Among cars we're looking forward to driving, the Porsche 911 991 tops the list. Why? Because no one's on message like Porsche, despite an increasingly diverse lineup. But will the faster, lighter 911 debut in Detroit? That's a potboiler, kids.
While we're waiting for a confirmation on a Detroit Auto Show reveal, let's gather what we've heard about the next-gen niner. Where the 997 model was largely a worked-over 996, the 991 has undergone enough revisions to warrant calling it an all-new model. A more powerful 3.4-liter flat six will likely boost the base Carrera to the mid-300 range in horsepower, while the S model's 3.8 will likely best 400. A seven-speed manual (dog-leg, perhaps?) will join the PDK dual-clutch, sharing a similar construction. Refinements in suspension, steering and braking will also be significant, with talk of a lengthened wheelbase and correspondingly refined aerodynamics. Weight will likely be similar to the 997 models, though word of a low-triple-digit shave persists.
The big talk has been on Porsche's adoption of hybrid-like technologies, including mission-specific battery management algorithms, stop-start, brake energy regeneration and supercaps—capacitors that can store and release electric power. Porsche has already started pounding the new-tech drums, with its 918 hybrid sports car prototype and 911 GT3 R Hybrid with flywheel energy storage. Time to see the first production cars fitted with pieces of those systems.
We'll report back when we get a confirm on the Detroit reveal. In the meantime, look closely at the rumor-mill rendering above and try and picture it taking corners at ludicrous speeds. [via Porschistes