The new Porsche 992 911 has even more go-fast goodness

Meet the Porsche 911 focused on technology and trinkets as much as style and performance – and the first in the 55-year history set to adopt electric power.

The eighth generation of the iconic sports car is more of the same done better for a car that defines the brand and sets the heartbeat of the company.

Using the model code 992, the latest iteration of one of the world's most loved and revered sports cars replaces the successful 991 generation that will continue with some model variants for some time yet.

For 992 911 there's more power, better looks and more go-fast goodness.

Automatic choice

Due in Australia around May 2019 the latest 911 will initially be offered only with a new eight-speed twin-clutch automatic, which Porsche calls PDK.

The company argues 85 per cent of its owners have an Apple iPhone, prompting the focus on that phone type.

The first models to arrive will be the Carrera S (at $265,000, before dealer and on-road costs) and all-wheel drive Carrera 4S ($281,100).

By the end of 2019 the 992 will have the option of a seven-speed manual, one of the few supercars to still offer a self-shifting transmission.

The latest evolution of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder in the Carrera S delivers 331kW, 22kW up on its predecessor.

Repositioned turbochargers and a new injection system have also improved efficiency, while the new eight-speed twin-clutch automatic further boost performance over the old seven-speed unit.

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Combined with the optional Sport Chrono Package – which brings a launch control system – it means the Carrera S hits 100km/h in as little as 3.5 seconds and the all-wheel drive Carrera 4S in 3.4 seconds.

Dig deeper

On first blush the 992 generation 911 doesn't look wildly different from before.

That's the point, its distinctive humped rear-engined shape and bulging headlights harking back to the original of 1963.

Yet the 992 is a car the purists attracted to 911s will instantly pick as new, courtesy of more pronounced bulges in its aluminium body and a body that is wider than ever.

The front wheels have been spaced 45mm further apart, something that prompted Porsche to ditch the narrower rear of the regular Carrera, which now share their rump with the Carrera 4S (down the track the Turbo and track-focused GT3 will get unique rear widths to account for their extra performance).

Pronounced hips at the rear flow over 21-inch rear wheels, the broader nose home to 20-inch tyres.

A distinctive LED character light also stretches the width of the car between the tail lights while new headlights and creases in the bonnet add depth to the nose.

The bonnet also flows further past the headlights and has squarer edges, something that gives it a different character.

Trainspotters will also notice the new recessed door handles, too.

Less appealing is the radar bulging from the lower grille and, on cars with a 360-degree camera, the lens bolted above it like an afterthought.

Digital injection

It's the injection of technology – including the adoption of the latest generation safety tech and connectivity – that defines the modern version of a classic.

Porsche claims the car has "permanent connectivity", something run through a new 10.9-inch touchscreen.

The redesigned dash gives a nod to tradition while packing in the latest materials and infotainment.

It's also the first 911 to benefit from auto emergency braking, technology now commonplace on mainstream models but rare on supercars.

The chief engineer for the 911, August Achleitner, says Porsche needs to keep an eye on shifting expectations regarding technology such as AEB.

"We don't have to be the first one with these things but also may not be the last one."

Those with an Android phone, though, won't get the latest Android Auto connectivity, with Porsche only fitting Apple CarPlay again with this latest 911.

The company argues 85 per cent of its owners have an Apple iPhone, prompting the focus on that phone type.

Slip and slide

The 992 has a new Wet Mode, which can precondition brakes and stability control systems to account for less grip.

Using microphones in the wheel arches it listens for a different frequency created by the tyres driving over a wet road; it only needs 300 metres of water-covered bitumen to determine when the surface is wet.

It then prompts the driver to select Wet Mode, in turn raising the rear spoiler, for more aerodynamic downforce to increase grip.

In four-wheel drive models, such as the Carrera 4S, it sends more drive to the front wheels, further reducing the chance of wheelspin.

It also dials back the throttle sensitivity and activates a stability control system that reduces engine power sooner to reduce wheelspin.

Porsche ambassador and former F1 star Mark Webber says the system is among the best on road or track.

"It's nearly Formula 1 … the smoothness of the system."

Hybrid focus

The 992 has also been engineered to take an electric motor in its new eight-speed transmission in readiness for a hybrid model.

Achleitner says the company is in no hurry to release a hybrid system but that it may soon be required to meet stricter regulations and keep pace with consumer demand for electrified vehicles.

"It's ready for hybrid," he says, adding that the focus would be on boosting performance while lowering fuel use, in the same vein as the successful Porsche 919 racer.

"This is the combination that would have to take place in a 911."

Family affair

Of course, the reveal of the Carrera S is only the beginning of an extensive Porsche 911 family. Over the next few years expect 992 generation versions of the GTS, Turbo, Cabriolet, Targa and track-focused GT2 and GT3.

However, Achleitner hints that the 20-model-plus 911 family could shrink, simplifying the lengthy and complex development program.

"It has happened that we've dropped some variants in the past it's not yet decided [whether we will drop more], because it takes so much time and effort for homologation."