Spy Photos: Next-Generation Porsche 911, Boxster Testing on European Roads

Are you ready for a new batch of Porsches? As these spy photos from Europe demonstrate, new versions of the 911 coupe and Boxster roadster are in the final stages of development.

The new 911, which will be known internally as the 991 instead of the current model’s 997 designation, is expected to debut within a year. The end of the current 997 generation has been prominently presaged by special-edition cars like the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 and 911 Carrera Black Edition. The new car will retain the basic, iconic 911 shape, with bulging rear haunches and a sloping rear window.

The 991 should be around 100 pounds lighter and marginally more aerodynamic than its predecessor. The wheelbase will grow a few inches, permitting an enlarged cabin and improved handling. Like the last 911 we spied, this car wears fake 911 Turbo-style side air intakes, but the four big exhaust outlets certainly seem real.

As for the drivetrain, we expect the base Carrera to pack a 3.4-liter flat-six good for 350 hp, while the Carrera S will tout 400 hp from a 3.8-liter unit. Porsche is expected to offer a choice between a seven-speed dual-clutch and a seven-speed manual transmission. Yes, a seven-speed manual. We’re imagining a rather convoluted shift layout. Technological highlights will include everything from LED lighting (barely visible behind camouflage tape in these photos), to dynamic engine mounts, to the latest version of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control suspension.

The expected weight reduction, revised engines, and new engine stop-start feature are expected to improve fuel economy by 10 percent. The interior will be inspired by that of the Panamera, with a wider and taller center console likely to dominate the design. The 911 Carrera should have 19-inch wheels, black brake calipers, and dual oval exhausts, whereas the Carrera S will have 20-inch wheels, six-piston front brake calipers, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and the quad exhausts seen here.

The current-generation Boxster’s demise has also long been expected, with the Boxster Black Edition likely serving as its elegy. The convertible’s replacement, which gets the internal designation 981, may bow early next year. It will be closely linked to the new 911 and will employ some of the same chassis components as the next-gen 911. That means the Boxster will grow slightly, although these photos don’t reveal any dramatic styling changes for the new model. As we saw on earlier spy photos, the nose and headlights will become more 911-like, while the tail may become slightly narrower than on the current Boxster.

We expect the Boxster lineup will launch with flat-six engines in 2.7-liter, 255-hp and3.4-liter, 315-hp guises. At a later date, it’s widely believed a turbocharged four-cylinder will join the fray; reports say Porsche has developed 1.9-liter and 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engines. The latter produces approximately 360 hp and is the most likely candidate for the Boxster.

There’s still no official date for the debut of either of the new Porsches. The 911 had been expected to bow at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, but it didn’t. We can probably expect to see the new Boxster and the new 911 within the next 12 to 18 months.

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2011 Porsche 911

2011 Porsche 911

MSRP $77,800 Carrera Coupe


18 City / 25 Hwy

Horse Power:

345 @ 6500


288 @ 4400