New 911 on the blocks

Fo­cus is on emis­sions and fuel econ­omy, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

ANEW Porsche 911 is just over the hori­zon. Test­ing of pro­to­types in Europe points to a pre­view some­time next year, even with the roll­out of the 997 con­tin­u­ing with ev­ery­thing from the GT3 to the ul­ti­mate GT2 RS. Cars have been caught by Carparazzi in both win­ter test­ing in Scan­di­navia and hot laps at the Nur­bur­gring, where a rad­i­cal new hy­brid 911 racer — us­ing a ki­netic en­ergy re­cov­ery sys­tem de­vel­oped by Wil­liams F1 — l e d the Nur­bur­gring 24-hour race a fort­night ago.

The new 911 is the 998 se­ries and Euro­pean sources hint at a first pub­lic ap­pear­ance to­wards the end of next year, prob­a­bly at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show. This would in­di­cate Aus­tralian sales some­time in the first half of 2012.

Devel­op­ment of the 998, says Carparazzi, is fo­cused on im­prov­ing the car’s ef­fi­ciency.

The 997-se­ries 911 has a new en­gines so there will be no change in ca­pac­ity for the 998, just more work on emis­sions and fuel econ­omy. The car is also likely to be lighter, with more alu­minium in key ar­eas, and to have the lat­est pad­dle-shift PDK gear­box.

Porsche tries to dis­guise the 998 test cars with fake air vents in the rear wings, hop­ing to dis­tract with talk about some­thing on the GT2 turbo front.

But the car is def­i­nitely the new model, with a slightly lower line and what looks like a longer wheel­base. There is a ma­jor move­ment for the Tokyo Mo­tor Show next year which changes lo­ca­tion and date from its tra­di­tional Oc­to­ber run­ning at the Makuhari Messe on the out­skirts of Tokyo. The show will run from De­cem­ber 2-11 and will be held at Tokyo Big Sight. Fer­rari is cel­e­brat­ing the 60th birth­day of its grand prix team. It made the mile­stone on May 21, the an­niver­sary of Enzo Fer­rari’s team en­ter­ing the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix. Since then the Ital­ian team has com­peted in 799 grands prix, for a record of 211 wins, 15 driv­ers and 16 con­struc­tors world cham­pi­onships.

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