Porsche’s next 911 shapes up as its big­gest seller yet

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - JOSHUA DOWL­ING

The whine from Porsche purists is be­com­ing al­most as dis­tinc­tive as the sound of the brand’s iconic 911 sports car. As each new model is re­leased, Porsche fa­nat­ics in­sist it’s not as pure as the last.

How­ever, if his­tory is a guide the new eighth-gen­er­a­tion 911 will go on to be­come the most pop­u­lar it­er­a­tion yet — be­cause of the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple around the world who can af­ford one.

Look­ing fa­mil­iar yet com­pletely new from the ground up, the 911 was un­veiled at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show. The cov­ers came off as the 911 clocked up a mil­lion sales af­ter 55 years.

The 911 may con­jure up im­ages of speedun­lim­ited Ger­man au­to­bahns — and it is still honed for these con­di­tions — but for all the gad­gets on the new model, we can thank China, the big­gest mar­ket for Porsche since 2015.

The for­mula of swoopy sil­hou­ette and pow­er­ful en­gine in the back has not changed.

As with ev­ery model be­fore it, the new gen­er­a­tion 911 prom­ises to push the laws of physics.

It has the key fac­tors that Porsche own­ers — and dream­ers — care about: more power and faster ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Porsche has slashed al­most half a sec­ond from the claimed 0 to 100km/h time, a big achieve­ment when the orig­i­nal time was so low.

The Car­rera S is com­fort­ably a sub-four­sec­ond car, clock­ing 3.7 secs in rear-drive lay­out and 3.6 all-wheel drive. It wasn’t that long ago that such per­for­mance was the ex­clu­sive prov­ince of mil­lion-dol­lar su­per­cars.

Of course, the new 911 is not only about speed. To­day’s Porsche cus­tomers also want the lat­est mod-cons.

To that end, stan­dard fare now in­cludes a mas­sive 10.9-inch touch­screen with Ap­ple CarPlay/An­droid Auto and em­bed­ded nav­i­ga­tion with real-time traf­fic up­dates.

The re­cessed in­stru­ment clus­ter and sim­ple yet el­e­gant dash de­sign are said to have been in­spired by 911s from the 1970s.

In what Porsche claims is a world first, it has de­vel­oped a “wet” driv­ing mode that “de­tects wa­ter on the road, pre­con­di­tions the con­trol sys­tems ac­cord­ingly and warns the driver, who can then set up the ve­hi­cle for a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on safety, by sim­ply push­ing a but­ton or us­ing the mode switch on the steer­ing wheel”.

The stan­dard warn and brake as­sist de­tects the risk of col­li­sions with mov­ing ob­jects and trig­gers emer­gency brak­ing if nec­es­sary.

Night vi­sion as­sist uses a ther­mal imag­ing cam­era that helps iden­tify pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and wildlife at night, hope­fully a bet­ter ex­e­cu­tion than other bands’ night vi­sion set­ups. The tech it­self can be a dis­trac­tion when the driver should in fact be look­ing at the road.

In the Car­rera S, the “boxer” six-cylin­der turbo gets a 22kW bump to 331kW. Torque fig­ures and en­gine ca­pac­ity have yet to be re­leased and, ac­cord­ing to the lim­ited fig­ures sup­plied by Porsche, the new model hasn’t grown sig­nif­i­cantly in size.

The price has, though. The Car­rera S will cost from $265,000 and the 911 Car­rera 4S from $281,100, plus on-roads — in­creases of about $10,000 each.

Porsche says the new mod­els can be or­dered now and are due in Aus­tralia be­tween March and June.

PRES­TIGE — LA MO­TOR SHOW

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