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Next generation Porsche 911 – the 2019 992 could be a hybrid

Will Beaumont
23 Feb 2018

Porsche’s director of the 911 model line has hinted that the 992 could include an electric drivetrain

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has revealed that it won’t rule out adding an electric drivetrain to its core sports car, the 911. In an interview in Porsche’s own customer magazine, August Achleitner, the director of the 911 model line, declared his appreciation for the marque’s upcoming electric car, the Mission E, and that he could imagine an electric motor in a 911 in the future.

Achleitner did confirm that the next generation 911, the 992 chassis, would not be a pure electric sports car and that the flat-six engine is currently core to its character. However, he also hinted that the 992 might have a degree of electrification.

> Find out what the current Porsche 911 is like to drive

Encouragingly, as a man in charge of Porsche’s most iconic model, Achleitner was very clear that adding new technology to the 911, like electrification and connectivity, must not come at the expense of the car’s unique feel. ‘With each innovation, the decisive factor for me is whether it suits the character of the 911.’ Even though he could see a future where the 911 is an electric car, Achleitner is less convinced there will ever be a fully autonomous version: ‘A 911 will always have a steering wheel.’

What will the next generation 2019 Porsche 911 look like?

As well as hinting what the 911 might be like in the far future, Achleitner disclosed his philosophy behind how the look of the next 911 might evolve from of the 991. In true Porsche fashion the new car won’t be a radical departure from what we’ve seen before, but for good reason. He wants the 911 to be timeless, and he sees that subtlety is the best way to achieve that: ‘Even where the public might be expecting a bigger “wow factor”, in the long run a certain aesthetic reserve pays dividends.’

Although we’ve only seen disguised shots of the next generation 911, the 992, the biggest changes to its exterior look to be concentrated around the rear. They show the car with a light that stretches across the entire rear like on the current Carrera 4S. This car could be the next-generation Carrera 4S or, like the latest Panamera and Cayenne, it could be that every car in the 911 range will get a full-width rear light bar. It wouldn’t be the first time - both the 964 and 993 generation 911s had a similar design feature. The similarity to the 993 isn’t limited to rear light bar, as the squared-off bonnet with matching bumper and wings is reminiscent of the ‘90s 911 too.

Again at the rear of the new car is a full-width wing as well as a sleeker slatted engine cover and rear screen. The stuck-on central brake light doesn’t look as well integrated, but we suspect that’s just for the development mules.

> Click here for our passenger ride in the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo

What will the 992 Porsche 911 interior look like?

An interior shot of the next generation Porsche 911 has emerged, showing a full view of the inside of the upcoming model with very few elements disguised. As expected, there’s a Panamera-style centre console with gloss black surfaces and very few buttons. There’s also a wide infotainment screen in the centre of the dash with the same clean, black and white graphics that made a debut on the Panamera.

> Click here for our review of the Porsche Panamera

Between the gloss black panels we can see the new PDK gear selector. Rather than the tall ball-topped lever that the current car uses, this is a small, rectangular-shaped device. It looks as though it isn’t designed to change up or down through the ratios, however, and is just used select drive, reverse or park. The wheel-mounted paddles will be the only way to manually change gears.

If a proper manual gearbox will be available in the 992, we hope the location on the cup holder we can see in this latest spy shot – not far behind the PDK gear selector – is moved. It looks to be in the exact place that your elbow will sit when you’re changing gear.  

The 911’s famous five-dial instruments have also changed significantly; two screens have replaced the outer four dials. These displays look, from the picture, as though they can be configured to look like four dials but we suspect the two pairs can be combined to create two bigger screens, much like the Panamera’s dash. Purists can breathe a sigh of relief, however, because the centre dial is still a proper analogue rev counter.

The design of the steering wheel has also been altered. Thankfully not dramatically, considering how well received the 918-style steering wheel has been on modern Porsches. What we can see, however, is a collection of buttons filling in the two horizontal spokes that, it’s safe to assume, control the infotainment and dash displays.

2019 Porsche 911 technical details

A detail that the development cars reveal is the possible use of staggered wheel sizes. The car seen here in pictures seems to be running 20-inch wheels recognisable from the current 911 on the front axle and what look to be Panamera-sourced 21-inch wheels on the rear axle. Porsche has already used this combination of taller rear wheels and smaller fronts on the 911, but only the extreme GT3 RS and GT2 RS.

We’ve learned that the 911 will be based on a new modular platform that may support hybrid integration. A flat-six engine behind the rear axle will be main source of propulsion, and most engines in the 992 are expected to be carried over from the current model, but we will have to wait and see if a manual gearbox will be available.

> Read about Porsche’s strategy for an all-electric sports car in the future

As the VW Group continues to share its engineering among the various brands, the Porsche 911 has always remained one of the models least affected. This still appears to be the case with the new 911 according to these images, and Porsche’s dedication to elements like the manual gearbox and natural aspiration in its GT cars put this new 911 in very good stead for the future.

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