Imagine it’s 1998 and you’re the successful CEO of a company that makes, oh I don’t know, jewel cases for CDs. Business is booming and your four-year-old 911 Carrera coupe isn’t quite the paradigm you want to project. You’re moving with the times, and there’s a new, modern 911 coming.
Keys in hand, you walk into your local Por-shuh dealership and… what the hell is that thing?
Flash forward to 2012 and your company now makes an app of some variety: iPaintswatch or some such nonsense. You’re minting money at $0.99-per-download, and your ’08 silver-on-black C2S is due for replacement – your business partner just bought himself an R8, and you simply must have LED running lights to keep up appearances.
You head back to that same dealership – which is now equipped with a cappuccino machine – squeeze past four Cayennes and three Panameras and feast your eyes on the newest 911… (Read More…)
I know what you’re thinking.
I’m thinking it too.
Why me? How, with a host of competent hot-shoes, seriously-journalistic scribes and industry insiders here at TTAC, do the keys to a presser Porsche 911 get handed to the guy who publicly admitted to being not a very good driver and who has an unfortunate tendency to use four long words where one short one would do nicely? Would not the readership be better served by someone who could give you an in-depth, accurate 10/10ths dynamic assessment, or a brief, sober buyer’s summary?
Oh, probably. But there are two very good reasons I’ve got this thing.
Though this new 911 is all-new from the ground-up, and some two and a half inches longer than its predecessor… well, it looks like just another 911, doesn’t it? The Panamera-style interior is the biggest change in terms of design, but the rest of the design is just a tweaked-and-smoothed version of the shape we’ve become very accustomed to. Of course, nobody was expecting anything dramatic from the model that defines evolutionary design in the modern car world, but after the major improvement between the 996 and 997 generations, I was expecting a little more than this. Oh well, at least it’s still a 911.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, the next-generation Porsche 911 (991) will have its wheelbase extended by ten centimeters compared to the current model, a concession to US emissions standards which are categorized by footprint. The new elfer will also lose about 88 pounds and gain stop-start technology, in yet another nod to tightening global emissions standards. Oh yes, and the handbrake will become an electrically-controlled switch similar to the unit in the Panamera. Otherwise… has anything changed? These Erlkönig spy shots reveal the biggest non-story in all of automotive-dom: the 911’s styling really won’t change all that much for its newest iteration. Yes, the most consistently-styled car of the modern era will get slightly steeper front headlights, a more tapered rear end, and fewer vestigal cooling vents that survived the switch from air-cooled to water-cooled engines, thanks to the Porsche’s legendarily stubborn styling department. Otherwise, the updates are incredibly subtle (those side vents are taped-on camo, according to AM und S).
Can the Carrera continue like this forever? Will faithfulness to its classical form ever wear thin? A quick comparison of 911 sales to Boxster/Cayman sales (4,751 to 3,036 in the US, year-to-date) suggests that’s not going to be a problem anytime soon…
While reading the responses to a recent BMWBLOG posting by Josh Lewis, I noted that one of the posters had put together a very interesting comparison of the BMW M3 and the Porsche 911. To put it mildly, somebody’s gone Kirstie Alley while somebody else has stayed Goldie Hawn: