New 992 Porsche 911 prototype ride review

We take a passenger ride in the next Porsche 911, the 992.

Porsche has had to update its iconic 911 within ever tightening regulations, but it looks to have achieved this while retaining all the sporting character and usability that’s a 911 hallmark. We’ll find out for sure shortly, but our first impressions show huge promise, while the addition of a hybrid model is intriguing

In just a few weeks Porsche will pull the covers off its new 992-series 911, but we’ve been riding along as the development cars are signed off. Every new 911 is significant, but this one takes the rear-engined icon into the future, with new technology, revised drivetrain and driver aids, all the while retaining its signature driver appeal and usability.

The shape is obviously familiar, Porsche knowing better than to mess with its lines too much, but more of that shapely body will be constructed from aluminium in a bid to maintain the same weight as the outgoing car. That’s significant, because there have been a number of necessary changes to the engine, with European cars requiring exhaust filters which add weight to the rear. Ever-tougher fuel consumption and emissions regulations necessitate this, Porsche adding an all new intake system, new Piezo fuel injection and revised intercooling to the 911’s 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six engine.

New Porsche 911 unleashed at the LA Motor Show

The new 911 will be introduced in Carrera S coupe form at November’s LA Motor Show, with Porsche’s PDK twin-clutch automatic transmission. Significantly, the PDK transmission now has eight gears, this leaving some space in the gearbox casing for an electric motor. That gap will remain empty for now, August Achleitner, Vice President Product Line 911, saying: “The whole car in its layout, its structure, is prepared for any hybrid solution in the future. We do not do it right now, we will not introduce it in the next years, because we are not yet satisfied with the performance, especially of the batteries.”

In Carrera S form the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six will produce the same 450bhp as the outgoing GTS model, with torque of around 530Nm. That’ll be enough to allow it to reach 0-62mph in around four seconds, and move on to a top speed in excess of 190mph. The manual transmission, carried over in seven-speed form will join the PDK offering early next year, as will the standard Carrera - this anticipated to have around 385hp. 

In the Carrera S we’re riding in the interior is still largely covered but retains the large central rev-counter, that's now surrounded by a pair of configurable screens. The dash itself is now stepped, the centre gaining a touchscreen that’ll be familiar to Cayenne drivers. The cabin retains the 911’s signature usefulness, while refinement, especially relating to tyre noise from the front has been significantly improved, that's clear on the rough US highway surfaces.

With Achleitner driving on everything from city streets to mountain roads, it’s clear the 992 hasn’t lost any of the 911's agility or pace; the engine’s response appears even keener than that of the outgoing car, while the suspension rides with real control without harshness on more challenging surfaces. We’ll confirm how good the steering feel is when we drive it early next year, but the engineers are promising it’ll better that of the 991 before it. 

The cabriolet will also join the line-up in 2019, while Porsche will introduce Turbo, Turbo S and GT3/RS models in the next 12-18 months.

Filling the Carrera S’s arches are staggered wheel sizes, these featuring for the first time on non-GT models. In the S that means a 20-inch front wheel and a 21-inch rear wheel, which combined with a 40mm wide front track, improves stability and handing.

Also aiding stability in the wet is standard fitment of a new Wet mode to the familiar Normal, Sport, Sport+ and Individual driving choices. This safety system operates automatically, detecting wet surfaces via acoustic sensors in the front wheel arches and adjusting the stability, gearbox and angle of the rear wing accordingly. The driver is then able to select a further Wet mode setting should they want to maximise stability in poor conditions. 

It’s just one of a number of new driver aids being added to the 911, with the car also gaining the option of Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Night Vision. Convenience in all cars will be aided by keyless go, the door handles of the 992 popping out when you approach it.

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 revealed with six-cylinder petrol and diesel power
Toyota Land Cruiser - front
Toyota Land Cruiser

New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 revealed with six-cylinder petrol and diesel power

Six-cylinder engine line-up and clever new suspension tech for the new large Toyota Land Cruiser, but it’s not destined for the UK
9 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New Genesis G80 2021 review
Genesis G80
Genesis G80

New Genesis G80 2021 review

Is the new Genesis G80 a worthy competitor in the executive saloon segment?
9 Jun 2021
New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2021 review
Mercedes E 300 Cabriolet - front
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2021 review

The soft-top Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet gets the same updates as the saloon and estate variants
10 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
New 2021 BMW X4 facelift arrives with new look inside and out
BMW X4 - front tracking
BMW X4

New 2021 BMW X4 facelift arrives with new look inside and out

The updated BMW X4 line-up gets a new look and now comes with hot petrol and diesel options
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe breaks cover
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe - front
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

New 2021 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe breaks cover

The new second-generation BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe adds four-door coupe style to the 4 Series range
8 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Grandland SUV unveiled with fresh design and tech boost
Vauxhall Grandland - front action
Vauxhall Grandland X

New Vauxhall Grandland SUV unveiled with fresh design and tech boost

The heavily facelifted Vauxhall Grandland family SUV gets Visor design cues and plug-in hybrid power
8 Jun 2021