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Next-gen Porsche 911 hits the 'ring in Germany

By raccars Published

911

Future Porsche 911 takes to the Nürburgring as components are tested in the body of a 991.

A development mule believed to be for the next Porsche 911 has been spotted being tested at Germany’s Nürburgring, although it is not expected to make an appearance in production form for some years.

The mule is making use of the body of the 991 Carrera 4 with just a few modifications, such as extended wheel arches and wider wings. A full body prototype of the Porsche 911 is expected to make an appearance in the next couple of months.

On track for hybrid model

It is thought that the next 911 will get a wider track to increase stability, which should result in improved driving dynamics and handling. It also hints at the future possibility of a hybrid Porsche 911 as the wider track could be needed to accommodate the hybrid drive train. There seems little doubt that this hybrid idea will become a reality in the future, although whether this will be in the next 911 is another matter.

Erhard Mössle, the director for the 911 product line, confirmed earlier this year that Porsche is looking at the potential of a plug-in hybrid 911, although the challenges of accommodating the necessary technology in the 911 means that it is far from a certainty for the next model.

A hybrid Porsche 911 would offer a significantly more economical driving choice and would reduce CO2 emissions, but the car is still primarily a performance model and it is likely that it will keep the six-cylinder engine which Mössle added at the start of this year.

The future of the Porsche 911

It is believed the development mule which has just been spotted was trialling components for the new Porsche 911 at the Nürburgring in advance of the launch of a new version of the hugely popular model in 2019 or 2020.

The current version of the Porsche 911 underwent of range of 991.2 updates, which included the addition of new turbocharged engines in 2015. The next model, when it eventually appears, will be the official eighth-generation car. The current 911 was launched in 2011.

The new car is expected to make use of a fresh modular platform and will offer a wider range of power trains, including the potential for the first ever hybrid 911 version.

Porsche is also known to be working on a totally electric production model which is influenced by the Mission E concept of 2015. This is set to make its debut in 2020, whilst other Porsches, including the new Panamera, are set to supplement engine power with electricity to enhance efficiency and deliver a performance a boost.

Oliver Blume, the chairman of Porsche, said that sports cars were generally likely to be slower to offer electric power options because of the inherent weight penalties but he said that even the most popular of models, such as the 911, will eventually have to adjust.

Bloom said that this would not mean the end of the traditional-style 911, however. Instead, the company will cater for fans of both the ‘new and old’. This means that manual gearbox, naturally-aspirated models, such as the current 911R, are unlikely to lose their position in the next generation of the 911 family.

A family affair

It is believed that the next generation Cayman and Boxster, which are expected in 2020, will share the same electronics and hardware as the next 911, as will a much-anticipated Lamborghini model line, if recent rumours are to be believed. Elements of the Porsche platform may also be used if the Audi R8 is reincarnated for a third generation.

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