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First look at the 992 away from the lights…

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First look at the 992 away from the lights…

Old 12-19-2018, 03:18 AM
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stout
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Default First look at the 992 away from the lights…

Hello all,

Attended the 992 Tech Workshop last week, and conducted an interview we may publish in 000—but I'll be uploading some pics from the event and other reflections here that I'm not sure are right for 000, as I think they are very right for the Rennlist crowd and some seemed to enjoy it when I did the same with the Carrera T and GT3 Touring drives. They also make good notes for me to return to when writing.

So, with that said, this post is to welcome questions that have to do with "being there" (there are plenty of threads analyzing the dry info already online). I'll do my best to answer your questions as I can, and to figure out what to upload. This was a powerpoint heavy presentation, and because it's been my experience that not all of the "slides" make it into the press materials, I took photos of nearly every "slide" to augment my own notes and may upload those here. I can't guarantee they'll be great resolution, but if Rennlisters would like them, I'm happy to share them.

Before we get to all that, however, some "install" notes/first thoughts:

Apologies in advance for typos, etc. I am going to approach this casually.

I've watched with no small interest the comments on the 992 here on RL. Some have been hilarious, some I have really resonated with (personally and professionally). Others have seemed to me a bit over the top—mainly because, if there is one thing I've learned with new 911s, it's that I inherently approach each new generation with skepticism—scandalized by "huge" changes that 99% of the public won't be able to spot. Only for me, "huge" doesn't belong in quotes. Each change from the 911 > 964 > 993 > 996 > 997 > 991 > 992 really do seem big to me. As in, how could you not see them?! While there's no mistaking the visuals of one for another in my view, I recognize that makes me something of an anorak. The facelifts are nearly as scandalous in some cases (or maybe more so?), but that's where I really know I am an anorak. Maybe you are, too?

I was present for the 992's PECLA debut, and met the new car with mixed emotions. But this was true of the 996 (which I grew to like quite a bit, both initially and over time) and the 991 in Frankfurt (which took me longer to warm to, and to fewer models). I guess it was true of the 964, as well, though that's a mixed bag as I was too young to be anything other than an onlooker back then. All three grew on me, so I'll echo that bit about the danger of judging a new 911 too soon. Some (964, 996.1, 991.1) grew on me, while others either didn't—or didn't age well (996.2 C2 and several 997.2 models). In other cases, "no brainer" 911s (993 and 997) looked great out of the box and still do, but have also had their moments of less favor in my mind's eye. My mind's funny like that; maybe yours is too. While we're at it, there are elements of early 911s that trouble me, from the sublime SWB 1965-1968 911's clumsy chrome around the vent windows to the impact-bumper cars' rubber accordions. I'm sure we can pick out other little issues in other 911s.

So, out with it about the 992, you say. Early take, from seeing it in person: The rear flares are really nice—possibly a high point, I would say, and maybe the best since the 993 C4S/Turbo—and the front flares are pretty nice, too. The 992 made a 997.1 Porsche brought along for the LA debut look a bit anemic, with "flat" doors and decidedly apologetic flares—this on a car that seemed like a return to the 993's voluptuousness after the 996. I'm not sold on the 992 in yellow, but find it works a lot better in darker colors (the darker blue) but oddly also in silver (particularly as seen in certain in-motion press shots, but also in person at Hockenheim). I can't decide where I land on the hard line on the top of the front fenders from the door mirrors forward, which may be a look back to the original 911's front fenders and/or a bit of Audi "edge," too. On first blush, I struggled with some visual details (particularly, the door handles after the 991.2's sublime pulls as well as the "throwback" creases on the hood, as I like a Porsche's forms to be functional) as well as the wide/horizontal openings in the bumpers, the rear bumper, and the third brake light. I can't decide if the front bumper will keep me thinking "New Beetle" or soon connect the 992 with the impact-bumper 911s and make the "RSK hood treatment" and panel lines on the 997 and 991 look old and compromised. Time will tell.

The wheel choices are a big improvement over those for the 991.2, imo, and nice to see the Fuchs-ish wheel is now forged. The spokes are totally smooth on the back, a nice touch when you feel them against the cast spokes. What was that about "anorak" again? Suspect the standard 20-inch Carrera S wheel in silver is going to be underrated, and rarer than it should be.

Leaving LA, I knew I needed to 1) see the 992 away from a show environment (at a distance, out in the world, and without so many people around it) and 2) drive the thing and spend time around it as a driver. We got the chance to address 1) at Hockenheim, but the light was German winter spec, the temperatures matched, and exposure to the car was fairly limited. The car definitely looked better to me out in the world, fixing some of the "long" vibe of the 991 with its flares, but 2) will have to wait until a first drive in Spain in January. Hopefully, someone will be there from the design department, as I always find the "why" enlightening.

