2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S First Look
- All-new, eighth-generation, model for 2020
- Fresh styling, with an aggressive wide stance
- Standard 443-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-6
- Standard 8-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox
- Innovative Wet Mode and Night Vision Assist
- Priced from $114,250
- UPDATE: We've driven the new 911. Get our driving impressions in our 2020 Porsche 911 First Review!
Redesigning the Porsche 911 is arguably one of the most challenging engineering tasks in the automotive industry. The iconic sports car has been on the market for more than 50 years — seven generations of rear-engine architecture — continuously celebrated as an accomplished road car and as one of the winningest race cars in history. The Porsche 911 is not only the best-selling vehicle in its class, it remains the segment benchmark.
Ending years of speculation, Porsche has announced the arrival of its new, eighth-generation, 911 Carrera. First to market will be the rear-wheel drive Carrera S, and its all-wheel drive Carrera 4S sibling.
Reworked Chassis and Fresh New Appearance
Porsche has re-engineered 911’s platform for 2020, continuing to mix high strength steel, aluminum, and composites to form a rigid unibody to optimize handling. As expected, the new 911 retains its traditional rear-engine layout, with a 2+2 passenger cabin. Less expected, but logical considering the direction of the industry, is that the architecture has been modified to accept a future hybrid powertrain – should Porsche choose to offer one.
Visually, it’s challenging to tell the outgoing 2012-2019 911 (Type 991) from the 2020 (Type 992) model. That’s purely intentional on Porsche’s part, as the sports car’s shape has become iconic — a 911 is one of the few vehicles on the road that doesn’t need badging. Yet those who scrutinize its new all-aluminum exterior will find a unique front fascia with a prominent horizontal grille, flush motorized door handles (that pop-out when the doors are unlocked), and a rear fascia that incorporates the traditional “4S” taillamps – a illuminated light bar that stretches across the entire tail. With the sport package, the twin rear tailpipes have also been moved into the rear valance.
Wide Body and Turbocharged Engines
Dimensionally, the wheelbase and height essentially remain the same as the outgoing model, but the German automaker has increased the width of the new Carrera S by essentially adopting the ‘widebody’ of the current-generation Carrera 4 models — the front and rear track is wider to improve lateral grip. Complementing the new chassis are staggered-sized wheels — a first on the Porsche 911. The Carrera S arrives with 20-inch wheels on the front (wearing 245/35-20 tires) and 21-inch wheels on the rear (wearing 305/30-21 tires).
Returning is the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-6, but it has been significantly reworked (Porsche calls it ‘next-generation’) for duty in the Type 992. Among the most significant changes, larger turbochargers have been fitted and the twin intercoolers have been replaced by a single top-mounted unit. In the Carrera S, the engine develops 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque (today’s Carrera S is rated at 420 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque).
Standard 8-speed Dual-Clutch PDK Transmission and Wet Mode
The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S and 4S will be launched with a standard 8-speed automatic dual-clutch PDK gearbox, which is enhanced over its predecessor’s 7-speed PDK. While its lower gear ratios are similar to last year’s PDK, new taller gears make it more fuel efficient on the highway. The new transmission has also been adapted to accommodate a hybrid unit in the future (and, according to Porsche, a manual gearbox will be offered in the future). In terms of performance, expect the new Carrera S to replicate the performance numbers of today’s Carrera GTS — 0-60 in in the low three-second range with a top speed of 190 mph.
Claiming a world first, Porsche has introduced Wet Mode. This standard drive mode uses sensors in the wheel well to determine the amount of water on the road. If the system determines that hydroplaning is a possibility, it alerts the driver while automatically recalibrating the ESC and ABS for the conditions — and it raises the rear spoiler to increase downforce. Other available new technology includes Night Vision Assist and Adaptive Cruise control, which are both optional on the new 911.
Pricing and Arrival
The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S has a base price of $114,250 (including $1,050 destination), while the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S will start at $121,650 (including $1,050 destination). The 2020 Porsche 911 models are expected in showrooms in the summer of 2019.
2020 Porsche 911 at the 2018 LA Auto Show