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The new 2012 Porsche 911: It still looks like nothing has changed since 1963

By Rigval on 26 Aug 2011

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So Porsche has now come up with the new Porsche 911. Codenamed the 991, this latest iteration confusingly replaces the previous 997 based model and it sure looks similar. No one is going to rock the boat or shake the foundations within Porsche by coming out with a Porsche 911 that is going to look less like a 911 and more like, say a Maserati Gran Turismo, a Volkswagen Passat CC or a Kia Coup. So what we are looking at is basically the same outline, the same basic shape and the same basic curves like any other Porsche 911 that came before it.

I suppose this is a good thing. No one is going to mistake it for any other car in the world. Porsche fanatics out there will still embrace it and those that always wanted one and can now afford it will do the same thing too. It’s a bit like the designer at Rolex. Whatever you do the Rolex Oyster watches will still be the same basic thing and unmistakably Rolex. I wouldn't want to buy a Porsche 911 if it looked like a Ferrari. I'd buy a Ferrari if I wanted a Ferrari.

So the new 991 Porsche 911 design cues are unchanged from 1963 when the first 911 appeared. The engine is still in the wrong place (at the rear, slightly behind the rear axle) and the frog-like looks are still there. What has moved on is that its proportions are slightly different. Porsche has improved cabin space (mainly at the rear) by increasing the wheelbase. This increase in length will also help high speed stability and add more safety to the car too. It is 4491mm long, 1873mm wide and 1299mm in height. This makes it 56mm longer, 65mm wider and 11mm lower than the 997. It therefore is bigger overall and not the tiny little sports car anymore. I wonder if purists are happy with this.

Anyway, as I said, the engine is still at the wrong place but Porsche’s engineers are very good at bending the laws of physics. The new 991 911 has optimized engine mounts for improved weight distribution and it also should have those latest liquid magnetic filled mounts that actually grips harder under load and moves when it should. As for power output, the 911 Carrera gets a 3.4liter flat 6 which makes 350bhp and the Carrera S gets a 3.8liter 6 cylinder that makes 400bhp. Both are an improvement over the basic 997 models. It also gets a 7 speed manual – essentially a single clutch manual version of their 7 speed PDK twin clutch gearbox which is also offered as an option. Seven manual gears, now that’s a lot of shifting to be done.

A lot of aluminium and high tensile steel are used this time. I suppose aside from safety issues this is done to offset the additional weight brought on by the additional size of the 991. This use of lightweight material has resulted in a 45kg drop in weight despite being larger in almost every way.

It also is the first 911 to come with an electric-mechanical steering setup in favor the purely mechanical steering rack of the previous 911s. You cannot stop progress, or in actual words the need to find that extra 1.5% fuel savings in order to be more eco-friendly than before.’

Anyway, I like the new Porsche 911. It looks like a 911 and should feel like a 911. Maybe an anesthetized version of the 911 due to the latest refinement upgrades, but a 911 nonetheless.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
HOUSENUMBER Aug 26 2011 11:51 PM
i feel that porsche new models are just face lift
Liuz0004 Aug 27 2011 10:38 AM
maybe this shape is the optimal aerodynamic design?
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