Porsche’s next 911 will get more power and feature more technology than the previous cars and will generate 395hp in the entry-level Carrera form.
The new eighth-generation model, which uses the internal codename 992, is set to make its public premiere at the Los Angeles motor show in November before going on sale early next year in initial rear-wheel-drive Carrera and Carrera S guises.
Further new 911 models will follow throughout 2019, including an advanced new four-wheel-drive Turbo, which insiders at Porsche’s Stuttgart headquarters suggest will make as much as 608hp in range-topping S form, giving it the same output as the limited-edition 911 Turbo S Exclusive launched last year.
The 20hp increase in output over the current 911 Turbo S is said to combine with developments to the four- wheel-drive transmission and improved aerodynamics to give the new model a 0-100kph time of less than 2.9sec and a top speed beyond the 330kph of its predecessor.
The new 911, which is claimed to offer a significant advance in structural engineering, introduces a newly developed platform that has been conceived to provide the basis for the third-generation Audi R8 and the successor to the Lamborghini Huracán.
There have been conflicts between the three companies concerning the mounting of the fuel tank, which sits up front in the 911 but at the rear of the cabin in the R8 and Huracán. However, it is understood that the new platform consists of a series of interchangeable modules in an overall matrix that will allow the three Volkswagen Group models to share a number of key components and enjoy greater economies of scale.
In a development aimed at keeping the kerb weight close to the 1,430kg of the manual version of today’s 911 Carrera, the new model also adopts an inner structure possessing a greater percentage of aluminium than that of its predecessor, most notably within the side sections.
Although not made up exclusively of aluminium, the structure uses a new generation of hot-formed high-strength steel employed in varying thicknesses, a process known as tailored blanks, within the floorpan for increased strength.
The structure, which has been developed in partnership with Bertrandt, a company Porsche has used for the development of all its recent models, is also claimed to bring greater levels of static stiffness and dynamic rigidity than those of today’s 911 models.
Despite the developments to its platform and body structure, added equipment levels and incremental increases in dimensions mean the new 911 is unlikely to benefit from a significant reduction in kerb weight.
Also unclear at this stage is whether Porsche will equip standard versions with the lithium-ion battery that, up until now, has been reserved for track-focused 911 models in place of a more traditional and heavier lead-acid battery.
The styling of the new 911 is little changed. The new model was initially previewed in a series of photographs depicting a disguised prototype of the 2018-model-year 911 issued in February. It follows an evolutionary path with a continuation of the customary look that has characterised the Porsche model through the years, albeit with some subtle modifications over its direct predecessor.
Included is a redesigned front end featuring a new-look bumper with altered air duct channelling, revised headlights that sit more upright and sport a new take on the four-element LED graphics adopted on all Porsche models, and reshaped front wings.
Further back, the new door handles sit more flush with the bodywork and the rear haunches are more pronounced. The rear also adopts the full-width tail-light design of other recently launched Porsche models.
The new 911 also adopts a number of active aerodynamic features, including louvres within the front air ducts and a new rear spoiler claimed to provide improved downforce.
Dimensionally, the new Porsche is said to have grown. Official figures remain under wraps, but sources suggest that its length is up by around 20mm and overall width has increased to accommodate a rear track of 1,850mm.
Changes to the interior are perhaps more comprehensive than those made to the exterior, with a new digital instrument panel, touch-operated switchgear and Porsche’s latest touchscreen infotainment system all featuring in a cabin that is claimed to be roomier than ever before.
The platform of the new 911 is said to position the engine more inboard than in any previous generation for improved weight distribution. Along with passive mounts on lower-end models, Porsche will continue to equip the more powerful models with dynamic mounts to help suppress movement of the engine’s mass under load for more neutral handling.
The existing turbocharged 3.0-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine will be retained for the Carrera and Carrera S. It adopts a number of changes to improve performance while reducing CO2 emissions, i [...]
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Kia Motors' expansive display at the 2018 Auto Expo attracted plenty of showgoers, but the SP Concept (and the lovely Stinger GT) aside, there were two Kia cars that generated quite some interest – one of which was the Stonic SUV. Here are five things you need to know about it.
How big is it?
For the uninitiated, the Stonic is essentially a sister model to the Hyundai Kona crossover, the electric version of which will be launched in India in 2019. It's the smallest SUV that the company makes, and it sports a muscular bonnet with Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille, flanked by angular headlights featuring LED DRLs. What make it look smarter are its swooping roofline, large alloys and muscular wheel arches. Kia believes design will be a key differentiator for the brand, enabling its models to appeal to a different set of customers – which could work well for the Stonic.
Size-wise, the Stonic is not a whole lot bigger than the compact SUVs we're used to. Sure, at 4,140mm in length, it is longer than all of them, and has a bigger wheelbase (2,580mm), but is narrower than both the Ford EcoSport and Tata Nexon, and at 1,520mm, it's only about as tall as a Maruti Baleno. Boot space is pegged at 352 litres. To give you some perspective, the Nexon has a 350-litre boot, while the EcoSport has a 341-litre boot.
What engines and gearboxes does it come with?
Internationally, the Stonic is offered with a range of engines including a 120hp, 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol; an 84hp, 1.2-litre petrol; a 100hp, 1.4-litre petrol; and a 110hp, 1.6-litre diesel unit. Gearbox options include a five- and six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. While a plug-in hybrid option is expected at a later date in those markets, the model is expected to remain front-wheel-drive only.
What about features and equipment?
The Stonic's interior exhibits a high level of quality, and the India-spec car is likely to retain the same premium feel. Talking of features, the Stonic is loaded with equipment such as climate control, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, reverse camera, steering-mounted controls, cruise control, heated front seats and a six-speaker music system. In addition to this, Kia is also known for its superior warranty packages: in the USA, for instance, it offers a 10-year/1,60,000-km warranty on its cars. It remains to be seen if Kia offers such comprehensive warranties in our market.
How’s it on safety?
Take a look at the Stonic's equipment sheet, and it becomes immediately apparent that the focus is very much on safety. In addition to front, side and curtain airbags, the Stonic is also equipped with ABS, Electronic Stability Control, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning system and blind spot detection, among other things. For your information, Euro NCAP had given the Stonic a full five stars when it tested the SUV in 2017.
Is it coming to India?
We've learned that Kia is evaluating the Stonic for India, along with the Grand Carnival MPV. If Kia does bring the Stonic to India, it'll be interesting to see how it positions the small SUV between the production-spec SP Concept (likely to be called the Kia Trazor) and its made-for-India compact SUV that will also go on sale in the years to come.
Do you think the Stonic would be a wise addition to Kia's India line-up? Let us know in the comments below.
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The new Cayenne receives the same front-end styling as the third-generation Cayenne, albeit with a unique front bumper design. However, it does adopt a newly styled liftback-style tailgate, altered rear side windows and a new tail-light design. This gives the Cayenne coupé a sporting profile similar to that of the second-gen Panamera.
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