By on November 9, 2010

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…

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19 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Porsche’s Slow Burn Edition...”

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Why change the handbrake ? Electronic handbrakes are a curse. If it aint broke , don’t fix it.

    • 0 avatar

      other than that this vehicle is fine except for the ridiculous Porsche price and reliability, they should have kept the engine air-cooled and Lexus reliable, I know that would be difficult but, Porsche has more than enough research and development money. This 911 looks better than the current one which is just too damn bland.

  • avatar

    It’s satisfying to a current owner to see the style continue. Not sure this benefits Porsche but I like it.

  • avatar

    I know these are just spy shots, but I think I can see those 10 extra cm of wheelbase, and I think they mess up the proportions. I’ll reserve judgment for the production model.

  • avatar

    911s don’t change much over time relative to other marques because 911 buyers don’t want them to. Porsche knows this intimately well; after all, they’ve been at it – what – 45 years now with essentially the same car aimed at the same market.

    While this may be boring to the nanosecond-attention-span internet generation, to 911 enthusiasts it represents a harbor of relative calm from from the stormy seas of more ephemeral, flavor-of-the-moment car designs.

  • avatar

    There is nothing wrong with the styling – I just prefer the mid-engined Cayman to the increasingly softer 911.

  • avatar

    Stop start technology. On a 100,000+ Porsche. It will certainly kill the stoplight drama these cars create… There’s nothing I like more than listening to a high-end, high-strung Porsche (or Ferrari, etc) idling in wait for the light to change… The anticipation of the launch is palpable. Stop start will kill that buzz for sure.

    I know the company needs to do it to stay in the game, but I sure hope that it will be owner-defeatable.

  • avatar

    Don’t you think it looks like a Continental a bit?

  • avatar

    Lengthened wheelbase or give up the US market due to the stupid footprint-influenced mileage requirement. SWB= hi mileage required, LWB = lower mileage required. No problemo on mileage requirements if they did make it as big as a Continental. JK, I think.
    Stop start because it is a 10-15% easy pickup in mileage in stop and go driving. I thought the mileage test cycle didn’t account for that, though. Does it now? I suspect for any credit, it would have to be the default mode, but overrideable.

  • avatar

    I can’t even begin to imagine how completely devoid of anything resembling a functional intellect one would have to be, to believe formulating emission requirements by footprint is anything but utter idiocy. Just the thought that such people actually walk amongst us, is enough to simply consider giving up o this whole charade of a “society” and side with Bin Laden.
    Other than that, as the 911 is becoming more GT and less “sports car”, and with the relentless increases in power hence operating speed, a bit longer wheelbase probably isn’t the worst of changes. Particularly in the high zoot, high power models, which is likely to contribute an ever larger share of profits, as traditional buyers such as small business owners and doctors are joining the ranks of the raped and asset stripped, in favor of the GT2 intenders who bought the Government.

    • 0 avatar

      It PROBABLY has something to do with the trucks. American trucks. And the Corvette in another class. And lobbying.

      Lots of lobbying.

    • 0 avatar

      Who is most successful at making full size pickups and what is their wheelbase? Most around here seem to be one person transportation; maybe they haul some garden supplies weekends. I don’t understand why they get a pass from the government. Well, I have an idea why two of the three do.
      OTOH, Euro pedestrian safety requirements have sure made for some fugly blunt front ends. Way uglier than adding a few inches to a wheelbase.

  • avatar

    The 911 is the automotive equivalent of a crocodile.  Not much’s changed about it and you can expect few changes on the horizon.

    • 0 avatar

      I would say more shark than crocodile: very capable in it’s niche, can hold it’s own, but with lethal flaws in the design that you cannot change without it no longer being a shark.

  • avatar

    Anyone with links to a nifty animation or comparison of 911 designs over it’s life?

  • avatar

    I don’t think it looks too bad at all. It’s still one of those designs that are hard to improve on, and therefore it’s rearend has not looked properly good since, well, 1977? The comparison to the evolution of a shark is very correct I think.
    Found an animation (allthough with terrible quality) for you BlueBrat.

  • avatar

    Is it just me or do the front wheels look like they have a smaller diameter (not width, diameter) than the rear wheels?

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