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Driven: Eighth-gen Porsche 911 touches down

S and 4S variants kick off new-generation 992 Porsche 911 range starting in April

28 Mar 2019

AFTER just missing out on the model’s best-ever yearly sales record, Porsche Cars Australia (PCA) is tempering expectations for the new-generation 911 sportscar due to a gradual rollout of variants, but is expecting the new S and 4S grades to be very popular among buyers.
In 2018, Porsche recorded 511 sales of the 911 range, an increase of 18.6 per cent and only 11 sales shy of its record year in 2007.
At the launch of the new 992-series 911, PCA head of public relations Chris Jordan told GoAuto that the iconic sportcar could have achieved a sales record last year, however supply constraints meant it fell just short. 
“We were on track for a record year, but cars that we were expected to come into the country in November and December arrived in January, supply side issues were the reason,” he said.
“But we don’t chase sales numbers or records so that’s why we just let the supply chain play out. 
“We were doing the best we could to get cars to customers, we weren’t worried about the sales records.”
Mr Jordan said initial customer interest has been strong, however due to the limited scope of variants compared to the 24 available at the end of 991-series production, overall sales will probably not reach that of 2018.
“Order intake has already been really strong,” he said. 
“We’ve been taking orders since the car was unveiled in December, so we’ve already got a lot of customers eagerly awaiting their car, and a lot of our customers do spec the car exactly to their taste too, so over the next few months a lot of customers will be eagerly awaiting their car.
“If you’re talking just 911, we’re just launching with the S and 4S coupe, and then in four to six weeks cabriolet, so it does mean we’re not offering as many variants for sale this year. 
“So by virtue of having so many variants on sale in 2018, and for most of this year having only those four variants of 992 available, I wouldn’t expect us to match those sales results, but certainly if you look at how many Carrera S we’re going to sell, last year versus this year, last year there were not very many around at all, and this year we’ll sell lots.”
The 911 is regularly placed at the top of the sales tables in the $200,000-plus sportscar segment, however Mr Jordan said the company was not concerned with the 911’s sales performance compared to its competitors.
Initially, the new 911 range will be rolled out variant by variant, starting with the Carrera S and 4S coupes priced from $265,000 plus on-roads for the S and $281,100 for the all-paw 4S.
Drop-top Cabriolet versions will follow next, priced from $286,500 and $302,600 respectively for the S and 4S.
Following the trend of past 911 generations, the next variant to arrive will be the base-level Carrera, which is expected to be revealed mid-year ahead of an Australian debut towards the end of the year.
The rest of the range, including Turbo, Turbo S, GT3 and GTS variants, and the Targa body style, are expected to gradually arrive in 2020 and 2021.
Despite looking similar to its 991-series predecessor, the new 992 911 uses an all-new aluminium chassis, new-generation eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission and a heavily revised twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat six-cylinder engine.
Power in the Carrera S grade has been boosted by 22kW/30Nm to 331kW at 6500rpm, and 530Nm, sending power to either the rear or all four wheels via a new eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission derived from the Panamera sedan.
In the S, the zero to 100km/h time has been slashed by 0.4 seconds to 3.7s (3.6s in the 4S), while lapping Germnay’s famous Nurburgring is now done five seconds faster than its predecessor.
Meanwhile fuel consumption is rated at 8.9/9.0 litres per 100km for the S and 4S respectively.
A carryover seven-speed manual transmission will be made available later in the year as a no-cost option, which makes up around 20 per cent of sales in Carrera, S, and GTS, but as much as 50 per cent in the track-focused GT3.
The widebody version of the 911’s MMB platform has been made standard where it was previously available on only all-wheel-drive variants, while the body of the car is now made from 100 per cent aluminium, which has reduced body weight by five per cent. 
Overall kerb weight is up however, with the S checking in at 1515kg and the 4S adding an extra 50kg.
The Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual drive modes return, along with the new Wet Mode which opens the rear differential and tweaks the traction control and throttle response to ensure optimum safety and traction in low-traction driving conditions.
Wet mode is also able to detect when the road surface becomes wet or slippery and can automatically adjust accordingly.
Exterior styling remains true to previous generations, with the biggest change coming with a new tail-light signature that draws a single LED strip across the car’s rear end, while the S rides on 20-inch front and 21-inch rear alloy wheels.
The interior has been overhauled and includes the latest generation of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system projected onto a 10.9-inch touchscreen display, while the instrument cluster includes the central analogue tachometer flanked by a pair of 7.0-inch information displays.
Porsche Connect Plus is included as standard, which features satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, 4G telephone module, DAB+ digital radio and WiFi.
First deliveries of the new-generation 911 are expected to commence on April 13.

2019 Porsche 911 pricing*

S (a) $265,000
4S (a) $$281,100

*Excludes on-road costs

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