992

The next-gen 911 is poised to drop late this year with even more power and hybrid capability. Thatís the good news. The bad is that some reckon itís the end of the line for Porscheís much loved atmo engines. Weíre not so sure. Hereís what we know so far on the evolution of the species

EVEN THE iconic 911 isnít immune to the diktats of EU group emissions rules. The VW Group, of which Porsche is but one of 12 constituent brands, currently lags behind every other major European carmaker in its bid to meet swingeing 2020 emissions regulations. This has instigated a push for electrification within the business, with the 992 generation representing the 911ís introduction to hybrid powertrains.

An evolution of the current 991 series, the 992 will be unveiled in October, with the rear and all-wheel drive 331kW Carrera S. The entry-level 295kW Carrera will follow in Spring 2019. With 48-volt electrics, a redesigned dash, matrix laser headlights, an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, and a chassis thatís been reengineered for mild hybrid propulsion, the 992 retains the classic 911 silhouette, albeit with a higher rear deck; a look redolent of previous Speedster models.

A plug-in hybrid 992 is scheduled at the mid-life refresh, with a full electric model reserved until the next generation car. The PHEV looks set to combine the 3.0-litre EA9A2 six with a 70kW electric motor good for a system output of 362kW and 761Nm and a 60km electric range.

At the top of the line up, the Turbo S variant, due in early 2020, gets its power output massaged out to 470kW, while the GT3 has been rumoured to be getting a 3.8-litre turbocharged unit good for 404kW. Thatís the rumour. Porscheís motorsport department is nevertheless said to be fighting tooth and nail to keep an atmo powerplant within the 911 line up.

With the ditching of diesel units in some markets and the 2020 debut of the electric Mission E, the VW Groupís most profitable arm has shown that itís prepared to move with the times. Whether its traditionally conservative customers are so willing to embrace change is another issue entirely.