Porsche 911 992 (2018-...)

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Porsche 992
This prototype shows the best 911 design in 20 years, everything looks natural to the 911, without any quirks

The design of the 992-generation 911 will be closer to the 993-generation than ever before (993 ceased production in 1998). The majority of porschephiles agree the 911 design reached its peak with the 993. The front design of the 992 is most similar to the 993, with its front lid having the groove in the middle (not so embossed as on the 993, but still) and the lid will have straight front edge, not curvy as it has been on the 997 and 991 generations. Although the 992 will get good design stuff from the 993, its overall stance - its proportions and size - will be naturally determined by the 991. The door openers are flush with the body, which is cool, but their design doesn't seem to follow the overall design of the car and they seem to be a bit too small for comfortable access with the gloves on. Maybe this is the little imperfection that emphasizes the perfection of everything else.

The curvy shape of the fenders, especially at the back, is closer to 993 than ever before. The 993 was followed by the 996-generation which had its design formed by the aerodynamics, so it was sleek and didn't look as good as it should have had (the slick "soap look" of the 996 Carreras will probably be valued in the future). The majority of Porsche fans are not racing drivers, so they are interested more in better looks than in better aerodynamics. The majority was heard and the wheel arches have protruded again ever since the 997 generation launched in 2004. In 2011, the 991 generation once again got wider fenders, but the 992 has the perfect 993 fender shape. Imagine a 911 chassis with its wide wheels and just the cockpit with the roof and now have a blanket fall from above. This way you get the 993 trademark body shape.

There are also good news at the rear of the car. The lamp panel design language is from the 971-generation Panamera (launched in 2016), but the upper edge of the lamps is straight, they don't sag at the sides of the car. Straight rear lamp panel is another cool design feature from the air-cooled era nine-elevens!

The standard moving rear spoiler is wider than before. It is nicest when flush with the body and not so nice when erected (still, nicer than the 991 Carrera rear spoiler in its upper position). The exhaust pipes are positioned like on the 991 GT2 RS. The interior is completely new. The gear selector is very small and only acts to select forward or backward driving directon. The instrument cluster is similar to the latest Panamera - the central tachometer gauge is accompanied with digital screens on the left and right.

EU demands the CO2 levels to be decreased to under 95 grams per kilometre over the fleet of new cars by the end of 2020 (with even much lower targets for 2025 and 2030). This means Porsche not only has to start offering fully electric vehicles (which it will from 2019), but has to hybridize the 911 aswell.

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Porsche CO2 values achieved by 2017

CO2 emission Plug-in Peak power Weight
56 g/km 2017 Panamera 4 e-hybrid Yes 340 kW 2170 kg/4784 lb
66 g/km 2017 Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid Yes 500 kW 2310 kg/5093 lb
70 g/km 2014 918 Spyder e-hybrid Yes 652 kW 1675 kg/3692 lb
71 g/km 2014 Panamera e-hybrid (970.2 generation) Yes 306 kW 2095 kg/4619 lb
79 g/km 2015 Cayenne e-hybrid (958.2 generation) Yes 306 kW 2350 kg/5181 lb
*** 95 g/km 2020 average in EU ***
158 g/km 2016 718 PDK - 220 kW 1365 kg/3009 lb
167 g/km 2011 Panamera hybrid (970.1 generation) No 279 kW 1980 kg/4365 lb
169 g/km 2016 911 Carrera PDK (991.2 generation) - 272 kW 1450 kg/3197 lb
193 g/km 2011 Cayenne hybrid (958.1 generation) No 279 kW 2240 kg/4938 lb
212 g/km 2016 911 Turbo S - 427 kW 1600 kg/3527 lb
267 g/km 2015 Cayenne Turbo S - 419 kW 2235 kg/4927 lb
296 g/km 2016 911 GT3 RS - 368 kW 1420 kg/3130 lb

