New 992 generation Porsche 911 arrives next year with hybrid power likely to feature; new spy shots show it almost completely undisguised
The 2019 Porsche 911 has been spied testing yet again, though these latest spy shots are quite unlike our usual candid snaps of upcoming new cars.
These fresh images reveal the new 992 generation 911 almost in its entirety, serving up an unblemished look at the latest evolution of Porsche’s iconic sports car before we get to see it officially later this year, possibly at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show.
• Best performance cars on sale 2018
On show is a new front bumper and grille arrangement, it’s boxier and wider than before and clearly inspired by the latest Cayenne. The shutlines employed at the front end to define the car’s boot are squarer, and the bootlid itself appears to creep further down the 911’s nose.
Image 9 of 88
Image 9 of 88
In profile the iconic shape remains unspoilt, but around the back there are noticeable changes. The rear apron is solid and simplified, but sits beneath a new LED taillight setup consisting of a tail-width LED lighting bar. A traditional grille sits above the 911’s rear-mounted flat-six engine.
As usual the 911 range will grow into a wide spread with Turbo, GTS, GT2 and GT3 variants headlining as flagship versions, but the next 911 will be the first-ever production version to get hybrid power also, Auto Express can confirm.
And the shock news is, there could be two new 911 plug-in hybrids on the way: one to sit in the middle of the range as an alternative to the regular Carrera model, and then another positioned at the top of the range alongside the 911 Turbo. We’ve previewed it for you with some exclusive images.
Image 23 of 88
Image 23 of 88
Auto Express understands there’s a passionate debate in play among Porsche engineers and decision-makers surrounding the creation of a top-flight 911 hybrid. The iconic sports car is a precious commodity to Porsche, so comes under the biggest scrutiny of all in terms of future development.
Yet the inevitable move towards hybrid and full-electric models is already well under way at the company, hence the debate over what to do with and which powertrains to offer in the next 911.
• Best sports cars on sale
What’s certain is that the basic platform for the car has already been “fully developed to accept a hybrid powertrain”, according to our source.
In basic form that powertrain will be similar in principle to the four-wheel-drive, 3.0-litre turbo, 100kW electric propulsion system launched recently in the Cayenne E-Hybrid, which in V6 form produces a combined 455bhp and 700Nm. But in the flat-six 911 the powertrain will be tuned to produce more sporting responses and sounds. It will be linked to a dual-clutch PDK gearbox.
Expect a 0-62mph sprint time of less than four seconds from the basic 911 hybrid, with a maximum speed of more than 180mph, as well as official economy of 80mpg-plus and CO2 emissions of less than 80g/km.
Crucially, a hybrid powertrain will also add at least 250kg to the kerbweight of the next 911 compared with petrol-only equivalents, but Porsche insiders say the lessons learned from the 918 Spyder and Cayenne E-Hybrid projects will help them maintain the 911’s agility.
In certain dynamic respects hybrid power can be used as a plus, say the firm’s hybrid engineers, with four-wheel-drive e-power adding not just traction but also handling flexibility to the 911 recipe.
Image 5 of 88
Image 5 of 88
But it’s the potential for Porsche to add a second, more powerful hybrid 911, to sit alongside the Turbo and Turbo S right at the top of the range, that’s causing the most consternation behind closed doors, our sources claim.
The brand’s move towards hybrids and fully electric cars in future is now in full swing, with the Mission E saloon and entrance to Formula E also confirmed.
So a range of hybrid-powered 911s at various price and performance levels would fit the mission statement, even if some fans of the traditional 911 might not approve. To appease them, the GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS models will remain firmly in the development programme, and will stay resolutely petrol-powered for many years, according to our source.
By 2025 Porsche anticipates its global sales will be 25 per cent full EV, 25 per cent hybrid and 50 per cent conventional power. But sales of the latest Panamera have been 75 per cent hybrid in the UK lately, so Porsche has the flexibility to easily alter those percentages, our source claims, if and when the tide continues to turn in favour of EVs and hybrids.
Click here for all the latest on Porsche’s all-electric Mission E…