New Porsche 911 2024 facelift: Targa model makes an appearance during testing phase
Porsche’s updated icon aims to be the perfect sports car with more power and new technology
Porsche is undergoing the tough task of making its 992-generation 911 even better with a mid-life refresh and now we’ve spotted it in Targa form for the first time. We expect the updated Porsche 911’s full reveal to be in the coming months, given that our first sighting of the revised 911 was way back in February 2022.
Launched in 2019, the 992-generation Porsche 911 range offers a wide array of options with the convertible, coupe, Turbo, GTS and, of course, the track-focused GT3 and GT3 RS. The GT3 RS was only launched in 2022 so expect the full reveal of the hottest model to come later on. As for the Targa model, this might be the first time we’ve seen it, but minimal camouflage gives us a clear look at the design changes.
Like the facelifted 911 coupe there’s a new front bumper with vertical air intake slats. The headlights look the same as before with the quad LED daytime running light signature. The Targa roof section also looks unchanged with the curved metal section reflecting the original Targa’s 1965 design.
To the rear we can see a new lower bumper design and the air intake below the rear window appears to have been reshaped to channel more air into the engine bay.
While we’ve seen the front on the facelifted 911 (which we expect to be given the 992.2 designation) virtually undisguised on some other variants, the Turbo model still retains a bit of camouflage. As with the current 911 Turbo, it’ll feature some bespoke design tweaks compared to the standard car.
It looks like the front air intakes will be taller than on the outgoing 911 Turbo, causing a reshuffle of the front indicator lights. The horizontal slats within the grilles aren’t as pronounced as the standard car’s, either.
As for the side and rear, we can see what looks like a new design of the centre lock wheels in front of a set of massive brake discs - which on the current Turbo S are carbon ceramic as standard. The rear retains the distinctive full-width rear light, along with the Turbo’s low-level rear spoiler. The bumper still has some camouflage over it but the traditional set of quad-tip exhausts remain.
Porsche 911 facelift: model range
We’ve also seen the standard 911 testing, revealing a revised bumper with vertical strakes in the air intakes. To the rear that large wing looks identical to the ‘SportDesign’ package you can get on the standard 911 and beneath we can see the new exhaust tip layout and bumper design. We’re also expecting some different alloy wheel designs and paint options.
Porsche has been spotted testing the GT3 and GT3 Touring models too. Those designs will ape the standard car’s, with new LED daytime running lights. The GT3 models get a bespoke front and rear bumper and, while it looks unchanged at the front, the rear has some camouflage on it in our pictures, so expect some slight alterations there. The twin-exit central exhaust remains and on the GT3 the swan-neck spoiler looks the same.
Porsche 911 facelift: engines and performance
The 911 reached its 60th birthday in 2023, which Porsche celebrated in many ways - including the launch of the 911 S/T. During those six decades the 911 has been a fixture at or near the top of the sports car segment but it’s achieved that through constant improvement. We expect a power increase for the new car to help it stand out against the updated Aston Martin Vantage and McLaren GTS.
A new air intake and exhaust system could allow for more power. During the previous generation’s facelift (from 991 to 911.2), Porsche increased the Carrera S’ output from 395bhp to 420bhp and the GTS also received a 20bhp bump. A similar uplift could happen across the standard 911 model range for the updated 992 generation.
A 911 Hybrid has been testing since 2021 and while details remain slim, we expect it to launch soon after the 911’s facelift. Back in 2020, the then research and development boss for Porshce, Dr Michael Steiner, told Auto Express: “The platform is hybrid ready, and we have prototypes. I drive it myself; it's fun to drive.”
The long-awaited electrified 911 will most likely be based on the Turbo model. It could also end up producing more power than the 641bhp 911 Turbo S and take over as the most potent 911 available, possibly with the GT2 moniker, depending how track-focused Porsche wants it to be.
The refreshed 911 will also benefit from some chassis tweaks and, perhaps most significantly, a fully digitised cabin that ditches the current model’s analogue rev-counter. A snappier calibration for the eight-speed PDK gearbox is also possible. The seven-speed manual may also be retained for the even more driver-focused models like the GT3 Touring.
Inside, the facelifted 911 is expected to retain the same basic layout as the existing car. It’ll also benefit from Porsche's latest PCM 6.0 infotainment system, which has just recently been updated to include Spotify music streaming, wireless Android Auto and an improved voice assistant.
However, the updated sports car will move forward with a new, fully digital instrument panel, like that of the Taycan EV. The current model has an analogue rev-counter flanked by two screens, but this could be replaced with a slender curved screen that can display drive mode information, a map for navigation and a feed from the car's night-vision system. Don’t be fooled by the huge central screen in the latest batch of spy imagery. We expect this screen is just for research and development use only.
The next 911 could also receive an improved suite of sensors for more advanced driving-assist technologies. A raft of chassis and handling improvements is also expected to give the 992.2 sharper responses when the driver takes full control.
Porsche has honed the 911's suspension and steering set-up as part of previous mid-life updates, so a returned electric power steering set-up and revised chassis settings are likely.
Now read our review of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS...