A new Porsche 911 is on its way. The new car, codenamed 992, will replace the current 991-generation 911 that's been with us since 2011. And as you can probably guess, the new 911 won't be radically different from its predecessor, as has always been the case with this model.
This story, originally published 9/6/18, will be continually updated as more information is learned. It was last updated 11/5/18.
Porsche hasn't said much yet about the 992, having only released a few images of a camouflaged prototype and . A couple of magazines had a chance to ride along in prototypes, too. So, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Here's a rundown of what we know for certain, and what we're pretty sure about when it comes to the next 911.
It's Based on a Modified 991 Platform
At the LA Auto Show last November, Achleitner told us a bit about the next 911, including the fact that it'll ride on a "modified" version of the current 991 platform.
This seems to fit a pattern. The 996, launched in 1997, rode on an all-new platform, one that was revised for its successor, the 997. The next generation, the 991, started from a clean sheet with an all-new platform. So it makes sense that the 992 would use a revamp of the existing platform, and that an all-new design might follow after the 992 has run its course.
the narrow bodywork used for the current rear-drive Carrera and Carrera S will go away. Instead, all 911 Carreras will get the wider fenders from Carrera 4 models, allowing for increased track widths front and rear. This should help with grip and turn-in.
Otherwise, the 911's dimensions won't change much when it becomes the 992. The 96.5-inch wheelbase remains, while overall length increases by one inch thanks to a larger front overhang. Thanks to aluminum replacing steel for the rear fenders, weight should stay the same, too, in spite of new tech features available.
It Gets Staggered Wheels
Right now, the only 911s to come with staggered wheels are the GT2 RS and GT3 RS, which use 21-inch wheels at the back and 20s up front. For the 992, Carrera S models will use the same size wheels, while base Carreras get 19s up front and 20s out back.
It'll Still Have a Flat-Six Out Back
A rear-mounted flat-six has been the defining feature of the 911 since its launch in 1963, so why would things be any different for the new one? Well, has its engine in front of the rear axle for better weight distribution, breaking with years of tradition.
Despite this mid-engine 911 race car, Porsche has no intention of relocating the engine in the 911 street car. Dr. Frank Walliser, head of Porsche Motorsport, told us so in 2016, at the first public presentation of the RSR.
Porsche has a pretty rigid view of what the 911 is and isn't. What it is, in the company's view, is a four-seat sports car with a flat-six out back. Porsche knows that those rear seats are a big part of the car's appeal, even if they're child-sized at best—and that they'd be impossible in a mid-engine layout. As for the RSR? Porsche will tell you the changes to that car were forced by the nature of today's sports-car racing rules.
Most Will Be Turbocharged
In 2015, Porsche abandoned naturally aspirated engines in 911 Carrera models, replacing them with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo unit. , this engine will carry over for the 992, though it gets a new intercooler, higher-flow cast-iron exhaust headers, and piezo fuel injectors, which offer greater control. Compression ratio will rise from 10.0:1 to 10.5:1, too.
The base Carrera will use the same turbos as before, though they'll run slightly less boost. Thanks to the other engine upgrades, though, it'll still offer a jump in power—370 to 385 hp. The Carrera S will get larger turbos from the Carrera GTS, which boosts horsepower from 420 to 450. Car and Driver speculates the eventual Carrera GTS will offer 480 hp. These 3.0-liter twin-turbos also get new engine mounts that should help increase stiffness at the rear of the car while cutting down on weight.
Porsche will, of course, continue offering the capital-T Turbo, too. Today, the Turbo and Turbo S use a 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six, though it's unclear whether that engine will continue in the 992.
And if you see rumors about the next GT3 going turbo, take them with a large grain of salt. Porsche Motorsport—which develops GT road cars alongside Porsche's race cars—has gone on the record saying it wants to continue using naturally aspirated motors for as long as possible. The naturally aspirated 4.0-liter six in the current GT3 and GT3 RS is an important differentiator between those and other 911s models. And for racing, a non-turbo motor is lighter and simpler.
If racing regulations change to favor turbo motors, then the GT3 and GT3 RS could go turbo, but that doesn't seem likely.
You'll Still Be Able to Get a Manual, Thank Goodness
The manual transmission seems to be dying, but Porsche will still offer one in the 992. We spoke to Achleitner at Rennsport last month, and he told us he's committed to offering manual-transmission sports cars for as long as possible. Three-pedal Porsches are still popular in the US, the company's biggest market other than China, giving the automaker an incentive to keep developing stick-shift models.
The manual will be a carryover seven-speed from the current 911. Of course, Porsche's PDK dual-clutch will be offered, too, it'll have eight forward gears, just as it does in the new Panamera.
A Plug-In Hybrid Is Possible, But Not Definite
Porsche knows a rear-mounted flat-six is the 911's trademark, but the automaker can't ignore increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy regulations. A possible solution would be to build some sort of hybrid 911, and rumors of Porsche developing such a vehicle have been around for some time.
In with Porsche customer magazine Christophorous, Achleitner ruminated on a future, electrified 911. "Two years ago I’d have said no way. Today I wouldn’t categorically rule it out," he said.
He covered the same subject with us last year. "The next 911 will have the opportunity to install a hybrid system when we're satisfied with the rest of the technology," he told Road & Track. "But a hybrid 911 has to fulfill our own expectations. Right now, it wouldn't do it."
Achleitner's main concern is the weight a hybrid system would add, noting that it would be too much for a sports car like the 911. When pressed, Achleitner said he wouldn't do a 48-volt "mild" hybrid system, either—it'd have to be a plug-in.
Part of the switch from the seven- to eight-speed PDK was to accommodate for a potential future hybrid model, . The new gearbox is actually slightly smaller, despite offering one more forward gear, which allows for easier packaging for an electric motor. There's also more space for batteries in the car.
We might see a 992 hybrid, but it's unlikely that it will debut with the launch of the 992. If anything, it might arrive with a future facelift.
It'll Look Like a 911
That much is pretty plain to see from the spy photos featured throughout this post. Nor is it surprising—the 911 has grown in its 50 years, but its basic shape has remained the same.
"Even where the public might be expecting a bigger 'wow factor,' in the long run, a certain aesthetic reserve pays dividends," Achleitner told .
There will be a few detail changes, however. From these spy shots we see a three-dimensional light bar taillight that resembles those on the new Panamera and Cayenne, and a bigger active spoiler. Up front, a new hood is squared off and extends further down the front bumper, reminiscent of the "longhood" air-cooled 911s of old. The door handles also sit more flush with the bodywork and pop out when touched.
Evolution, not revolution, seems to be the credo at Porsche's design department. And like Achleitner said, that might not be a bad thing.
The Carrera T Will Make a Comeback
Porsche released the purist-aimed Carrera T late in the life of the 991. For the 992, Achleitner told us this won't be the case, as the model has proven to be a hit, and a personal favorite of the engineer.
The Interior Will Be Like the Panamera's
The Panamera established a new interior design theme for Porsche, with a big infotainment screen, and two smaller instrument panel screens flanking an analog tach in the gauge cluster. from our colleagues at Car and Driver show a similar dashboard design for the new 911.
We'll See It Soon
The 992's time is upon us. We'll see it debut at the LA Auto Show next month, and it'll hit the market in the first half of 2019. We can't wait.