The 992 does sound good (better than 991.2) when you're inside the car at speed, and front-end grip seems to be very impressive from the passenger seat. Couldn't tell too much else from the right seat, as it was a race track and someone else was driving.

One of my favorite suspension engineers at Porsche was involved in the 992, so that's promising.

I have reservations about a big push towards more screens, and more tech. I get it in the four-door offerings, but the emphasis in a 911 worries me. Various workshops about online/offline nav, 360-degree cameras, LED lights, etc had me wondering if this is the right direction for the 911—as Porsche (and many other European makes) have always lagged here while customers paid a premium for the cars anyway—they were buying stuff that doesn't age and other companies don't do as well as Porsche does: mechanicals, handling, styling, etc. Many of the electronic systems discussed come standard in cars costing far less, and so putting an emphasis on these features strikes me as odd. These can quickly be viewed as "minimums" and move a car closer to everything else. Color me reserved here, as I need to experience this stuff in Spain. Maybe it will be revelatory in use, or just a nice upgrade from the so-so UI in the 991.

The "hard parts" of a 911 have always been more interesting to me, with perhaps the most intriguing changes in the 992 being "wet mode" (which seemed bizarre in LA but made a lot more sense in Germany) and a pair of metal "straps" added to the cast-aluminum front strut towers to hold their "hats" down against sharp upward shocks (looked like a smart improvement, and had me wondering if there is a way to incorporate a similar mod in 981s and 991s). I took a lot of photos of a 992 chassis fresh from the line—without even paint—and am curious if these would be interesting to others? I could have walked around the thing for an hour, but we had to head to a QC station.

As for wet mode, it was prompted by the idea that accidents and injuries/fatalities have been reduced by stability systems with the exception of one primary situation: hydroplaning. So why doesn't it just automatically engage, to be defeated by the driver at will? Because the engineers wanted the driver to be aware of the issue and consciously decide to engage the system...or not. More on this later, but the logic may assuage some of the other concerns expressed about in-town overrides. I'll get a chance to see how that works in Spain, but the primary takeaway from that aspect of the nav system was that the transmission and other systems will reference nav to determine when to hold gears, etc. depending on hills, corners, etc. I am personally mixed on such advancements in a driver's car, but will withhold judgement until I try the thing. Already lamenting the fact that the first drives will be PDK only, however, as it would be nice to experience the new car in "maximum tech" form and "minimum tech" form, as we were able to experience the 991.2 in Tenerife—but time moves on and there are new things to be learned.

All up, the day and a half in Germany left me with a lot to think about. My sense is that this could be more than merely another "new 911," that it may well be a pivotal 911. All the ones up to this point have told me that it's best to reserve final judgment until I can drive one (hopefully on good roads...), and then live with them on roads I know. In the meantime, I might have a bit more information than you're able to glean from the press generated and yet to be generated, and if I can share it with you I am happy to.

Cheers,

pete

Last edited by stout; 12-20-2018 at 01:54 AM. Reason: Add photos
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:43 AM
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A picture is worth a thousand words
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:36 AM
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A giant wall of text and not a single pic was seen that day.

didnt read.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:04 AM
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I wonder when Mr. "911" will understand that there's a way to evolve without loosing the 911 roots?

On the design,
instead of a design evolution looks as an exercise copy n paste here n there from 993 930 design stylistic features, lack of cohesiin and the outlook looks like a 60 years old person pretending to be a teeneger, in a word
ridicoulus! What a great interpretation was the 991 instead of this clownish 992

On the electronics,
integrating Wet mode, radars and cameras is very good and i am struggling to understand the forums controversy on this topic, you can always disable esc/tc and drive 100mph on a rainy public road killing yourself if you like so, so what's the need to discuss wet mode?? Looks like discussing the abs on a 500hp car. Again the designers did not understand they could integrating all the wonderful electronics keeping a more coherent dashboard? All the 997 digital screens are more than enough to display the new systems, so why that 992 "1980" videogame style dashboard??

On the chassis,
along the evolved electronics, the chassis evolution is in line with the 911 as long as the only evolution is Not only making the 911 year by year the car more mid-engine otherwise i can buy a 718 or a Ferrari for that!
In 2018 launching a 150k/250k "mass sport product" that gets a 20kg! heavier pdk and overall 65kg more weight sounds very off-key considering all the modern light materials available

Maybe they decided not to develop a lighter product due to the (required?) investors higher and higher margins that think like beasts only interested about today profit at risk of killing a product?
For their "power at low cost" demand, what s better solution than the obsolete turbos?

