PORSCHE 911 992

The next-gen 911 is poised to drop late this year with even more power and hy­brid ca­pa­bil­ity. That’s the good news. The bad is that some reckon it’s the end of the line for Porsche’s much loved atmo en­gines. We’re not so sure. Here’s what we know so far o

Wheels (Australia) - - Contents - WORDS ANDEN RIGH

Next-gen 911: hy­bridised evo­lu­tion of an icon

EVEN THE iconic 911 isn’t im­mune to the dik­tats of EU group emis­sions rules. The VW Group, of which Porsche is but one of 12 con­stituent brands, cur­rently lags be­hind ev­ery other ma­jor Euro­pean car­maker in its bid to meet swinge­ing 2020 emis­sions reg­u­la­tions. This has in­sti­gated a push for elec­tri­fi­ca­tion within the business, with the 992 gen­er­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing the 911’s in­tro­duc­tion to hy­brid pow­er­trains.

An evo­lu­tion of the cur­rent 991 se­ries, the 992 will be un­veiled in Oc­to­ber, with the rear and all-wheel drive 331kw Car­rera S. The en­try-level 295kw Car­rera will fol­low in Spring 2019. With 48-volt electrics, a re­designed dash, ma­trix laser head­lights, an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch trans­mis­sion, and a chas­sis that’s been re-en­gi­neered for mild hy­brid propul­sion, the 992 re­tains the clas­sic 911 sil­hou­ette, al­beit with a higher rear deck; a look redo­lent of pre­vi­ous Speed­ster mod­els.

A plug-in hy­brid 992 is sched­uled at the mid-life re­fresh, with a full elec­tric model re­served un­til the next gen­er­a­tion car. The PHEV looks set to com­bine the 3.0-litre EA9A2 six with a 70kw elec­tric mo­tor good for a sys­tem out­put of 362kw and 761Nm and a 60km elec­tric range.

At the top of the line up, the Turbo S vari­ant, due in early 2020, gets its power out­put mas­saged out to 470kw, while the GT3 has been ru­moured to be get­ting a 3.8-litre tur­bocharged unit good for 404kw. That’s the ru­mour. Porsche’s mo­tor­sport depart­ment is nev­er­the­less said to be fight­ing tooth and nail to keep an atmo pow­er­plant within the 911 line up.

With the ditch­ing of diesel units in some mar­kets and the 2020 de­but of the elec­tric Mis­sion E, the VW Group’s most prof­itable arm has shown that it’s pre­pared to move with the times. Whether its tra­di­tion­ally con­ser­va­tive cus­tomers are so will­ing to em­brace change is another is­sue en­tirely.

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