It's interesting that the new Porsche 911 incorporates not only technology from the future but also intelligent design cues from the past.
Mark Webber may not be piloting Formula One cars these days, or even Le Mans prototypes, but if you're a potential Porsche buyer or one of the marque's many repeat customers, that can only be a good thing given his involvement in new vehicle development with the iconic German brand, including the new 911.
However, Porsche enthusiasts will no doubt be relieved to learn that both hybrids will retain the 911's traditional flat six engine configuration, instead of downsizing to four-cylinder units. The body is now all-aluminium and gets a more seamless look by way of the pop-out door handles. Up front, you'll also find new LED headlamps, while the rear gains a "significantly wider" variable-position rear spoiler and a one-piece light bar.
The exterior design has been revamped and underlines the leap in performance of the new Porsche 911. While the nose is quite similar to what we've seen on the 991, bigger changes are found at the rear, with clean, seamless rear lights running the entire width of the rear of the auto. All but the front and rear fascia are now aluminum.
The 911's styling has clearly evolved over the previous model, with more precise and straight-edged detailing bringing a modern edge. In addition to a central tachometer, the driver looks at two frameless displays, while beneath the large central screen are five buttons for quick access to the most important functions. That touchscreen is bigger, too: now 10.9-inches versus the 7-inches of the old auto. The turbocharged flat-six engine of the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S now produces 331kW; 911 Carrera S: This corresponds to an increase of 22kW compared with the previous model.
The new 911s now come paired to an all-new 8-speed dual clutch gearbox and while Porsche hasn't confirmed yet, we expect a manual transmission option to come a little later as well.
For example, the new Carrera S (the first model to go on sale), produces an extra 30bhp, taking it up to 444bhp and cutting the 0-62mph time from 4.1sec to 3.7sec in the rear-wheel-drive PDK auto, and from 4.3sec to 3.6sec in four-wheel-drive guise. This advantage is increased by a further 0.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package. That drops the zero to 60 acceleration for the 911 Carrera S to 3.5 seconds, 0.4 second faster than before. With that in mind, the new 911 now has a standard wet mode that uses sensors to detect a wet road surface and better manages the stability control and antilock brakes. There are also standard warning and brake assist systems with autonomous emergency braking, plus Night Vision Assist and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go.
According to Porsche South Africa, the new 911 is likely to reach local shores around the middle of 2019, with indicative pricing to be announced shortly. Only the Carrera S and Carrera 4S trims have been revealed but you can count on Porsche eventually adding close to two dozen all up.