The new 2020 Porsche 911 - a design icon and high-tech sports car
Los Angeles Auto Show: The new 2020 Porsche 911 debuts in its most important market
Faster, Porsche presented the 8th generation of the 911 in Petree Hall at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “California is the ideal place to introduce the new 911. California has been like a second home to Porsche for decades,” comments Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG. “The 8th generation of the 911 is even more powerful, even more emotional, and even more efficient than its predecessor – and also offers extensive digital features. And in spite of all the innovations, the 911 is still just what it has always been: a pure sports car and the pulsing heart of Porsche: our icon.”
Unmistakably committed to the Porsche design DNA, sporting a much more muscular look and an interior featuring a 10.9-inch touchscreen monitor, the new 911 is timeless – and also modern. Intelligent control and chassis elements as well as innovative assistance systems combine the masterfully uncompromising driving dynamics for which the classic rear-engine sports car is famous, with the demands of the digital world.
The next generation of twin-turbocharged flat-six engines has been further developed and is more powerful than ever before, offering 443 hp in the S models. The efficiency of the powertrain has been optimized by an improved injection process as well as a new layout for the turbochargers and charge air cooling system. The engine is mated to a new eight-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) dual-clutch transmission. A manual transmission will be available at a later date. The top track speeds are now 191 mph (Carrera S) and 190 mph for the Carrera 4S all-wheel-drive version. Additional highlights include the standard Porsche Wet Mode, an innovative world first designed to make driving on wet roads even safer and optional Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera.
Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG, emphasized the importance of the North American market for the sports car manufacturer: “U.S. customers purchased more than 55,000 Porsches in 2017, and the American importer and distributor Porsche Cars North America is on track to achieve a new record figure in 2018. Ultimately, no model better symbolizes the American love affair with Porsche than the 911. One in three Porsche 911s built in Zuffenhausen goes to the USA.”
An exterior design that draws on earlier generations of the 911
The exterior design is familiar and yet unmistakably new. The eighth-generation 911 is wider, more assertive, and more advanced. Wider fenders arch over the large 20-inch wheels at the front and 21-inch wheels at the rear. All models now feature the wider body previously reserved for 911 Carrera 4, GTS and GT3 models, which is 1.7 inches (44 mm) wider at the rear fenders. The front end of all models – now 1.8 inches (45 mm) wider – revives a traditional feature of earlier 911 generations: a front luggage compartment lid with a distinctive recess in front of the windshield. Both elements visually lengthen the front of the vehicle and give it a particularly dynamic appearance. At the same time, the newly developed LED headlights illustrate how technology has advanced in the 911. These headlights are integrated into the fenders almost seamlessly, and feature the round and upright shape characteristic of classic 911 models. Flush integration of the door handles that extend when needed emphasize the tapered and smooth side contour. The exterior mirrors have also been redesigned and are optimized to reduce wind noise.
The rear of the new 911 is dominated by the significantly wider, variable-position spoiler and the seamless, elegant light bar. The vertically arranged louvers of the rear decklid grille above the air intake echo the contours of the rear window. As a distinguishing feature, the rear-wheel-drive Carrera S models have black louvers, while the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4S models have silver elements. The centrally located third brake light has also been integrated into the rear decklid grille. Since this is obscured when the rear spoiler is extended, there is a second brake light mounted in the spoiler itself. With the exception of the front and rear fasciae, the entire outer skin of the car is now made of aluminum.
Redesigned interior with clear lines
The interior is distinctive, with clear, straight lines and recessed instruments defining the dashboard. The 911 models from the 1970s provided the inspiration here as well. As in the original 911, the new dashboard covers the entire width between two horizontal levels. Alongside the centrally positioned tachometer, two thin, frameless freeform displays provide information to the driver. Below the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system, a control panel of five buttons with the look of classic toggle switches creates the transition to the center console controls. The seats have also been fundamentally modified. The adapted geometry offers significantly better lateral support in the shoulder areas. Although the seat is now positioned five millimeters lower than in the previous model and has a minimally thinner seat cushion, seating comfort has been improved overall.
In the area of digitalization, the 911 takes the next step into the future with further improved connectivity, as well as new functions and services. The standard PCM system features Porsche Connect Plus including online traffic information based on swarm data. (A subscription is required after an initial 12 month trial period.)
New assistance systems increase safety and comfort
As a world first, Porsche has developed the Wet Mode, which is included as standard equipment on the 2020 Porsche 911. This function detects water on the road, preconditions the stability control and anti-lock brake systems accordingly, and warns the driver. The driver can then call up vehicle settings particularly suited for wet roads at push of a button, or by means of the mode switch on the steering wheel (when fitted with the optional Sport Chrono Package). The camera-based warning and brake assist system, also fitted as standard, detects the risk of collision with other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. It initiates emergency braking when necessary. Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera is optionally available for the 911 for the first time. The Adaptive Cruise Control option includes automatic distance control, stop-and-go functionality, and an innovative Emergency Assist function.
