What's the news?
Porsche has taken the wraps off its 2019 911 coupe in LA on the eve of the American auto show. This is the 992 generation, the eighth iteration of the German sports car. It promises to have more power, be even more dynamic (of course) and catch up with the rest of its siblings in terms of connectivity and in-car technology, with some interesting new bits and pieces. The Porsche Centre in Dublin is now taking orders, with the 911 Carrera S from €167,571 and the Carrera 4S from €177,124.
Naturally, though brand-new, the 992 is of course a gentle styling evolution of the 991. That's especially the case when viewed from the front or side. Up front, there are new LED headlights with a four-pointed X-like daytime running light graphic, sitting either side of a new recessed bonnet that harks back to earlier generations. Across the front, the new car is 45mm wider than before, while the pronounced new rear arches will be the same across the range (it used to vary depending on model).
That rear end is perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the new 911, featuring a gorgeous one-piece light bar that spans the width of the car, with the big PORSCHE lettering recessed beneath and the model designation in smaller script below. Above all that is a variable position spoiler that automatically deploys and air vent strakes beneath the raked rear window, including a stylised high-level brake light.
Other exterior details worth noting include the smooth door handles that pop out and mixed-size alloy wheels - 20-inch up front, 21-inch at the back.
The 2+2 cabin is completely new, but stays true to the 911 way of doing things, so, there's a rather large-looking ignition key that slots into the dash to the left of the steering wheel, next to the buttons for the lights. That wheel looks new too, and the Drive Mode rotary controller is more prominent than ever if you opt for the Sport Chrono Package (the Sport Response button at its centre remains), more of which in a moment. At the centre of the new instrumentation is a beautifully simple and large analogue rev counter, while either side are customisable displays - quite big ones. This is all complemented by the 10.9-inch touchscreen of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system in the middle of the car.
Below that are five buttons that control aspects of the car itself, such as the hazard lights, PDCC and stability control, while the air conditioning is operated from the front of the shiny black centre console. In the PDK-equipped car pictured, this also houses a very strange looking lever for the transmission - it's tiny.
For now, Porsche is only telling us about the 911 Carrera S and 4S, which use a new development of the flat-six 3.0-litre petrol engine. Porsche cites improvements to the direct fuel injection, twin turbochargers and charge air cooling and it has increased output by 30hp to 450hp. Paired with a new eight-speed PDK automatic, the Carrera S Coupe can dispatch the benchmark 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, while the four-wheel traction of the Carrera 4S allows it beat that by a further tenth. Go for the optional Sport Chrono Package and these times can be reduced by a further 0.2 seconds. Both versions can exceed 305km/h flat-out. Porsche quotes combined consumption and emissions figures of 8.9 litres/100km (31.7mpg) and 205g/km for the rear-wheel-drive S and 9.0 litres/100km (31.4mpg) and 206g/km for the 4S, placing both into Band F for motor tax in Ireland.
Driving modes include Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual settings, along with a new one to the 911, 'Wet'. Its name is self-explanatory, though a neat feature is that the car will detect the presence of water on the road and warn the driver, suggesting they switch into the new mode to help stabilise the handling.
Buyers of the 2019 Porsche 911 will get access to two new digital applications. The Porsche Road Trip app helps plan journeys, with suggested routes, hotels, restaurants and viewpoints, all cleverly integrated with the car's satnav system. Meanwhile, those that have a guilty conscience from a little too much road-tripping in their 450hp sports car can check out the web-based Porsche Impact emissions estimator, which calculates how much the owner can pay to internationally certified climate projects to offset their own CO2 footprint...