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Here's How to Tell the New Porsche 911 From the Old One



Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

The most-asked question I got about the new 2020 Porsche 911 was how it's different from the outgoing 991.2-generation car. Because it looks the same, except for a few aesthetic cues. The 2020 Porsche 911 Is Truly a GT That Can Do It All

The 2020 Porsche 992 911 is finally here. It continues a relatively gradual evolution since 1963…

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Back to back for reference.

Got it? OK, good. Onward!

Exterior Differences

Obviously, from the outside, there are a few key changes between the 992 and the 991.1 and 991.2 generation.

The 992's front bumper has a much larger expanse of black grille detailing. The thin blades that extend downward on either side of the license plate are no longer painted in the body color. The result is a much more gaping mouth. The hood lines are much sharper and more geometric.

Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

Side indicators now ride above the front bumper line and have been lengthened slightly. And the car also comes exclusively with LED headlights now. By handles are flush against the body and are only slightly annoying to use.

Most Dramatic, but not for sale. I like the new brake light. I like the 90-degree contrast it makes with the rest of the rear, which is comprised of a series of lengthy, sideways slashes.

Sorry, I think that's where my goodwill towards the rear ends. The new design doesn't flow very well. There is a lot of empty space and there's also a lot of contrasting black venting, too. It's almost like there are just too many flat and tall planes of nothingness.

Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

The lettering that spells out "Porsche" has also been set slightly into the body, which is nothing . I am having mild nightmares when I imagine trying to buff and wax in those little spaces, however.

Font used on the rear trunk member is a modern and vintage combination. "Carrera" is scrawled in the contemporary font, while "911" is slightly offset and written in the blockier, '60s-era font that's found on the very first Porsche 911.

Another first for the Carrera is staggered wheel sizes: 19 inches in the front and 20 in the back on the standard car, 20 inches in the front and 21 inches in the back for the S models. This supposedly is to help improve grip and action without making the tires too wide for fear of hydroplaning. Plus, there are new wheel designs from the 992.

Driver Assists

Photo: Porsche

The new 911 also has more driver than ever, including an infrared night vision sensor, a 360-degree bird's- eye camera and a Wet Mode. This is a safety system that monitors the slickness of the road and affects the traction control accordingly. Physically putting the car into Wet Mode almost guarantees you won't be driving when you're driving.

There's also an on-board ionizer, another new feature, that will undoubtedly help you drive your 911 through the inevitable nuclear winter.

Hardware Upgrades

-speed PDK, which we have learned has been saved with enough spare room for a potential hybrid system, if Porsche ever wanted to head in that direction. This new transmission now adds about 44 pounds to the overall weight of the car.

Then there is the all-aluminum body, another first for a Carrera. Porsche cut down dramatically on the use of steel, which the automaker says helps save the car about 26.5 pounds.

The engine has been updated with larger-diameter turbocharges and an electronic wastegate, thus improving the efficiency and cold-start functions. The engineers have also transitioned from using solenoid injectors to piezo injectors.

The intercooler has also been moved up higher on the engine.

Screenshot: Porsche

The engine mounts, too, have been moved up further, making them closer to the longitudinal beams for more stiffness and reduction of engine movement. At the same time, the new Carrera apparently has improved NVH qualities. I did notice that the red did more quietly on the highway than the previous generation did.

Screenshot: Porsche

Interior Touches

On the inside, the design has shifted from the vertical-heavy layout that took place during the 996 generation to a more than 60s-style horizontal layout. A slim shelf-line does wonders for splitting the dash into a "top" and "bottom" section.

Gone are the T-rex arm cupholders; they have been replaced with one that look like real cupholders. And there is a lock in the center console that can be fitted with an additional cupholder.

Photo: Porsche

Mercifully, the center console gets rid of with the chunky, button-heavy layout that plagued the last generation of 911s. The result is a clean, empty and minimalist design. Two of the five tactile switches located below the infotainment screen can be programmed for specific settings.

Most of the iconic five-gauge cluster is now digital, save for the middle gauge, which remains analog. I was too pleased about this. I like physical gauges and these digital ones don't do it for me. But this does mean that you can change what each gauge shows.

The gear selector is the smallest it has ever been, about the size of a big flash drive. It's unobtrusive and adds to the overall minimalism of the cabin, but it really doesn't look much like a gear selector anymore, either.

Photo: Porsche

And, sadly, the 992 911 finally comes with the key fob, replacing it with a proximity key, just like the rest of the cars out there. Yet, in lieu of a start button, there is a switch built into the left-hand side, which you would like a normal fob or key to start the car up. I think I prefer this to a start button.

All in all, the 992 will not be spared from jokes about how it looks the same as the last 911. And the next one will probably look just like similar. But I guess that's how evolution works: It's a series of small changes that happen over the course of multiple generations.

Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)


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