Way up in the frigid climes of Northern Europe Porsche is testing the upcoming refresh of the 992-generation 911. The company’s iconic rear-engine sports car has been available as a convertible consistently since 1983, so we’re hardly surprised to see a new version making its way toward production alongside its hardtop brothers. It doesn’t particularly matter that this prototype is a cabriolet, as it doesn’t appear much has changed with the structure or design of the convertible top, but this one might be hiding some pretty interesting secrets.
The biggest visible change for the 992.2 generation is a new front bumper design with larger air intakes that are now fitted with vertical slats. These new slats are intended to make the 911 more aerodynamically efficient at speed, allowing the car to slip through the air without using extra fuel. The slats are active, naturally, and turn toward closed as speed rises and brake/radiator temperatures don’t need the excess cooling.
Porsche has chosen to cover over the car’s daytime running lights and turn signals, as they are likely of a new design as well. Because they’ve been hidden by superfluous camouflage bodywork, an extra set of bodged-on lights have to fill both of those purposes on the prototype. I’m really hoping the 911 adopts a new non-round headlight design more in line with that of the Taycan and upcoming Macan, just to give us a completely new 911 design. Surely some of the more faithful 911 fans would freak out, but it’s time for the icon to evolve beyond a round lamp.
Anonymous sources within the company have made claims that the entry level 911 will once again return to a naturally aspirated engine. The current going theory is that the 992.2 will get a version of the direct-injection four-liter flat-six engine currently found in the Cayman and Boxster GTS 4.0, but obviously sized down to a smaller displacement, perhaps a 3.2 or 3.4 liter once again. Helping to corroborate this theory is that the exhaust on this prototype seems to ape that of the exhaust found on a Cayman GTS 4.0.
I, for one, would absolutely love to see the return of a naturally aspirated 911 without the massive price premium of the GT3. A standard two-wheel drive Carrera with a flat-six howl would be good for the soul, but also good for Porsche’s bottom line. One of the main reasons for switching to turbocharged cars in the first place was concerns with emissions, but if Porsche continues to pump out all-electric Taycans like they’re going out of style, its average emissions will continue to drop, even if the 911 goes back to a naturally aspirated spec. Now if only we could get the NA 4.8-liter V8 back in the Panamera GTS. A guy can dream, can’t he?
Photo credits: SpiedBilde