We reported earlier this week that Porsche is looking to add
what is essentially "cruise control on steroids" to its future
vehicles. The Porsche
ACC InnoDrive system will take full control of throttle inputs and
"learn" the routes that the driver regularly travels. Only the
steering will be left for the driver to control when the system is enabled.
Now, we're getting some more information on the most famous
member of the Porsche family: the 911. The next generation model will be
revealed before the end of this year, with production models going to North
American customers next year.
The new 911, codenamed 991, is growing in length again. The
911 will sit on a 4-inch longer wheelbase, while overall length grows another
2.2 inches. Compared to the last air-cooled 911, the iconic 993, the new 911
is roughly 10 inches longer with a 7-inch longer wheelbase.
Despite the expanded dimensions, the new 911 will be lighter
than outgoing 997 variant. Instead of relying primarily on steel for the
construction of the vehicle, the majority of the vehicle will now be
constructed of aluminum with high-strength steel being deployed used for
"major crash paths" according
to Inside Line.
The extended wheelbase will also leave more legroom for the
two rear-seat passengers (in reality, kids only) and for an optional
hybrid system that should be available for the 2016 model year refresh of
the 991 platform.
The hybrid system isn't the only concession being made to
improve fuel efficiency for the 911; Porsche has also done the unthinkable and
ditched the 911's wonderful hydraulic steering system for an electric one.
Porsche 911 project manager Roland Achleitner explains that the excellent
steering feel will remain and that "you would not be able to tell it is
electric." Another buzzkill is that Porsche is moving to an electronic parking brake for
the new car.
When it comes to powertrains, the new 911 Carrera will share
a 3.4-liter flat-6 engine with the Boxster S that produces 350hp. The Carrera S
will be blessed with a larger displacement flat-6 producing roughly 400hp.
Power will be delivered to the rear wheels (or all four wheels in Carrera 4
guise) using a 7-speed dual-clutch (PDK) transmission or -- wait for it -- a 7-speed manual transmission.
Overall efficiency is said to improve by 12 to 15 percent
over the outgoing model.
For more information on the next Porsche 911 and the
development of the car, you can check out Inside
Line's write-up. They actually
got some passenger-seat time with a prototype of the vehicle.