There are a few guarantees when it comes to a new Porsche. For one, you can guarantee that it will feature the highest technological advancements that focused German engineering can achieve, all measured by Nürburging lap-slaying metrics.
And you can also guarantee that Porsche will evolve its 911 as slowly as actual evolution, slavishly keeping to tradition: its flat-six engine will be imprisoned behind the rear wheels and that it will look exactly the same as the last one. Because if it didn’t, imagine the wrath of legions of Porsche fans. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! However, the specs recently released on the next 911—known internally and to enthusiasts as the 991—should appease the masses.
The new Porsche will be slightly longer than the last one, by 2.2 inches but 4 inches in wheelbase. Sources with Porsche’s engineering team believe this is to accommodate a possible hybrid system. But for now, the venerable flat-six gets direct injection and a 3.4-liter, 350 horsepower engine in the base Carrera that’s shared with the Boxster, while the Carrera S gets 3.8 liters and 400 horsepower. The manual transmission gains a cog to 7, and the doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK, in less Germanic terms) will also have the same number of gears.
Performance will be similar to that of the current model, with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds for the base Carrera and a top speed of 186mph. But what’s more, the 991 will be 12-15% more fuel efficient, and lighter by 55 pounds—so those times may be even more forgiving. According to Porsche, the 991 Carrera ran the Nürburgring in 8:04, and the Carrera S 7:50. Those figures will be the source of much contentious debate when the next 911 debuts in September, though hopefully without ghostly or otherworldly implications.
Look for the 2012 Porsche 911 to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September.
[Source: Car & Driver via TeamSpeed]