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The world’s oldest sports car – the Porsche 911 – is new again, and will be delighting Australian buyers before the middle of next year.
Officially known as the Porsche 992, this is the latest eighth-generation version of a car which first hit the road in 1963.
“We already have a fair few orders. The existing 911 has sold out and a lot of people are now waiting for the new one,” the spokesman for Porsche Cars Australia, Chris Jordan, tells Australian Business Traveller. “It will be here in April. Interest in the 911 is pretty constant, because it’s a timeless classic. We don’t have any of the 991.2 series left in the regular models.”
Pricing for the new-new 911 starts at $265,000 for the Carrera S, rising to $281,100 for the 4S, but Jordan says there is an important difference.
“One thing we’ve changed is that the PDK gearbox is now standard. This is the first 911 where the standard gearbox is the PDK and not the manual,” he says.
“So you cannot compare the pricing directly with the previous model. It’s about $4500 more, like against like, but there is a lot more standard equipment. We do put a little bit more into the standard specification of the car, compared with some other markets."
Its design is predictable and evolutionary, and obviously 911, but beneath that familiar skin lies more technology, more performance and a future as a plug-in hybrid.
The shape is the car is a little smoother than the outgoing 911, it’s 45 millimetres wider at the front and there are significantly wider rear guards over alloy wheels which are 20 inches at the front and 21 at the rear.
Headlights are now fully LED, there is a wider rear spoiler and light bar, and the entire outer skin of the car is made from aluminium.
“One big headline is the increase in power. It’s a decent little increase,” says Jordan. “There is more standard equipment, there is definitely more connectivity, and more will come through the life of the 992.”
Power is up to 331 kiloWatts and that means the 0-100km/h time drops below four seconds with the eight-speed PDK auto, at 3.7 seconds for the rear-drive Carrera S and 3.6 for the all-wheel drive S4, while top speeds for both nudge 310km/h.
The biggest change inside is bigger digital display screens, with a matched pair for the driver alongside the company’s signature centrally-mounted tachometer.
On the safety side, lane-change assistance is now standard and the car comes with a ‘wet’ mode that detects water on the road and warns the driver, as well as automatically adjusting the driver-assistance systems.
Jordan says there will be more details closer to the first Australian deliveries of the 992, although he would not reveal the model rollout which typically goes up through the Targa and GT3 to the super-quick Turbo and GT2 RS flagship.
Mark Webber, who won the World Endurance Championship for Porsche and is a company ambassador, has recently completed shakedown trials of the car at Porsche’s test track at Weissach in Germany ahead of the 992's gala launch – and as this video shows, he's predictably enthusiastic about the new 992.