Porsche says the eighth generation of its iconic 911 will once again raise the bar for luxury sports cars when the Carrera S version arrives at dealers this month. The 911 has high-tech new assistance systems such as thermal imaging cameras for better vision during night driving and “wet mode” to improve handling on slick surfaces. This is needed because the 911 is much more at risk of aquaplaning due to its light weight and broad tires. Additional upgrades include standard LED headlights and a new subframe that isolates engine vibrations before they penetrate into the cabin. Engineers have also adapted the sports car for a digital world, replacing four of the five dashboard dials with virtual ones using two high-resolution 7-inch displays that flank the centerpiece analog rev counter on both sides.
The rev counter was retained because it is considered part of the car’s signature look. The high-definition screen in the middle console grew nearly 4 inches to 10.9-inches diagonally compared with the previous generation model. The rear-mounted, six-cylinder boxer engine from the previous generation car served as the basis for the new 911’s powertrain, but engineers coaxed an additional 30 hp out of the 3.0-liter twin turbo. Now its output hits a maximum of 444 hp at 6,500 revolutions. A new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission from ZF Friedrichshafen applies the 530 newton meters of torque to the wheels.
The 911 accelerates 0 to 100 kph in 3.7 seconds, four-tenths of a second faster than the previous-generation model, even without the optional Sport Chrono Package. The Carrera S has a top speed of 308 kph.
“I can promise you it will once again be the best 911 of all time,” said Thomas Krickelberg, head of the 911 model line.
Since the first 911 debuted 55 years ago, it has served as the benchmark for the segment, combining race track capability with everyday comfort. A common thread through all eight generations of the 911, according to engineers, is that its purist DNA has never changed. “The 911 can be described rather simply,” Krickelberg said. “The fuel tank is in the front, the engine in the back, the ignition left of the steering wheel and its distinct silhouette gives it an instant recognition.”
The 911 is far from being the brand’s top-seller - that is the Macan crossover - but it represents the core of the brand because it lends its prestige, design and sporty character to all other Porsches that have followed.
Unlike other sports cars, volumes do not drop off sharply after the first one or two years. “It provides a relatively stable, predictable source of demand with about 30,000 units sold each year,” Krickelberg said. The seventh-generation 911 was the most successful so far with nearly 218,000 built since its debut in 2011.
No electrification will be offered initially, but Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has said he is tending toward introducing a lighter, full-hybrid as an option rather than a plug-in hybrid, most likely halfway through the new 911’s life cycle.
To better reduce emissions, Porsche is replacing the solenoid-operating injectors with a new piezo-activated system for the first time. Found in many common-rail diesel systems, it can inject fuel into the cylinder as often as five times in a cycle and precisely time when to spray the ultrafine droplets. This leads to a more controlled and complete combustion process with fewer harmful by-products. In combination with the gasoline particle filter, which will not be available in all global markets, they ensure the vehicle meets the latest emission regulations in Europe.