It’s been a day few of us will forget in a hurry. Under the bright lights of Petree Hall at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche started the next chapter in its most enduring story: the 911.
The new model, internally coded ‘992’, is an all-encompassing evolution of the outgoing 911, with redesigned bodywork clothing new engines and advanced digital driving systems, creating a cutting-edge reinterpretation of the definitive sports car.
Media from every corner of the planet were in attendance as the covers came off, and our eighth generation 911 has received a warm welcome from the automotive world. More muscular and purposeful than ever before, and replete with the latest technology in its classically inspired but ultra-modern cabin, the new 911 pays careful homage to Porsche’s past while embracing a dynamic and fluid future.
Strong bonds with the US and the west coast in particular encouraged Porsche to choose Los Angeles to unveil the new 911. The US is the 911’s most important market and has been a powerful influence on its evolution since the mid 1960s.
“California is the ideal place to introduce the new 911,” explained Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG. “It has been like a second home to Porsche for decades. The eighth generation of the 911 is even more powerful, even more emotional, and even more efficient than its predecessor – and also offers extensive digital features. And in spite of all the innovations, the 911 is still just what it has always been: a pure sports car and the pulsing heart of Porsche: our icon.”
This will be music to the ears of Porsche fans here and around the world, for whom the latest 911 remains the sports car benchmark. The newly developed engine receives larger turbochargers in a symmetrical layout with electrically controlled waste gate valves. Combined with a completely redesigned charge air cooling system and piezo injectors, engine improvements have been achieved in all relevant areas: responsiveness, power, torque, endurance and revving ability. The Carrera S engine now makes 450 PS at 6,500 rpm and 530 Nm from just 2,300 rpm (fuel consumption combined 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 205 g/km).
But beyond the headline numbers and complex tech we touched on this morning, there are a host of clever design details that promise to make the new 911 better than ever to behold and to drive.
For example, the vertically arranged louvres of the air intake now echo the contours of the rear window – all-black for rear-wheel-drive and detailed in chrome on all-wheel-drive cars. The centrally located third brake light has been integrated into these louvres, and since this light is hidden when the rear spoiler is extended, there is now a secondary brake light in the spoiler itself. Meanwhile, the exterior mirrors can now fold electronically and have been redesigned to minimise wind noise.
Inside, the front seats have been cleverly rethought too, reducing weight by around three kilos overall while significantly improving lateral support in the shoulder area. And although each seat is now positioned five millimetres lower and has a minimally thinner cushion, comfort has actually been improved.
Attention to detail is everywhere then, for the subtlest of design elements to the most intricate engine improvements. The new 911 has raised its game once again, and with it the bar for the 21st Century sports car.
911 Carrera S: Fuel consumption combined 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 205 g/km;
911 Carrera 4S: Fuel consumption combined 9.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 206 g/km