These are the latest spy images of the next-generation Porsche 911 in testing ahead of its official launch at next year’s Frankfurt motor show.
Codenamed 991, the heavily re-engineered coupé and cabriolet are set to go on sale in the UK in October 2011. They will get freshened exterior styling, a higher-quality interior, more powerful yet highly fuel-efficient six-cylinder boxer engines, sharpened dynamics and a greater list of high-end options.
As with today’s 911, the front-end structure, complete with its MacPherson strut suspension, has been designed to be shared with the Boxster, a third-generation model of which is due to reach the UK in March 2012. The rear end, with its reworked multi-link suspension, remains largely unique, and the steering uses an electro-mechanical set-up.
The new car is marginally longer and wider than the existing 911 but the basic silhouette, while stretched slightly, remains largely unchanged, including the screen angles and length of the front and rear overhangs. The biggest change is the widened wings, which have been designed to accept wheels up to 20 inches in diameter.
Again, there are no major changes to the 911’s styling. Headlamps and tail-lights have been altered slightly and given new LED graphics, while the exterior mirror housings now sit outboard on the doors rather than in the blanked-off quarter panel at the base of the A-pillar.
The engine line-up is based around upgraded versions of Porsche’s six-cylinder, direct injection petrol unit, boasting incremental increases in power and torque and slight reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
When UK sales get under way in 14 months’ time there will be a 3.6-litre engine with 365bhp and 295lb ft in the Carrera. It will be joined from the outset by a revised 3.8-litre powerplant delivering 415bhp and 325lb ft in the Carrera S.
Both engines will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard; the seven-speed PDK (Porsche Doppel Kupplung) unit is an option, with shift paddles behind the wheel. Automatic stop-start and a brake recuperation system are also planned, helping to provide a claimed 12 per cent gain in city driving economy for the rear-drive Carrera and Carrera S.
Further variants will follow in time, including more powerful versions of the Turbo, GT3 and GT2.