Five reasons to be optimistic about the new 2016 Porsche 911
Purists may well baulk at the idea of the Porsche 911 Carrera going turbocharged but it’s a concept they’re going to have to get used to after Matthias Müller unveiled the 2016 model here in Frankfurt.
Powered, for the first time, by a small turbocharger on each of the flat six engine’s two banks, the car represents a seismic change in the 911’s traditional, naturally aspirated persona. Worried? Don’t be – here are five reasons to be optimistic for the new 911’s arrival in showrooms:
Turbocharging presents problems for car designers who must evolve a product without interrupting its smooth, traditional lines. That’s the view of Porsche design chief Michael Mauer, who also tells me that copying the 911 Turbo’s now iconic styling of having an air inlet duct ahead of the rear wheel on either side was never on the agenda, in an effort to keep the two cars visually distinctive.
Despite those turbochargers though, the car does retain those timeless, uninterrupted and flowing lines of the 911 body style. Tweaks to the deck lid, now featuring vertical louvres rather than horizontal slats, aid air into the engine, while discreet exit vents low down help dissipate heat. This is still very much a 911 to look at, at least.
Forced induction is known to mute any pertinent exhaust note, which is the antithesis of the emotion Porsche is proud to deliver aurally when that loud pedal is pressed.
However, Zuffenhausen have worked hard to deliver an exhaust note worth remembering, the car sounding more like a naturally aspirated 991 than its Turbo counterpart. The throaty-sounding water-cooled flat six lives on!
Porsche are more proud of their Nürburgring lap times than most and Müller is even more proud to announce the 991.2 Carrera is ten seconds quicker around the Nordschleife than its 991.1 predecessor (no mean feat for a ‘facelift’ model). We’re impressed.
Turbo talk has gripped the Porsche 911 community this week but, look outside the 911 bubble and you’ll see Porsche – and the rest of the VW Group, for that matter – are already looking even further ahead with innovative new electric and hybrid technologies.
The Mission E concept car is a huge statement of intent from Zuffenhausen, so be delighted that your new 911 is still relying solely on an internal combustion engine for power.
Let’s face it, the 911’s continuous 52-year history is no mean feat, and only exceptional skill, innovation and intelligence can protect that. Porsche has never got it wrong with the 911 before (even the controversial 996 comfortably outsold the ‘last bastion of air-cooled’ in the 993, which should silence you hecklers at the back).
Based on what we’ve seen here in Frankfurt, there’s no reason that will be changing anytime soon. We can’t wait to get that 991.2 out on a good road.