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2020 Porsche 911 Prototype (992 Series)

SAN FRANCISCO, California – No one in Stuttgart decided to burn the playbook when it came time to develop the latest Porsche 911 . There is still a charismatic flat six hanging out of the rear axle. It retains the same basic silhouette. The key slot is still on the left side of the dash. For some 55 years now, Porsche has relentlessly sharpened, reshaped, digitized, and otherwise improved upon what has become arguably the world's most recognizable sports car. And while much has changed as the 911 enters its seventh act as the standard bearer of the marque, in many ways the song remains the same.

We got our first taste of the 2020 Porsche 911 by way of some wheel time in pre -production prototypes of the 992 Series generation model in and around the San Francisco Bay area, about a year or so before the car hits US showrooms. The early returns? Thanks in part to a fresh suite of computer-controlled assets, the new 911 is faster, more efficient, and most importantly, more fun to drive than ever.

 a car parked on the side of a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

Though it's shaping up to be a significant improvement over the outgoing model, the 992 is not a new car down to the pores. There was no need for reinvention-after all, the present-gen, 991 Series 911 is still a remarkably inspiring and involving piece of kit. This time around, improving ergonomics, adding new driver assistance systems, and further reducing emissions were the primary goals.

In keeping with Porsche's cautious, evolutionary approach to its core product, the 2020 Porsche 911 is not a head-turner from an external point of view . All the traditional 911 cues are there, with the only real eye-catchers being small details like the contrasting black bumper inserts front and rear, the extra dose of Botox in all wheelhouses, the wider rims, and the fancier, three-part pop- up rear spoiler. More cooling air is now being channeled to the brakes and radiators via a slim horizontal intake with selectively blocked louvers. As is sadly and vogue these days, the taillights have gone full-width seemingly for no real reason other than aesthetics. Its revised aero package has been optimized in a further effort to neutralize lift, and it's roughly 0.8-in longer and up to 1.6-in broader than before. Det ville vært fint at holde det sværeste, hvor det var, men alle de moderne bekvemmeligheder og den bøfler fodtøj, der blev lagt omkring 40 pounds eller så til tally.

Open the drivers by, and the 2020 911 welcomes you with a different blend of fashion and function. It's a sophisticated, new-era design that will look familiar to anyone who has been in any late-model Porsche. Having said that, the central rev counter still swings an analogue needle, and you must again insert and turn a key to switch on the ignition. Men fire af de fem runde dials er nu digitaliseret, colorful, and freely programmable. High up in the center console resides a large rectangular display similar in scope to the units found in new Cayenne and Panamera which invites you to zoom, scroll, and swipe until your finger goes numb. Nimble digits are also handy when operating the multi-task steering wheel, shift paddles, and the three-fat column stalks. Positioned above the center air vents are five direct-access buttons. Depending on specification, one or two will execute dedicated tasks like navigating to home.

 A car parked in a parking lot © Automobile Magazine Staff

In keeping with Porsche's modern-age rollout strategy, the 992 will initially Only be available in Carrera 2 and Carrera 2S flavors. The Porsche marketing squad thought long and hard about how to position the first two models, eventually rating the lesser 3.0-liter engine at roughly 385 hp. The S we drove is good for around 450 hp. The twin-turbo unit redlines that 7,500 rpm, maximum torque is a healthy 405 lb-ft, and the fuel consumption is claimed not to have gone up. Performance? With launch control activated, Porsche says the PDK version of the Carrera S can accelerate from 0-60 mph in a 3.6 seconds or so. The top speed is 192 mph, which should be enough for most occasions. From what we know so far, the new Carrera S should be every bit the match of the present-generation 911 GTS from a performance standpoint.

So let's go for it. Sliding into the driver's seat feels like putting on one's favorite cashmere-lined body harness. The pivotal controls are still in the same position, the clutch action still varies from velvety to violent, the throttle response is still as keen as you will tolerate. The most obvious initial dynamic difference is the boost in power and torque-highlighted by an unexpectedly muffled exhaust note-and what seems at least subjectively to be somewhat smoother running characteristics.

