Every child recognises a 911, but can its identity be described in words? It can, by looking more closely at the use of form, proportions and contours. The roof line tapers down into the rear. The wings are higher than the front lid and, at the rear, they add muscle. They give the 911 its distinctive expression and leave you in no doubt as to its temperament.
The overall appearance is low, wide and sleek. Typically 911.
So, is everything just the same as it has been since 1963? Yes, and no. After all, only those who change will remain true to themselves – and we’ve changed.
Our designers and engineers speak guardedly about the 911 evolution. Meanwhile, they continually manage to take great strides forward with innovations motivated by the principle that these should be functional and perfectly compatible. The result is a harmonious overall concept that makes the new 911 a sportscar fit for the 21st century.
To show you what we mean, we should start by looking at the car’s exterior. The wheelbase of the new 911 is 100 mm longer for improved driving stability and cornering dynamics. Overhang is now shorter at the front and rear, making the new 911 look even more compact.
The sporty overall impression is emphasised by the lower roof line and a wider track at the front – 46 mm on the 911 Carrera models and 52 mm on the 911 Carrera S models. For improved aerodynamics, the exterior mirrors are now mounted directly on the doors. Increased agility is just one of the results of all these refinements.
The silhouette is therefore typically 911 and typical in terms of its development, which will now be described in more detail.
The new vehicle architecture, with a wider track at the front axle and the lower roof line, gives the front of the new 911 a dynamic appearance that is sporty and elegant. Fitted as standard, the new Bi-Xenon headlights still have the familiar oval-shaped surrounds for classic appeal and reveal their technically impressive inner workings. The Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) with dynamic cornering lights and speed-sensitive headlight control logic is available as an option.
The direction indicators, daytime running lights and position lights are all LEDs and are integrated into the separate front light units. Their slimline design contrasts with that of the rounded headlights. Together with the two integral air intakes, they make the front of the new 911 unmistakable.
At the rear, everything feels sharper: the styling, the appearance and the effect. This is due not least to the distinctive profile edge and new LED taillights, their stretched design accentuating the horizontal contouring of the rear. The characteristic reflector units have been positioned lower down but are still recognisable, particularly at night.
The stainless-steel tailpipes have been restyled. On the 911 Carrera S models, twin tailpipes are fitted on both sides. One new feature is the wider, extendable rear spoiler, which reduces lift in all driving situations and increases driving stability.
The 911 Carrera models and the 911 Carrera S models are equipped as standard with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels respectively. One inch larger than those on the respective previous model, they enhance the sporty presence of the new 911. Newly developed tyres with increased rolling circumference improve both comfort and performance.
In summary, form always follows function. As a design principle, it couldn’t be more simple, but it’s what makes the 911 a 911.
It’s also how we have managed to achieve a very low drag coefficient of just 0.29 on the Coupe models and 0.30 on the Cabriolets.
Even the logo on the rear has an important function to perform. It is, after all, the hallmark of the Porsche identity.