The current Porsche 911 is arguably one of the finest sports cars in the world today, so coming up with a replacement is no mean feat. But replace it Porsche must, and this test mule is thought to be trialling components for the next-generation 911 that’s due to land in 2019.
Although the current 991 generation received a batch of ‘991.2’ updates in 2015, including a new family of turbocharged engines, it was originally launched back in 2011 – so it’s no longer in its first flush of youth.
The upcoming eighth-generation 911 will be built around a new modular platform and feature a wider range of powertrains – expected to include, for the first time, a hybrid set-up.
A hybrid 911? Really?
‘For the simple reason that electrification still carries a substantial weight penalty, sports cars will hold on to classic propulsion solutions a little longer than other vehicle types,’ Bloom said. ‘But even the 911 must eventually adjust, and according to analysts and the media, even plug-in supercars are making headway!’
That won’t spell an end to traditional-style 911s, though. If anything, the 911’s idiosyncratic character is likely to be preserved all the more carefully:
‘Porsche needs to launch puristic racing cars like 911 – we will go to both strategies, new and old,’ Bloom said. ‘Think of sports shoes: you can buy shoes of the ’70s and ’80s, people love them. In 10 or 15 years, fans would like to drive sports cars where they can feel it’s a real car. Porsche will in future be Porsche, that’s our strategy.’
Don’t be surprised to see naturally aspirated, manual gearbox models like the current 911R to keep a place in the next-generation 911 family.
What other cars will share this new sports car platform?
The next Boxster and Cayman, pencilled in for 2020, will use the same hardware and electronics. Potentially – if certain intriguing rumours are correct – a Lamborghini model line will too. Should the Audi R8 get a third generation, it may borrow bits of the new Porsche platform as well.
What else is notable about this next-gen 911 development car?
The wheelarches front and rear appear noticeably wider (in fact, the front arches appear to the same as those of the current GT3 RS, but with the trademark louvres filled in). Seems the next 911 will get a wider track, which should offer a potentially even grippier footprint.
CAR’s spies will keep their eyes peeled for the full body prototypes that are expected to surface in the next two months or so – check back for more 911 news soon.