspect of its design and engineering, the new one is described by Zuffenhausen insiders as being very evolutionary – more along the lines of a major facelift than a completely new car.
Behind the fresh appearance, it shares crucial hard points such as the angle of its windscreen, the shape and size of its door apertures, turret line and 2350mm wheelbase with the car it replaces. It’s also extremely close to today’s 911 in size: around 4430mm long, 1765mm wide and 1305mm high.
Power for the new 911 comes from an updated version of Porsche’s familiar water-cooled 3.6-litre flat six-cylinder engine. The four-valve-per-cylinder unit has been fettled to produce around 345bhp – up 25bhp on the existing model. An even stronger version, with up to 380bhp, is rumoured to be under development for the new 911 S.
Helping make the most of the engine’s increased output is a revised six-speed manual gearbox, as used by the prototype pictured here. For the first time on the 911, buyers will also be able to pick a six-speed Tiptronic with steering wheel-mounted shift buttons.