19 cool facts about the all-new Porsche 911…
With the all-new 911, Porsche has gone all out to improve one of the world’s best-known sports cars. Here are 19 cool facts about the all-new Porsche 911 you won’t have read anywhere else.
Any new generation Porsche 911 is big news in the sports car world. The model has been running since 1963 and has a following others can only dream of.
The 911 codenamed 992 is the eighth generation and the car that will take the nameplate to its 60th birthday. While the 992 is almost all-new (much of the engine is carryover but almost everything else is new), Porsche looked to its past for inspiration.
The 992 saw the return of the recessed central section of the bonnet, for example, something that has not been around since the 996 arrived in 1996. While the instrument cluster is mostly digital, it revived the classic five circular gauges of earlier 911s. It’s these sorts of details – and more – Porsche 911 enthusiasts notice.
Here are some other cool facts of the new 992 911:
- Engineers toiled over the analogue tacho in the latest 911, questioning whether a digital one would be better suited considering the shift in technology. They even considered drilling a hole in a digital screen to utilise the customisable display but allow a traditional needle to poke through. In the end, authenticity won out and the 992 gets a real analogue tacho.
- Number crunchers may notice a subtle reinforcement of the 911 nameplate in the rear air intake that features vertical slats. The parallel vertical central brake light looks like the “11” from the redesigned 911 badge sitting just below it. And if you could the slats on either side of that light there are exactly nine. It’s the ultimate in design nerdiness, except execs admit it was purely a coincidence.
- The 992 is the largest and heaviest 911 ever, in part to account for humans that are growing but also to accommodate extra safety gear, including full auto braking. Porsche also points out that the jump in power means the 992 has the best power-to-weight ratio of any 911.
- While many design touches on the 992 were made to visually emphasise the width of the car, designers had to concede defeat on the position of the outboard exhausts. A quirk of the German insurance system focuses on elements of rear damage, and placing them inboard reduced the likelihood of expensive mechanical repairs in the event of a minor impact.
- The intercoolers on the 992 now reside directly behind the engine rather than behind the corners of the rear bumper, all part of a move to improve air flow, in turn reducing intake temperatures. Engineers were initially concerned about heat soak from the engine, but computer modelling determined it was no worse than the outer position, which picked up reflected heat from other components.
- Porsche briefly considered air suspension for the 992. It was discussed during the early development phase but ruled out because of the weight it would add to a car that was already bulking up. It’s not the first time Porsche has considered air suspension for a 911; when outgoing product chief August Achleitner started his career with Porsche in the 1980s there was a chassis prototype 911 equipped with an early air suspension setup.
- The left and right outer circular gauges of the five presented to the driver on the largely digital dashboard are partially blocked by the steering wheel. But it was all part of the plan, harking back to the early 911s that presented the driver with five circular gauges.
- The stubby metal gearshift lever of the 992 is a big departure from previous 911s and comes with a hint of pedigree; it was inspired by the selector in the 918 hybrid hypercar.
- Porsche resisted the temptation to revert to a push button start with the 992, instead opting for a stubby key-like fixture on the dash that needs to be turned, almost like a key. Engineers argue that despite costing more to produce than a button, it has a more authentic feel in keeping with the sports car roots.
- The asymmetric layout of the turbos in the previous 991-generation car meant one turbo ran hotter than the other, reducing efficiency across the six cylinders. But for the 992 Porsche has repositioned the turbos and added symmetrical plumbing to ensure identical intake temperatures, something that helped with cleaner combustion, in turn boosting outputs.
- The 992 911 still produces its top speed in sixth gear. However, rather than a giant leap from sixth into top gear, there are now two overdrive ratios above that sixth to make for more relaxed country road cruising.
- A less powerful Carrera and Carrera 4 will begin production in June 2019. The output of the new engine will slot just below the 309kW/500Nm of the previous (991 generation) Carrera S.
- The Carrera S and 4S share the same wide body for the first time. In previous iterations the 4S has been wider, prompting some to gravitate towards the more menacing look. With the new car the basic Carrera is 45mm wider at the front, a theme continued at the rear to give it a more muscular appearance. It’s also about simplifying the range.
- The 992 will be the first new generation 911 to launch without the option of a manual gearbox. However, a manual will be added to the lineup before the end of 2019.
- The steering ratio of the 992 is 11 percent faster than that of the 991.
- While all body panels on the previous 911 were made of aluminium, it had a body comprised of 63 percent steel. But making the side panels with aluminium for the first time – reducing the body weight (minus panels, engine, interior and other components) by 12kg – has reduced that ratio to 30 percent.
- The 992 gets a particulate filter for the first time to a 911, added to adhere to stricter European emissions regulations. The filter adds almost 10kg to the engine and mutes the exhaust note slightly. The good news is that Australian cars initially miss out on the filter because it is not yet a requirement locally.
- Activating the lights on the 992 911 requires pushing a button rather than a dial. Blame it on regulations that require cars in Europe to default to the automatic position when the car is turned on. With a mechanical dial it was deemed difficult to achieve the requirement, instead opting for a push button setup.
- The designer of the 992, Michael Mauer, had never even driven a 911 before he started at Porsche in 2004. He created the 991 generation 911, which arrived in 2011, then set about bringing some old school thinking back with the 992. Before Porsche he was the design boss at Saab and, prior to that, worked for Mercedes-Benz.