According to a report by Motoring Australia, the base 911 Carrera would set the stage and is expected to feature a turbocharged 2.7-litre engine, followed by the rest of the 911 (991 Series II) variants through this downsizing and forced induction program, with the exception of the Turbo and Turbo S that retain their big-bore motors and the track-focused GT3 and GT3 RS’s engines remaining as the final bastions of the rear-engine atmospheric flat-six. The Carrera S will be downsized from its current capacity of 3.8-litres to the 3.4-litre engine that powers the existing base Carrera model, albeit with turbocharged grunt.
The new engines are expected to be altered versions of the current Boxster and Cayman engines, with forced induction allowing for power outputs in the next 911 to be greater than its predecessors in spite of their smaller capacity. This means that the current crop of 911 are the last ones before range goes fully turbo (almost).
Product Line Director for Porsche's 911 Turbo, Carrera 4 and Targa, Dr Erhard Mossle, told motoring.com.au “This is the last one. And then we start again”.
Actually, downsizing has always been part of the Porsche recipe, with most of its competition at any given point in its history sporting significantly higher capacity engines. This is just the next step in a series that Porsche has been taking to reduce emissions and meet stricter regulations, especially in its native Europe. The automaker has made significant strides in engineering technologies toward this end that do not clash with but rather enhances the driving experience. And it’s going to take their best efforts to transition into this approaching era of lower emissions and hybrid powertrains without something being lost in the process, especially with a car that’s always been a benchmark driver-focused sports car: the 911.
Dr Mossle continued by saying, “992 or whatever we call it won't be as big a change as 997 was to 991. The change will be dictated by [hybrid] powertrain requirements.”
The next version of Porsche’s signature vehicle, whatever that may be called (series 992 perhaps?), will most likely have some type of hybrid power when it’s due for release around 2020. The good news is that, as they proved with the 918, Porsche are able to pull off a master class in vehicle calibration, managing so many systems operating at once within a single vehicle, but producing a cohesive and very engaging driving package.