2020 Porsche 911: Meet the 992
Yes, this is a new 911. No, this doesn't happen often.
The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera is finally here. Code-named 992, this is the eighth new version of the 911 in this benchmark sports car's 55-year history. It makes its debut in Carrera 4S form today in Los Angeles, and as you probably guessed, it's a big deal.
Of course, in the great 911 tradition, the 992 doesn't look all that different than its predecessor, the 991. Evolution rather than revolution is the name of the game here. The basic underlying structure and 96.5-inch wheelbase of the 991 has been carried over here, but the 992 wears new bodywork and brings a number of important suspension changes. Save for the front and rear fascias, the body is made entirely from aluminum, too.
You might have noticed the wide fenders by this point. Traditionally a hallmark of all-wheel drive 911s, now every version, regardless of the number of driven wheels, will sport enlarged fenders. It looks cool, but it also allowed Porsche to lengthen track widths at the front and rear. Also bigger are the wheels, which will be staggered in every version of the 911 (previously only the GT3 RS and GT2 RS offered such a setup). Base Carrera models will get 19-inch wheels up front and 20s in the rear, while Carrera S models will get 20s and 21s, respectively.
The door handles now sit flush with the bodywork and extend out when pressed, while the squared off front hood is meant to evoke early air-cooled 911s. The 992 also gets a wider electronically adjustable rear spoiler, while the body-length rear light bar reserved for Carrera 4 models in the past will now appear on every 911.
Just like every 911 before it, the 992 has a flat-six mounted behind the rear axle. Its the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter used in current Carrera models, but thanks to revisions to the turbo and fuel-injection systems, it now makes 443 horsepower in Carrera S models, 23 more than before. Porsche didn't announce power levels for the base Carrera, but expect a 15-hp increase over the outgoing model, bringing things from 370 to 385 horsepower.
Even as the 911 becomes more modern, Porsche will still offer a manual transmission for the 992, likely a seven-speed carried over from the 991. Here, though, Porsche is presenting the new 911 with an eight-speed dual-clutch. Equipped with the optional Sport Chrono package, this transmission helps bring the Carrera S to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and 3.2 seconds for the Carrera 4S. We don't have weight figures yet, but thanks to the increased usage of aluminum, it shouldn't change too much from the 991. Top speed is 191 mph for the Carrera S and 190 mph for the Carrera 4S.
There's a lot more tech in the 992, as well. A new Wet driving mode tunes the ABS and stability control to help maximize traction, as the name suggests, in the wet. Automatic emergency braking is now standard while a night-vision camera is optional. Inside, you'll find the Porsche's snazzy new infotainment system ported over from the Panamera, while the gauge cluster features two digital screens flanking the traditional analog tachometer in the center. That's right—the 911 no longer has five individual gauges.
Porsche is only showing off the 992 in Carrera 4S guise now, but the rear-drive Carrera S should follow shortly; the base Carrera and Carrera 4 will arrive at a later date. Pricing for the 2020 911 Carrera S starts at $113,200 while the Carrera 4S is $120,600—representing an increase of over $8000 over the 991. Both will arrive at US dealers next summer.
Over the next few years, we'll see the usual collection of 911 variants, too: Expect a Carrera GTS, a Carrera T, a Turbo, and a GT3 at the very least. Cabriolet and Targa body styles should return, too. A plug-in hybrid is also a possibility, but not immediately.
We'll be speaking with the engineers and designers behind the 992 at the LA Auto Show this week, so watch this space for more. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of a sports car you're going to be seeing a lot of over the next decade.