Last week, we had the chance to speak with Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zellmer about a charity auction for the final 991-generation Porsche 911, a historic-liveried Speedster. During that conversation, he hinted at big changes ahead for the Porsche 911, and he reflected back on the 991 generation with a fascinating perspective about its place in the model lineage.
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This is confusing. I owned two Carrera 991 Porsches, a 2014 and 2015. Neither were turbocharged. Is the article incorrect or am I? Case in point, my 2019 991.2 Carrera T does have the base 370 hp turbocharged engine.
When the 991.2 arrived for Model Year 2017 all of the "regular" Carreras, including the GTS version, began using the new 9A2 3.0L turbocharged engine. The 2012.5 through the 2016 Model Years had the 9A1 3.4L or 3.8L naturally aspirated engines. The 2017 Model Year also introduced the 4 cylinder turbo motors for the 718 Boxster and Cayman models. We all love to speculate as to what Porsche will do with the upcoming 992.1 GTS Carrera model. Some people are enjoying their imaginations to the max and maybe even believing that Porsche will put either a de-tuned 3.8L 911 Turbo motor in this GTS, or even the new 4.0L naturally aspirated motor that's in the 718 Cayman/Boxster GTS models. My guess is that the new 911 GTS (992.1) will have the Carrera's 3.0L turbocharged motor, with a bit more hp.
Thinking about the 911 in the long-term future is far beyond my skill-set. However, I agree that the 991 and the 992 versions (numbers seven and eight)be will be very significant. Maybe even more significant than the change from air/oil cooling to water cooling between the 993 and 996 versions in 1998.
A hybrid 911? Might not be so bad, as long as the hybridization goes towards better performance, as in certain supercar hybrids. An all-electric 911? Not sure I ever want to see that, even if gas-engine 911's remain available.
I own a naturally aspirated 991 2012. Love the feel and control on the engine. Previously to that had my first 911 as a 996, and what a roar that was too! I think he is correct, the generation will look back and miss the combustible 911. Values and appreciation may take off after full electrification starts. I understand electrification is inevitable across the industry; it's just more efficient and better technology. BUT it simplifies the automobile so much that it truly takes the "mechanical " feel of it completely. You're no longer riding on a complex piece of machinery with thousands of parts synchronized to give you the desired output, but rather you're now getting a "golf cart" plug and play automobile. In the future the appreciation of fast acceleration will no longer be a standard to measure anymore because electric motors will make it much easier to do that. You'll just enjoy a nice "hum" and take more appreciation for precise handling and feel instead. Just my opinion but I think the 911 will always retain its prestige as the world's best and most practical sports car.
Patrick Long drove a 911 Hybrid GT3 RSR at Petit LeMans in 2012 (I think) in a special class and did quite well. A lot of us 911 guys thought that was acceptable - flat 6 sound with extra electric power. I do not think the world is ready for a BEV 911, no matter how quick it is. Maybe I'm wrong about that, just like old coots griping about water cooled engines, electric throttles and steering, and few stick shifts, but a sports car is impractical so it may as well be fun to drive.
Unlike Mr Claus Zellmer, I know almost exactly what the 911 generation after the 992 will look like. It will look almost exactly like the 992. I can't predict anything else, though 🙂
I think my 997.2 GT3 has a little too much technology onboard. The 991 is a beautiful car, but too much tech to really grab my dollars. The 992 is hideous and moving towards even more tech that I'm not interested in. Hopefully Porsche is able find a new generation of fans that doesn't include me, or they will go out of business with their new direction.
I tiptoed into the Porsche culture a couple years ago after 30+ years as a diehard Corvette guy. I got tired of waiting for the C8 Vette and stumbled onto a used 2016 base Cayman, in perfect condition at a great price -- the last year of the 6 cylinder motor in the Cayman. It was a wonderful experience! The Porsche design is almost perfectly optimized for the driver experience. I enjoyed that car so much, when I saw a used 2017 991 Carrera 4S (991.2) with less than 10K miles and a lot more (turbocharged) power I jumper into the deep end of the Porsche experience. The only question I ask my myself now is why I waited to long to try a Porsche!