On the engine,
Here we have rather than an innovative staying in the tradition technology, derailing from Porsche philosophy the 992 3L turbos,
has even more lag and later rpm max tq due the car increased weight that needed even the marketing extra increased power at low cost aka profits.Wow! I understand emissions but never heard words like electric turbos, light materials, downsizing
proved to be wrong, etc. ?

i see to be a GT guy who buy a car not to drive it at 200mph but because it can drive at that speed and its either a techology jewel i can own and care,
i can also buy another car that reminds my garage or track queen above and that can potentially drive so fast but also good for daily driving and with an ordinary engine
but it has to have a reasonable price and a well executed design, which i dont agree the 992 has.

My little 2 suggestions to Porsche are to calm down the investors appetite, after all they have already the best returns isn t it?
And with the same urgency the second suggestion is to send all the current 911 leading designer and engineers to a retirement house, i am sure young and fresh guys can do much better in understanding what the 911 is...in the meantime i watch this sexy baby



Last edited by fxz; 12-23-2018 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:19 AM
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Thanks for the insights and thoughts! Would love to see some pics of the front towers given the sporadic failures we've seen in the 991/981 cars.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:14 AM
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Some good thoughts there, thanks for posting. Yes, I’d love to see the front strut ‘straps’. Sounds like a pretty basic, almost agricultural, fix to a serious structural design flaw.

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Old 12-19-2018, 11:00 AM
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Always so insightful. While I am not here often, I always make sure to read your words.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:17 AM
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I always enjoy different perspectives and waiting to see your photos "in the wild". Thanks kindly.
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:23 PM
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so true. I think a 2 door taycan would look more like a 911 than the 992. The 992 looks like Tom Cruise trying to be 25 years younger and wearing all black to look "young and hip"
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:27 PM
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Sorry, pictures or it didn't happen
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:33 PM
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Looking forward to your further comments. I agree that, love it or hate it, it's a pivotal 911, and not just an evolution of the model. I expect the performance will be fantastic, while the styling oft debated.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:58 PM
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Thanks Pete; looking forward to additional thoughts from you, both here and in the magazine.

Originally Posted by gary.lee View Post
A picture is worth a thousand words
Originally Posted by Psorcery View Post
A giant wall of text and not a single pic was seen that day.

didnt read.
Originally Posted by promocop View Post
Sorry, pictures or it didn't happen
Tough crowd.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by stout View Post
The 992 does sound good (better than 991.2) when you're inside the car at speed, and front-end grip seems to be very impressive from the passenger seat.
Thanks for the write-up! Are you able to elaborate on how the sound has changed for the better?
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the in depth perspective.

I think this 911 is somewhat of a bastard and transition model... It's kind of like early laptops in that they were not very good but a needed iteration to get to what we have today.

Porsche has danced well with global Cafe, EPA, Crash testing, safety standards and tariff threats that are all evolving faster than ever. The new emissions equipment was certainly a hurdle(a huge opportunity for aftermarket! [outside of California of course]). They have also postured for a hybrid.

Also - Porsche has become a lifestyle brand as much as it is a car company. Experience centers, restaurants, shoes, watches, clothes, etc. The only way for Porsche to continue to grow is to attract new customers. I think it's like 40% of Porsches sold now are Macans? New people to the brand will be looking at the latest tech and will not be Porsche Anoraks.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:56 PM
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Nice right up - however, there are some real and important technical details worthy of discussion

(1) . The engine has changed - new piezo system and higher compression ratio plus placement of intercoolers
(2) . The gear ratios in the 8 speed PDK are shorter than those found in the 7 speed PDK
(3) . The S has the same (B)HP as the current GTS but 20NM less peak torque
(4) . The front track is wider, what is the new track to wheel base ratio
(5) . The weight - its a heavy car now - this has real ramifications at the limit
(6) . The noise/sound - honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between the in-cabin sound of my GTS and the in car sound from Hockenheim (S)
(7) . Lots of other cars with arguably more and better "tech"
(8) . Lot of other cars with way better nicer interiors in the GT space (991 edge of sports car to GT car, 992 definite GT)
(9) . Design - to most it lacks cohesion - form follows function - now it has mixed lines, creases, curves and elements that simply clash e.g. rear. Whereas the 991 has clean lines.

Whilst its easy to go over old ground posted in numerous threads - the reality is the reaction to the 992 has been mixed, my own reaction has been "disappointment" even worse "meh". Having said this the most interesting car I have driven in relatively recent times is the 430 Cup e.g. light, nimble with great handling. This may say more about my leanings.

As you say the 992 maybe pivotal - it certainly is pivoting away from small, nimble, light-weight sports car to medium-weight, technology controlled GT car set-up for an even heavier hybrid. Fast heavy cars lose their charm quickly.
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