The next generation of flat-six engines
The turbocharged flat-six engines also enter a new generation with the new 911. The primary focus of advanced development here was on further enhancing performance. New, larger turbochargers with a symmetrical layout and electrically controlled wastegate valves, a completely redesigned charge air cooling system, and use for the first time of piezo fuel injectors all improve the engine in key areas: responsiveness, power, torque characteristic, endurance and its free-revving nature. The enhanced engines make 443 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, 23 hp more than the previous model. The maximum torque of 390 lb-ft (22 lb-ft up from the previous model) is available within a wide powerband from 2,300 to 5,000 rpm.
The 2020 911 Carrera S has a base MSRP of $113,200, while the 2020 911 Carrera 4S will start at $120,600, each not including the delivery, processing and handling fee of $1,350. The new models can be ordered now and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in Summer 2019.
The Porsche 911 mythology, right on the wrist
Porsche Design is honoring the new generation of the 911 with a special-edition watch limited to 911 pieces: the “911 Chronograph Timeless Machine Limited Edition.” The unmistakable design of the automotive icon is reflected in the puristic design of this timepiece and the contours of the titanium housing. Even the generously dimensioned black dial is derived from its motorized forerunner. The white pointers and indicators guarantee maximum readability both in the cockpit and on the wrist. The totalizator at 6 o’clock references the sports car icon with the markings at 3/6/9 and 11. The same is true for the silhouette of the 911 on the dial, and the strap that is produced using genuine Porsche interior leather. The special edition watch will be available from April 2019 in an exclusively boxed edition which also includes a special limitation badge.
The masterpiece from Zuffenhausen – seven past generations of an icon
A legend was born at the International Motor Show Germany (IAA) in Frankfurt. September 12, 1963: Porsche presented the highly anticipated successor to the 356 – a sports car had started the car manufacturer’s brand history in Gmünd, Austria some 15 years prior. 111,995 examples of the original 911 – initially called the 901 – were built before the model was discontinued.
Ten years later, in 1973, the G series 911 launched with fundamental changes. Many of these became necessary because of stricter safety requirements around the world. Porsche relied on powerful turbo engines and a galvanized body in its top model, additionally launching a Cabriolet version of the 911 and the Speedster, alongside the Targa. 198,496 Porsche 911 G Series cars were built up to 1989.
Its successor, referred to internally as type 964, was first shown in 1988. The first model variants of the 964 generation show just how advanced the new 911 was: all-wheel drive was introduced to the series for the first time on the Carrera 4, with Porsche having originally designed it for the 959 high-performance sports car. The 911 Carrera 2 with rear-wheel drive followed in 1989. Along with the Coupé, the Cabriolet and Targa versions also celebrated their debut at the same time. 85% of the 964 was made from newly designed parts. 63,762 third-generation Porsche 911s were produced within six years.
The fourth generation of the 911 – the type 993 – is today considered one of the most desirable editions. Initially, Porsche offered it only as a Coupé and Cabriolet. The Targa made its debut in 1995, incorporating a new concept: instead of a removable folding roof panel, it had a glass roof with a large surface area, which could be retracted under the rear window. The era of air-cooled engines also ended in 1998 after the production of 68,881 vehicles.
With the fifth generation of the 911, Porsche switched to water-cooled engines. The type 996 represents the biggest departure in this classic’s family tree. The company was in a state of financial upheaval. After 34 years, the sports car manufacturer comprehensively realigned its icon with the 996 generation. The focus was on reducing production costs by ensuring the greatest possible compatibility of parts with other models such as the new Boxster (986), and updated safety and emissions features. Production ended in 2005. With 175,262 units sold, the 996 is the long-underestimated success model up to that point in the history of the 911.
From 2004, the type 997 Porsche 911 became more multifaceted than ever: customers could choose from a Coupé or Targa, Cabriolet or Speedster, rear- or all-wheel-drive, narrow or wider body, with water-cooled naturally aspirated and turbo engines, a GTS or the GT2, GT2 RS or GT3 derivatives, or either of two GT3 RS models. Including special models, the range had a total of 24 model variants – supplemented by a wide range of personalization options. With 213,004 vehicles built, the sixth generation of the 911 again hit a new production record.
From 2011, the 991 embodies the highest development stage of the Porsche 911 to date. It is an extraordinary reflection of this sports car manufacturer’s leitmotif: striving for the best possible efficiency. This can be seen in all aspects, starting with its evolved design. A more compact silhouette, tension-charged surfaces, and precisely defined details mean the 991 looks more powerful than any other previous 911 – an effect heightened by the wider track and the wheelbase that was extended by ten centimeters. It also features adaptive aerodynamics: the 911 is the first series sports car from Porsche to adopt these from the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar. The 991 generation of the 911 is the absolute best seller in the history of this icon. 217,930 of them were built by October 31, 2018. In total, Porsche has produced 1,049,330 series 911s since its debut in 1963.
*Updated on June 28, 2019 to reflect current pricing for delivery, processing and handling.
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Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of the Porsche 911, 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman, Macan, Cayenne, Panamera and Taycan. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6 mile driver development track, business center, and fine dining restaurant, 356.
The company operates a second Porsche Experience Center near Los Angeles. That 53-acre complex features a driver development track with eight educational modules totaling 4.1 miles, a business center, and Restaurant 917. PCNA supports 195 independently owned and operated Porsche dealerships in the U.S., including supplying parts, service, marketing, and training. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the Porsche brand's 70-year history of leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency. PCNA is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
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The new Porsche 911 - a design icon and high-tech sports car