Forget lithe, sleek super sedans—lifted all-wheel-drive wagons (you can call them crossovers as well) are where it’s at, apparently. At least, this is the case with Porsche’s nascent Mission E family, most recently showcased with the wild Mission E Cross Turismo, featuring multiterrain capability, tons of interior space, and, crucially, a set of sweet blue wheels. Two electric motors combine to smoke the tires with 600 hp, with 60 mph arriving in about 3.3 seconds for those super-quick sprints to the beach. It’s a concept, but one that runs and drives—we took a spin behind the wheel—because it’s based on the Taycan sedan, née Mission E, Porsche’s first electric vehicle that goes into production next year. Expect a production Taycan Cross Turismo around 2021 if it gets the green light. Meanwhile, be patient if you’re a traditionalist. Porsche is hard at work on the next generation of the eternal 911, slated for a debut sometime later this or early next year. We’ve seen a whole heap of camouflaged mules, revealing the new 992 has the same sloping rear-engine design as always. Details are scant, but expect an evolution of the present 911 powertrain and performance bits, including the 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six and PDK dual-clutch transmission.
As for the 911 range, Porsche revealed a hardcore, stripped-out 911 GT3 RS. The same 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six powers the RS, now churning out an additional 20 horses to a stout 520 hp. Like the previous-generation GT3 RS, the car remains PDK-only, dropping its 0-60 time to 3.0 seconds. More impressive, it’s the third-fastest (production car) way to lap the Nürburgring, behind only big brother GT2 RS and Lamborghini’s Huracán Performante. If you hurry, you might get an allocation at your local dealer.
Of course, if the GT3 RS is too hardcore for your purposes, we suggest taking a hard look at the new Carrera T.
Yes, “T” stands for Touring, alluding to the base-level 911T from 1968, which eschewed finery for driving exuberance. It’s the same in this case, but the new Carrera T adds a healthy package of performance goodies to the mix for an additional $11,000 compared to the base car. A 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six with 370 hp and 332 lb-ft is the same as the standard 911, but the T package adds a revised rear end for quicker 0-60 sprints, now taking just 4.0 seconds with the optional PDK transmission. Lighter rear glass, standard sport exhaust and suspension, and available rear-wheel steering mean this is the 911 to get, provided you can’t afford the $120,000 GTS we named an All-Star earlier this year.
Moving out of the 911 lineup and riding in the tire marks of the previous Cayman/Boxster GTS, the new 718 GTS models follow the same formula. The GTS package is the easiest one-stop shop for enthusiasts, cramming the two sports cars full of every available performance option, along with a handful of bits exclusive to the trim. The familiar 2.5-liter turbo flat-four returns with a smidge more power, now up to 365 hp and 309 lb-ft (317 lb-ft with PDK). Suspension, exhaust, brakes, and steering are all sport-tuned to match the extra oomph. Inside, there are acres of Alcantara, along with the standard Sport Chrono package and bespoke GTS badging.
GTS not badass enough for your tastes? After naming the 2016 Cayman GT4 an All-Star, we were left with a wicked case of “more, please.” If a few camoed test mules and juicy rumors are anything to go by, the new hot-rod GT4 should be right over the horizon. Expect it to bring a basket of GT-sourced hardware to the track, including a variant of the 4.0-liter flat-six found in the GT3. Of course, that’s only a rumor—other whispers involve the 3.0-liter turbocharged Carrera engine or a souped-up variant of the existing flat-four. Regardless of mill, expect a drop-top Boxster Spyder variant to follow soon after.
Taycan: Late 2019
Mission E Cross Turismo: Late 2020
992 911: Mid-2019
911 GT3 RS: Now
911 Carrera T: Now
718 GTS: Now
718 Cayman GT4: Mid-2019
Taycan: $75,000 (est)
Mission E Cross Turismo: $80,000 (est)
992 911: $95,000 (est)
911 GT3 RS: $188,550
911 Carrera T: $103,150
718 GTS: $81,750
718 Cayman GT4: $105,000 (est)