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  (Source: Jamie Lipman/Inside Line)

Porsche 911 designers have the easiest job in the world. A nip here, a tuck there and "boom", new 911. Pictured above is a prototype 991 911  (Source: Jamie Lipman/Inside Line)

The new 911's interior takes styling cues from the Panamera  (Source: Jamie Lipman/Inside Line)
Porsche's 911 will get a major overhaul for 2012

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.

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RE: When I was your age...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2011 1:06:59 PM , Rating: 3
I saw a Panamera in person yesterday, I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Porsche is losing it.

RE: When I was your age...
By Brandon Hill on 7/1/2011 1:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
I can almost stand it looking directly at the Panamera head on, and can even stomach looking at the side view from the front bumper to the rear doors... but once I get to the hind quarters, I start losing my lunch. I've already barfed up everything in my stomach by the time I'm looking directly at the a$$ of that thing.

RE: When I was your age...
By Spuke on 7/1/2011 2:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the rear of that car is hideous! But I'd own one if I were looking at a performance sedan (and could afford the $100k fee for the Turbo). See the Top Gear episode on it, it's really surprising how great of a performer that car is.

RE: When I was your age...
By Brandon Hill on 7/1/2011 2:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you want a car to get 'em wet, just get an Aston Martin Rapide ;)

RE: When I was your age...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2011 8:43:05 PM , Rating: 1
For $100k? You can do a LOT better.

RE: When I was your age...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2011 3:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
lol that cracked me up Brandon.

But seriously, why does Porsche think EVERY car needs to look like a 911? The Panamera is looks like they literally tried to make a stretched 911 sedan. That kind of styling just does NOT work.

I mean I understand that the 911 is the "face" of Porsche. But you don't see Ford sticking an F-150 front-end on every car they make do you?

They could have made a very sexy and desirable sedan, but nope, it just HAS to look like a 911. If it doesn't look like a 911, apparently nobody will know it's a Porsche!

And let's not even get started on that interior...

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