Hatch hope on Porsche
The next 911 may hatch a hatch, writes PAUL GOVER in Italy
THE next Porsche 911, codenamed the 991, will have everything from automatic headlight controls to a new generation of performance engines.
And there is a chance the 991 could be a hatchback.
The new Porsche performance spearhead is scheduled for late in 2010 and 911 boss August Achleitner reveals there is a lot in the mix.
‘‘This will be a big change,’’ he says of the car, carefully avoiding any confirmation of the new name, which will follow today’s 997 and the 996 that came before it.
He confirms that a new wiring system and electrical ‘‘bus’’ will open the way for electronic upgrades, including the auto-on headlights notably missing from the 911.
But it is the mechanical aspects, including the GT2 turbo with PDK automated manual gearbox that comes before the change to the 991, that excites him.
‘‘This will be a very good car,’’ Achleitner says.
He says there has been talk at Porsche of a permanent change to the hatchback rear end fitted to the latest 911 Targa. It’s hinged rear window improves rear headroom in the car’s twin jump seats and gives an extra 25 litres of luggage space.
But there is a stumbling block — and it has nothing to do with styling, cost or complication.
‘‘This is a concern for our motorsport colleagues. The rear window is important for the stiffening of the body,’’ Achleitner says.
He says a rollcage would restore much of the lost strength, but competition use is an important consideration for the 911 and there could not be a hatchback go-ahead without a workable solution for competing on the track.
Targa target: the hatchback on the latest Targa range could be utilised in the next 911.