CAR: Porsche's next-gen 911

ahpadt

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So is it evolution or revolution for the new Porsche 911, Boxster and Cayman?

It is evolution for the facelifted Boxster and Cayman, both of which are due within the next six months. The revised Boxster will be unveiled at the LA motor show in November 2008, while the tweaked Cayman will appear early in 2009. Both models will receive direct-injection engine technology, seven-speed PDK gearboxes and minor interior and exterior tweaks in line with the new second-generation 997 911.

And the next-gen Porsche sports cars?

This is where things get interesting. Dubbed 981, the new Boxster (and its Cayman hard-top sibling) will share parts with the all-new 911, due in late 2011 and known internally as 991.

'It [the new 911] will be even more competent, even sexier, even more unique,? says D?rheimer. ?The design can of course only be evolutionary, but beneath the skin, almost anything is possible.?

But surely Porsche must update the 911's styling?

Asked to name three styling elements that will change substantially compared to the 2008 vintage D?rheimer answers like a shot. ?There is no more need for old-fashioned protruding door mirrors, the pending pedpro [pedestrian protection] requirements will force us to make relatively obvious alterations to the nose of the car, and for aerodynamic reasons we are also going to reshape the rear end.

'But apart from these must-dos, we won't tamper with the proportions of a true classic.? In other words, you'll never mistake a 911 for anything else.

What about clever tech on Porsche's next range-topper?

One area where Porsche will implement plenty of fresh know-how is active aerodynamics. In addition to the extending tail spoiler (you can see the experimental set-up on the 911 in our spy photos), there will be an adjustable front spoiler, and we also may see selectively blocked air intakes.

The 911 Turbo may even feature a virtual ground effects floorpan, featuring active jet-vents integrated in the wheel arches, sources say. All the better to suck the car to the road for that Superglue effect.

And what will happen to the new PDK gearbox?

Transmission-wise Porsche's latest dual-clutch unit (PDK) is the gearbox of choice until 2018 and beyond. At the same time, a super-smooth, low-friction, fictitiously staggered seven-speed CVT may one day render the notchy manual ?box superfluous.

Can Porsche go green in this eco age?

Like any serious CO2 fighter, project 991 ? and every Porsche sports car in its wake ? will make extensive use of advanced low-calorie materials.

?In this discipline, we learned a lot from the Carrera GT,? says D?rheimer. ?The supercar taught us plenty about carbonfibre, so that composite materials can soon be a serious alternative to aluminium. The secret to feasibility is automation, an area where we still have a bit of work to do.

?Together with other changes, the much more sophisticated material mix should help to reduce the kerbweight by ten percent and with it the fuel consumption ? no mean feat in view of the more powerful engines and the more complex chassis set-up.?

A complex chassis? In a posh VW Beetle with the engine slung out back?

What the Porsche R&D team intends to achieve is a significantly improved active safety even with PSM switched off, a better directional stability at high speed and on bumpy ground, more suspension compliance thanks to an evolution of PASM, and of course a more benign handling at the limit.

?It?s not as straightforward as it sounds,? says says D?rheimer. ?On the one hand, I still want purism like the feel of every loose chipping through the rim of the steering wheel. But on the other hand, marketing urges me to fit a parking aid complete with rear-mounted camera and beeper.?

Sounds like the next generation of Porsches are going to be at once sportier and more pampering. A bold claim and it remains to be seen if the new family of 911s, Caymen and Boxsters will retain their sporting focus.

What about ties with inhouse rivals Audi or Lamborghini?

'At this stage, every scenario is pure speculation,' D?rheimer vows. 'But why should the Panamera genes not reappear in an Audi A8 coup?? Although there exists no such plan, we are open to all sorts of options. We are also interested in pooling the resources as far as new electronic platforms are concerned.

'The same applies to all non brand-specific research subjects like the combined combustion system CCS or hybrid modules for front-engined cars.

'Another area where I can see huge synergies concerns active and passive safety. The next 911 will for instance be equipped with a water-level sensor which acts as proactive aquaplaning warning device...'

What about way into the future?

Active steering and torque vectoring are two catchwords which are expected to be part of the Porsche sports car vocabulary by 2018. Steer-by-wire on the other hand is definitely a non-starter, and rear-wheel steering has not yet been approved either, although it does have potential.

It's a brave new world and just goes to show that technology is going to continue to change the shape of the cars we drive for decades hence. Even top-end Porsches.
http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Secret-new-cars/Search-Results/Spyshots/Porsches-2011-911-and-2012-Cayman-the-full-story/?content-block=0

Sounds pretty amazing.
 
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Blind_Io

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^ What he said.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Secret spy shot...caught beach testing somewhere in Europe....


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Danny Tran

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Here's a thought: stop making a 911, only have a mid engined roasdter, front-engined coup? to rival with the BMW M3, bring back the rear-engine 911 as a special edition in 10 years time when people genuinely miss it.
 

jensked

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Why all the hate?

The 911 looks stunning, if you don't like it, just live and let live and use your anger to play soccer or something.

Don't know if i'm gonna like the next-gen 911's, but I'll wait and see first.
 

fbc

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But surely Porsche must update the 911's styling?
No, no they don't have to. It's a classic shape that's evolved over time. It doesn't need radical change.

'But apart from these must-dos, we won't tamper with the proportions of a true classic.? In other words, you'll never mistake a 911 for anything else.
Good, that's what I want to hear.
 

MXM

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Most important of all, will the flat-6 stay?? I've heard rumors they want to abandon it and move to v8 :(

I also can't help but laugh at haters giving advice what Porsche "should do" instead of keeping the most successful and profitable sports car in the world.
 

janstett

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Let me guess, it will be a radical styling departure that challenges preconceptions and redefines what a sports car should be. And they'll finally move the engine to the right place, surely. Oh, wait...

And you'll never mistake a 911 for anything else. Aside from a Beetle. Or a 912. Or a Cayman. Or any other 911 that came before it.
 
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ahpadt

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Most important of all, will the flat-6 stay?? I've heard rumors they want to abandon it and move to v8 :(
I very much doubt that they'll ditch the flat-6 in favour of a V8 in these environmental days. :)
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Most important of all, will the flat-6 stay?? I've heard rumors they want to abandon it and move to v8 :(

I also can't help but laugh at haters giving advice what Porsche "should do" instead of keeping the most successful and profitable sports car in the world.
I've heard at least once that a flat 8 could be possible. :cool:
 

Wizegui

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Don't say that! That would be like Porsche making an SUV, or..or Ferrari making a hybrid!
 

MXM

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I've heard at least once that a flat 8 could be possible. :cool:
But where's the fun in that... The beauty of flat-6 is that's one of few natural perfectly self-balanced configurations. The other one is inline-6, and almost everyone gave that up already for more cylinders and easier packaging. Next step for a proper 911 would be flat-12, but I don't see that happening in a road car :(
 
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