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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: I like manuals but 7 speed ?
By GulWestfale on 7/2/2011 5:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
as a german living in canada, i think i can offer a unique viewpoint on the porsche vs vette debate:

- i do think that porsches do have far better build quality; from the gaps between the body panels to the quality of interior materials (which many reviewers say is about comparable to a korean subcompact in a corvette), the porsche is simply better.

- porsches are more efficient, the latest GT3 RS 4.0 makes 500hp from a 4 liter flat-6; a corvette needs a 7 liter V8 to achieve the same power. torque is of course another matter, there the vette's modified truck engines wins. but because of the smaller, more fuel-efficient engines used in porsches, they can have 'real' manual gearboxes instead of a 'skip=shift' box like the vette uses to lower GM's CAFE average.

- the vette still uses leaf springs (!) in its rear suspension. holy crap.

- in canada, a current base vette with a 430hp engine costs just under 70k, and is pretty well equipped.
a 911 with only 345hp and pitiful equipment (a rear window wiper costs $500 extra, wtf) sets you back 90k.
if both cars cost the same, and i had to buy one with my own money, i'd take the porsche. but with a 20k price difference, and spending my own cash, i, as a german, have to admit that i'd take the vette. 430hp>345hp, bodypanel gaps be damned. and who cares about what it looks like in 10 years, people who can afford to buy these cars new will already be on their next one in 5 years, never mind 10.

then again, a used 2005 911 turbo can be had for 70k on ebay... :)

to each his own, i guess. we are lucky that in this age of nanny states and tree-hugging hippies we can still have a debate about two very different, yet amazing cars.

RE: I like manuals but 7 speed ?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2011 8:43:58 PM , Rating: 1
Seems like you can't help yourself from making disparaging, and off base, comments about the 'Vette. The block in the Corvette started out with the same displacement as the "truck engine", but it's certainly not a modified truck engine. The Chevrolet small block has been used in dozens of vehicles for decades. It's the most successful V8 small block design ever made. The Corvette engine has so many high end components and mods that it can hardly even be compared to a "truck engine".

- porsches are more efficient

Efficiency is a poor argument to make when comparing such ridiculously excessive vehicles who's point is to go fast.

- porsches are more efficient, the latest GT3 RS 4.0 makes 500hp from a 4 liter flat-6; a corvette needs a 7 liter V8 to achieve the same power.

Umm why are you comparing the Z06 to a GT3 RS 4.0? Seems to me we should be debating the 911 Turbo to the Corvette ZR1.

torque is of course another matter,

This is why comparing the two engines in terms of "efficiency" can get wonky. The Z06 gives you max torque at only 4800 RPM, and max horsepower at only 6300 RPM. That's the beauty, and attraction, of the big ole V8.

- the vette still uses leaf springs (!) in its rear suspension. holy crap.

First off, the Vette's track times are on par with some of the best sports cars in the world. You can't do that without great handling.

Secondly the use of leaf springs in the Corvette is not to be confused with leaf spring suspensions used in trucks and older cars; they are two completely different things. The Corvettes transverse leaf springs serve the same purpose as coil springs in other vehicles, but they are lighter, allow for the vehicles mass to be closer to the ground, and allow for lighter anti-roll bars since they can assume some of that duty.

When you have that much neckbreaking power and torque to the real wheels, traditional independent coilover setups just WON'T cut it.

Obviously Chevrolet could have gone a LOT further with the Corvette, but then you would have to go a lot further with your wallet. Even spending upwards of $120k, there's really nothing out there for that money that beats the ZR1 soundly.

RE: I like manuals but 7 speed ?
By shiftypy on 7/13/2011 8:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Even spending upwards of $120k, there's really nothing out there for that money that beats the ZR1 soundly.
I will have to mention Nissan GT-R here
Under $100K. Superior to both 911 and Vette. Filled with technology and not relying on outlandish horsepower alone to be fast.

By theapparition on 7/4/2011 10:54:36 PM , Rating: 3
porsches are more efficient

Here we go with that same old stupid "efficiency" argument. Does Hp/liter get you something? Nope. BTW, which car gets better mpg, you know, real efficiency.

the vette still uses leaf springs (!) in its rear suspension. holy crap. does the ZR1, which still holds the record at the Nurburgring for true production car on street tires, driven to that record by a GM engineer, not a professional.

I love fancy new technology, but if older tech works better, then why argue with results? Lots of older tech in the vettes that still perform better than high tech cars. If you want a badge that says Vtech or something, then get an Honda. But if you want reliable tech that still outperforms the fancy stuff, you'll know where to find me.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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