As you can see from the table, the future holds no room for the normally aspirated 992 GT3. Even the lightweight 2-litre 4-cylinder 718 is far from the 2020 demands and it makes just a small share of Porsche sales. The rest of the models are heavier and with larger engines, meaning drastic changes are carried out by 2020. The main downside in hybridizing a sports car is that it will gain weight. The weight increase on the hybrid versions of the Panamera and the Cayenne was 15-18% for the plug-in (e-hybrid) versions, but don't expect that much on the sports cars. As the Panamera and Cayenne hybrids are comfortably under the EU CO2 emissions, the 911 hybrid doesn't have to strive that much - the fleet average is the target. The 911 hybrids can be well over 100 g/km, which means they don't have to carry much batteries. Going over the 95 g/km CO2 in fleet average in 2021 translates to the penalty of 95 EUR per every gram over the limit per every car sold in a year. For example, the 296 g/km 2016 911 GT3 RS would theorethically be liable for 19.095 EUR penalty if sold new in 2021 (if not balanced out by electric and hybrid cars from the same manufacturer or group). The 158 g/km 718 would be responsible for 5985 EUR penalty, which makes 10% of its price. It is not probably the amount of penalty that would take the customers away from the high CO2 cars in the future, but it is that nobody wants to be a bad person.

All the 4-door Porsches will become electric and hybrid, versions with just an internal combustion engine (ICE) will disappear for them. In Europe, which is behind the CO2 regulations, Porsche sales amount to 55% for 4-door and 45% for 2-door cars. Roughly speaking, if half of the cars (4-door) will be under CO2, then the second half (2-door cars) can keep on polluting. This means a few 2-door ICE Porsches will remain, but the 911 hybrid production car will still come in the second half of 2018 (911 hybrid racing cars were made already in 2010 and 2011).

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Porsche 911 hybrid

The 4-cylinder 911, the 912, might make its comeback after more than 40 years.

Our speculation on Porsche 911 line-up in 2020

Model Engine CO2 Comment
912 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo ~150 g/km Engine from 718
912 e-hybrid electric + 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo ~80 g/km Small light battery pack
911 Carrera e-hybrid electric + 6-cylinder turbo ~90 g/km Small light battery pack
911 Turbo e-hybrid electric + 6-cylinder turbo ~90 g/km ~600 hp, small light battery pack
911 GT 3-litre 6-cylinder turbo ~200 g/km Lightweight RWD track day car, ~600 hp

The ones who have driven Tesla Model S, know, that electric acceleration makes you smile as much as you have used to in your 911 when flooring it. People tell the acceleration feeling in a Tesla is like in a 911 Turbo. If you don't agree, it means you haven't floored a Tesla Model S. The 992 Hybrid (and the 992.2 Electric?) will naturally be heavier compared to the 992 GT, but 991 Targas and Turbos have shown that heavy weight hasn't decreased the sales of these cars. With Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid Porsche showed that the extra weight will be balanced out with extra power (500 kW in the case of Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid). If you are not going to the race track - which most of the Porsche owners don't - you never focus on the weight of the car. And for going to the track there will always be a dedicated 911.

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The new meaning of Porsche turbo charging describes the speed of electric charging © Porsche

The top end 911s will not have more than 3-litre engines, but 600 hp will be taken out from them. The normally aspirated track day cars disappear meaning there will be one car instead of GT3 and GT2, and, hopefully with a more appropriate name as these days are long gone when GT2 standed for a racing class.

The 992-generation 911 will be launched in 2018. As Europe only makes 20% of Porsche sales, the 2021 EU rules probably will not affect 100% the models sold in USA, China and other markets.

Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com

Before the awesome 992 arrives, keep enjoying the awesome 991

Oct, 29 – 78th birthday of Hans-Peter Porsche (1940)
Nov, 15 – 43rd birthday of the 924 (1975)
Nov, 19 – 10th birthday of the Boxster 987.2 (2008)
Nov, 19 – 10th birthday of the Cayman 987.2 (2008)
Nov, 26 – 55th birthday of the 904 (1963)