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This is your first look at the new Porsche 911

Germany’s iconic rear-engined sports car gets a refresh… and turbo engines

It’s been four years since the seventh-generation ‘991’ Porsche 911 was revealed to the (largely unshocked) public at the 2011 Frankfurt show.
 
Since then Kanye West has declared himself as the greatest rockstar of all time, not one, but two royal babies have deigned us with their presence, and the planet has been invaded by giant mutant spider dogs. So clearly it’s time for the 911 to receive a quick freshen-up.
 
Likely to debut at Frankfurt in September, here’s your first look at 991 v2.0.

OK, it’s not quite the finished thing, but these lightly-disguised test mules – covered in sensors, little children and aerials, pounding round dusty South Africa to make sure everything is working – give some subtle hints to the nature of the facelift.
 
If you flick through the gallery above, you’ll spot the gentlest nip’n’tuck: new light clusters front and rear, slight aerodynamic changes around the vents, and a new Daihatsu Copen-like exhaust configuration. Well, Porsche was never one for messing too much with the 911’s venerable aesthetic, was it?
 
There’s also a slightly modified interior that includes a new 918-inspired steering wheel, including with a new driving mode panel offering the choice of four programmes. What they do exactly, we’ll have to wait and see.
 
However, there’s bigger things happening under the 911’s marginally-changed skin.
 
As Top Gear reported earlier this year, the next wave of 911s will be pushed along with the help of turbochargers. And not just the fastest variants.
 
“You have to respect legal requirements [for lower CO2], so yes, we’re thinking turbos for standard 911s,” Porsche’s engineering chief Wolfgang Hatz told us.
 
Weirdly, the turbo engine we’re set to see in the facelifted 911 will likely be a turbo variant of the all-new naturally aspirated engine found in the new GT3 RS.
 
But before you get excited that a boggo 911 Carrera will effectively be a GT2, hold on a sec. With the addition of turbos Porsche will turn down the flat six’s wick for better emissions.
 
“Emissions are important for us,” said Hatz, “And we will reduce faster than the industry. Every new model will have lower CO2 than before. There aren’t so many technologies to do it. If you look at euro per g/km then it’s turbo. Then, at the end of the decade, electrification has to be the next huge step.”

Does that mean a hybrid for the next-gen 911, due some time around 2018? “Yes,” Hatz confirmed.

With hybrid know-how gained from the 918 and 919 racer, you can trust Porsche to do a good job of combining petrol and electric power.

But before then, we’ll see a turbo 911 Carrera. A sad end for one of the great naturally aspirated sports cars, or will you take more power for less fuel?
 

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