LA LIVE: 2020 Porsche 911

The evolutionary design hides major upgrades.

Porsche has revealed the brand-new, eighth-generation 911 ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show.

No one will mistake the 911 for anything else. The overall design changes little, which is exactly what we expected; Porsche knows better than to mess with such an emblematic design. Look closely and you'll notice the middle section of the hood is lower than the outer edges, a styling cue borrowed from early 911s. The biggest modifications are out back, however, where the model receives thinner lights and a rear bumper insert that incorporates oval exhaust tips. Interestingly, Porsche notes every member of the 911 family now features the same rear-end width regardless of whether it's rear- or all-wheel drive.

New wheel designs and paint colors help differentiate the new 911 (called 992 internally) from its predecessor. Every variant also receives vintage-looking emblems.

The heritage-laced treatment continues inside, where designers drew inspiration from 911s made in the 1970s, yet the cabin is more digital than ever before. The instrument cluster consists of an analog tachometer flanked by a pair of driver-configurable screens, a solution seen on bigger models like the Panamera. The infotainment system is displayed on a 10.9-inch color touchscreen located on the dashboard.

Adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go function and night vision are found on the list of extra-cost options. Porsche also added what it calls a wet mode. Offered as standard, it detects water on the road, pre-conditions various parameters like the ABS settings and the stability control system, and gives the driver the option of switching to a safer driving mode at the push of a button.

Three smartphone applications are available to 911 owners. The first is called Porsche Road Trip. It helps enthusiasts organize a road trip by planning a route, offering hotel and restaurant recommendations, and selecting viewpoints along the way. Porsche 360+ is a personal lifestyle assistant that is "intended to make everyday life easier and exclusive experiences possible," the firm explains. And, Porsche Impact is an emissions calculator that essentially tells owners how much CO2 their 911 emits and how to pay it off by making donations (via the app) to climate projects around the world.

The 2020 911 gets an evolution of the current model's turbocharged engine. Carrera S and Carrera 4S models come with a 3.0-liter flat-six rated at 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, increases of 23 and 22, respectively, over the outgoing model. The S takes 3.7 seconds to reach 62 mph from a stop while the 4S performs the same task in 3.6 seconds.

Rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission come standard. Porsche will make a seven-speed manual transmission available, too, but it might not be there at launch.

The 2020 911 Carrera S starts at $113,200 before Porsche adds a $1,050 destination charge. The 2020 911 Carrera 4S commands $120,600. Both models are on-sale now, and deliveries will begin during the summer of 2019.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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