Details of next-generation Porsche 911 emerge
The next Porsche 911 will be the most ambitious new model in years according to American magazine, Automobile.
Codenamed the 991, the car has reportedly been updated with a fresh interior, more powerful engines, redesigned suspension and better efficiency thanks to the addition of new technology.
Automobile claims the 991 will be around 45kg lighter than the current 911, and while the car retains the traditional rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, the rear axle has been moved nearly three inches to offer better interior space and handling.
Don't expect the new 911 to look much different, though. Porsche has refined the 991's aerodynamics, and the car will be available with 20-inch wheels, but otherwise it promises to be the usual tidy evolution of the iconic design.
It's a different story inside. Apparently the 991 has inherited a cockpit design directly influenced by the Porsche Panamera. This means the centre console now rises from the transmission tunnel to the dashboard, and the instrumentation has been made more legible. New electric seats, radar-based cruise control and dual zone air-con have been added to the options list.
The changes keep coming underneath the skin. The extended wheelbase gets a redesigned version of the current car's suspension, and the steering is now electrically assisted.
The new setup will be complemented by Porsche's latest electronic aides, including torque vectoring traction control. The 991's ride height is said to be lower than the current 911, and the car is expected to improve on the ride and handling of its predecessor.
Compared to the chassis, the engine updates are more conservative. The range will still be based on modified versions of Porsche's current direct-injection flat sixes. Expect a power boost from the current units, as well as economy and emissions savings thanks to automatic start-stop and brake energy regeneration.
As well an optional seven-speed PDK system, Automobile suggests Porsche is set to offer a standard seven-speed manual with the new car. That would be an extraordinary move, and we'll have to wait for the official details to emerge to see if there really is a new dogleg shift pattern to adjust to.
There's no word on when the 991 will make its debut, but with the model due in 2011 and the Frankfurt show on the cards next year, we wouldn't be surprised if the car gets its world debut at Germany's biggest international motoring event in September.