2012 PORSCHE 911
Known internally as the '991' (rebooting the 99X codes), the ninth-generation 911 will hit Australian showrooms in March, bringing both the Carrera and Carrera S specifications with it.
Although the new 911 continues the slow evolution of its iconic (and virtually locked-in) styling language, there are more than a few design tweaks separating it from its forebears.
On the outside, the 991 gets a new bumper design front and rear, with fatter haunches and a more upright headlight design. The LED taillights too are markedly different, taking on a more streamlined look more common to motor-show concepts.
There's a longer and even lower roofline (thanks to a stretched wheelbase), and the side mirrors are now rooted beneath the belt line, rather than in the very corner of the A-pillar.
Despite all that, it's true that the new 911 looks much the same as the previous model. Without parking them side-by-side, the 991's differences are only glaringly obvious to fans and trainspotters.
Under the skin, it's a different story.
The 'regular' Carrera is powered by a 3.4 litre direct-injected flat-six engine (down from 3.6 litres), producing 261kW and 380Nm of torque in its basic form.
For the more performance-oriented Carrera S, power will come from a 3.8 litre direct-injected flat-six delivering 298kW and a 0-96km/h (60mph) dash of 4.5 seconds.
Both variants will be offered with either a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, or the new seven-speed manual transmission teased in earlier announcements.
Porsche says then when paired with the PDK transmission, the Carrera will hit 100km/h in 4.6 seconds, and 4.4 seconds with the special Sport Chrono option ticked at the dealership.
The Carrera S powers to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds with the PDK transmission, and 4.1 with the Sport Chrono pack. Times for the new seven-speed manual transmission, for either model, have not been given.
Fuel consumption is also improved for both, falling to 8.2 l/100km for the Carrera and 8.7 l/100km for the Carrera S. The savings are achieved largely through the use of the seven-speed transmissions, but also through an auto stop/start system, electrical system recuperation, electro-mechanical steering, and improved thermal management.
Physically, the new 911 is 45kg lighter than the outgoing model, thanks in part to a new aluminium-steel body design - which also brings significantly improved rigidity.
The wheelbase has grown by 100mm, and the front and rear tracks have also grown under those flared guards (exact numbers weren't offered).
The Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilisation system is also available for the first time on the Carrera S.
The PDCC system is designed to reduce body-roll in cornering, keeping the tyres in the optimal position to the road surface and increasing cornering speeds.
The Carrera will be priced in Australia from $229,900 and the Carrera S from $263,100.