As our convoy cuts through a magnificent swath of Northern Californian hinterland , we're challenged by blind crests, spoiler-chewing dives, crumbling blacktop, and hard shoulders that suddenly go soft. This is a tough terrain for a performance car, and yet it feels like home turf for the 992, which delivers the goods with verve and vivacity. While the base carrera comes in a 18/19 inch front / rear tire / wheel configuration, the S is shod with Pirelli P Zeros sized 245/35 ZR20 up front and 305/30 ZR21 in the back where hell would break loose if it were not for the armada of disaster prevention electronics. (As it happened, a software glitch prevented us from deactivating ESP completely.) Hidden inside the front wheel wells are two microphones, which act as multi-stage rain and ice sensors. Clever.

 a car driving on a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

For our second stint, the man in the passenger seat with us is Gustl Achleitner, R & D chief for the sports car division and a hardcore Porsche veteran .

"We are offering again a choice of transmissions, a seven-speed manual and a new eight-speed PDK which packages plug-in hybrid componentry should we ever decide to go that way," Achleitner tells us. "Selv om man må forberede sig på alle eventualiteter, er vægt og kompleksitet fortsat store forhindringer."

I den 991 var den syv-hastighedshåndboken til tider en modproduktiv, fidgety-til-frustrerende forsøk på å komme til grepp med ever- tightening emission regulations. From what we can tell so far, the shift quality has improved markedly in the 992, and that ultimate move from sixth to seventh is no longer a haptic game of chance.

The optional rear-wheel steering system coming for the 2020 Porsche 911 just about doubles the number of steroids that roam the engine. Transmission-rear-suspension orbit. Turn-in is even more reassuring now than lean and grip join forces while steering and throttle establish a super-smooth handling balance. Without the system, the new 911 feels rawer and edgier, but it also reveals a little more of its inherently tail-happy self. (We would be inclined to check the rear-wheel steering option for the PDK equipped models). Efter cirka en time for at give det, er det ingen tvil om det: dette 911 flytter på en mer kompatibel, men mer aggressiv måte, det kan gå på en raskere pace, og det går ganske mye lenger. Its largest individual dynamic asset is the much improved front-end bite which allows for higher cornering speeds and a broader sweet spot at the limit.

 a bridge over a body of water © Automobile Magazine Staff

"The 992 builds quantifiably more mechanical grip than the 991, "says Achleitner, a man who would know. He tells us about the adjustable Bilstein dampers, which cover a broader range of action, the new passive engine mounts that are designed to take the sting out of lift-off maneuvers, and a steering ratio that's about five percent faster. Little things maybe, but in aggregate they make a difference. Mens de manuelle transmissionbiler kommer med en mekanisk difflås, PDK-modellerne leverer en elektronisk styrt side-to-side torque distribution.

Since high-tech headlights and brakes generate juicy revenue, the 992 offers extra cost LED headlamps with cornering lights and a pair of adaptive multi-beam matrix eyes. Proliferation is even more evident in the brakes department. While standard-size steel rotors are part of the Carrera parcel, the S gets bigger discs and matching calipers. Porsche 911 Prototype 992 Series Porsche 911 Prototype 992 Series (19659062) 2020 Porsche 911 Prototype 992 Series 09 ” data-src=”http://www.msn.com/{“default”:{“load”:”default”,”w”:”80″,”h”:”45″,”src”:”//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBOfmrr.img?h=450&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f”},”size3column”:{“load”:”default”,”w”:”62″,”h”:”35″,”src”:”//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBOfmrr.img?h=351&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f”},”size2column”:{“load”:”default”,”w”:”62″,”h”:”35″,”src”:”//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBOfmrr.img?h=351&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f”}}” src=”//static-entertainment-wus-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif”/> © Automobile Magazine Staff
 2020 Porsche 911 Prototype 992 Series 09

A well kitted-out 992 can do much more than accelerate swiftly, steer accurately, and brake promptly. Det kan svaret på driverens hver dynamiske indflydelse ved at justere spjældet, ESP-mode eller gashåndtaget. Tap the big screen, and five more options will pop up in a flash, labeled wet, normal, sport, sports plus, and individual. Gone are the direct access buttons next to the gear lever, so every single menu and submenu need to be opened via the main display. Surely, in this case, less would have been more? En anden problematik, som ikke gik bort, vedrørte tuning af PDK-gearboxen, som i normal mode fungerer som om det er taget en sovende pille. In Sport and Sport plus, however, high-revolving hooliganism is once more the name of the overly hectic game-except that when the car is sitting at traffic lights, revs are capped at 3,500 rpm sharp. Talk about idiosyncrasies.

From the Porsche 911 7.0's greater-than-ever enhanced high-tech content and convenience and comfort upgrades have not compromised the core qualities that have made this sports car a legend. Twitter

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