The inevitability of death, taxes and the Porsche 911
NO MATTER how hard you try, there are just some things in life that will never change such as death, taxes and Porsche’s venerable 911 sportscar.
Having been on sale since 1963, the Porsche 911 has always delivered scintillating, if somewhat twitchy, driving dynamics thanks to its rear-mounted engine.
Breaking cover in eighth-generation form at this year’s Los Angeles motor show, the ‘all-new’ 911 might not look much different from before, but the 992-series sportscar represents a significant step forward.
Due to launch in Australia around the second quarter of next year, only the Carrera S and 4S coupes have been revealed, with the higher-performing GTs and drop-top Convertibles to appear later.
Most notable from the outside is the new recessed door handles for better aerodynamic performance, while the headlights are also now LED matrix units and the rear tail-lights are connected via a light bar similar to the facelifted Macan’s derriere.
The rear spoiler is also wider, while front and rear fascias are modernised for a more contemporary look that will keep the 911 fresh against renewed rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG GT and Audi R8.
Built on the same platform as the preceding 991-series 911, the new Porsche flagship is wider than before while the body work is now all aluminium to save weight.
All versions, not just the all-wheel-drive variants, are now treated to pumped up hips and rear haunches that add to the 911’s dominating road presence.
The new 911 isn’t all show and no go either, as both the Carrera S and 4S draw power from a turbocharged 3.0-litre boxer engine that is up 22kW to 331kW.
Feeding output to the road via a new eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission means the Carrera S can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, while the all-paw 4S will knock down the landmark sprint in just 3.6s.
If you are worried those times will leave you at the back of the pack in an impromptu traffic light drag race, buyers can also option in a Sport Chrono package that cuts down times by another 0.2s.
Top speed though, remains unchanged at 308km/h and 306km/h for the Carrera S and 4S respectively, but fuel economy takes a hit.
The old Carrera S automatic featured a fuel economy rating of 7.7 litres per 100km, but the new 911 model revises that number up to 8.9L/100km. Meanwhile, the 4S versions is up to 9.0L/100km up from 7.9L/100km.
Inside, the new 911 gains a Wet driving mode that will adjust settings for easier driving when damp, while the infotainment system now measures 10.9 inches for easier navigation.
However, for all the changes, pricing has also gone up by $3450 to $265,000 before on-road costs for the Carrera S and $281,100 for the all-paw 4S – both with automatic transmissions.
Purists shouldn’t be dissuaded though, as Porsche is promising the new 911 will also be available with a three-pedal manual option, though pricing – and with which engine – is still unknown.
The new 992-series 911 succeeds the 911-series that was in production from 2012 to 2018, headlined by special-edition variants such as the R, GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS.
Renowned for its sharp driving ability, supercar-good looks and premium finishes, the 991 911 also featured the last of the naturally aspirated mainline engines before Porsche shifted to turbocharging.
Not the first time Porsche’s 911 has made a significant change with its donk, the 996-series 911 of 1998 was the first of the water-cooled engines after switching from the much-loved air-cooled units.
Having been fitted with air-cooled engines from its inception in 1963, backlash to the change was vocal, but did nothing to dent sales of Porsche’s iconic 911 sportscar.
With such a long history of excellent models, there is no doubt the new Porsche 911 will carry on the success of its predecessors, and – like with death and taxes – there will no doubt be a new-generation successor to look forward to in the future.