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2020 Porsche 911: First Look

  • Aluminum-extensive body is wider than before
  • Carrera S models produce 23 extra horsepower
  • Safety tech features are now standard
  • Carrera S starts at $114,250, arrives at dealers next summer

Turnng heads at the 2018 LA Auto Show is the all-new 2020 Porsche 911, the eight generation of one of the most iconic cars in history. At first glance, it’s probably hard to see how it’s different, much as it’s been for most of those previous eight generations. However, this is indeed a new 911 with multiple changes, improvements and advancements.

What’s new outside?

The most noteworthy exterior change to the new 911, which is officially known as the 992 generation, is the wider body width. The front track has grown by a considerable 1.77 inches, while the rear of every 911 adopts the wider 72.91-inch width of the previous Carrera 4 and GTS models. Basically, those shapely 911 hips will be the same regardless of model.

Other key exterior updates include standard LED headlights, a full-width LED lightbar similar to those found on other Porsches, a new variable position pop-up spoiler and electric door handles that extend outward when needed. Apart from the plastic bumpers, the entire body is also now made from aluminum.

What’s new inside?

The new 911 cabin draws inspiration from long-ago generations with its prominent horizontal dash design, but nevertheless showcases the latest technology Porsche has to offer. Dominating that dash is a new 10.9-inch touchscreen, replacing the old 7 inch unit. A traditional analog tachometer continues to be featured in the center of the instrument panel, but it is now bordered by a pair of all-digital screens that can display a variety of information.

Refreshingly, there are several large physical switches and buttons on the center console for frequently used functions like the climate control system’s temperature adjustment. We had been concerned that the sort of touch-sensitive "buttons" found on the Panamera and Cayenne would be an unwelcomed distraction in a sports car like the 911. The air vents also function in a conventional manner rather than manipulating touch-operated controls. Less refreshing is the electronic shifter with a BMW-like RND layout for the standard PDK transmission.

How has performance been improved?

Although there will again be a multitude of 911 model lines, Porsche has so far only released info about the 911 Carrera S. It once again as a turbocharged flat-6 engine, but it has been reworked with a new turbocharger and intercooler layout to improve efficiency. Output is now 443 horsepower, up 23 horses from the outgoing 911 Carrera S.

The standard transmission is now the 8-speed PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission, which is in fact a new unit for 2020. With it, the new 2020 911 Carrera S Coupe can reportedly go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, which is 0.4 seconds quicker than the old car. Adding the optional Sport Chrono package and its launch control function will shave a further 0.2 seconds off that time. The all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4S Coupe will shave another tenth off.

If you’re OK trading slightly slower acceleration for greater driver involvement, Porsche once again will offer a 7-speed manual transmission on the 911 at a later date. Porsche is one of the few, if only, companies that sees a healthy take-rate for manual transmission cars.

The Carrera S comes standard with 20 inch wheels up front and 21-inch wheels at the rear. Retuned PASM adaptive suspension dampers are among the updates made to the 911’s new underpinnings. Rear-wheel steering will continue to be offered for sharper cornering and low-speed maneuverability.

What are some other new features?

Standard on every 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera will be a camera-based forward collision warning and emergency automatic braking system. There will also be an industry-first "Wet Mode" that detects water on the road and preconditions the stability control and antilock braking systems in anticipation of reduced traffic. It will also alert the driver, just in case all that water on the windshield doesn’t clue them in. A new safety option is a Night Vision Assist system similar to what’s offered on many luxury flagship sedans.

How much and when can you get one?

The 2020 911 Carrera S and Carrera 4S can be ordered now with deliveries expected at U.S. dealers in summer of 2019. The starting price of the Carrera S is $114,250, including the $1,050 destination charge. The 2020 911 Carrera 4S price starts at $121,650 including destination.

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