Evolution, not revolution on the outside

Porsche has released the first official image of the next-generation (992) 911, albeit covered in camouflage.

As you can probably tell, the design team has stuck with its 'evolutionary' theme. After more than five decades of rear-engined sports cars that all look similar, that shouldn't come as a surprise.

The release accompanying the image includes conversations with the head of the 911 model line, August Achleitner.

Although it's part of the furniture in the motoring world, even the 911 needs to move with the times – as proven by the move to a turbocharged flat-six engine for the 991.2 generation car.

“With each innovation, the decisive factor for me is whether it suits the character of the 911,” said Achleitner.

“We don’t necessarily have to be the first in this regard with the 911. What’s crucial, rather, is that every innovation be offered in a typical Porsche manifestation... Even where the public might be expecting a bigger ‘wow factor,’ in the long run a certain aesthetic reserve pays dividends.”

With that in mind, Achleitner said he's open to the idea of an all-electric 911.

“Two years ago I’d have said no way. Today I wouldn’t categorically rule it out,” he said, talking about electrification.

"I drove the prototype of our coming electric sports car, the Mission E, and it was a very compelling experience. And the performance of the Porsche LMP race cars with hybrid drive systems is quite simply sensational.”

Perhaps pre-empting the likely purist uproar surrounding a 911 EV, the head of Porsche's most famous model line highlighted the way previous changes – water cooling, turbocharging – have improved the breed.

“Some fans rushed the barricades; it was all gloom and doom for many,” Achleitner said, talking about the switch to a turbocharged flat-six for the 991.2.

“And then the same thing happened as always: nothing. That encourages us to think about fundamental innovations in the future as well.”