The eighth-generation Porsche 911, unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show, is more powerful and performance-oriented than ever – and its onboard technology has also been boosted. By Paul Fisher.
However, those expecting a Porsche 911 ready for the digital and EV age will have been disappointed and it poses questions about the long-term future of the car.
“The 8th generation of the 911 is even more powerful, even more emotional, and even more efficient than its predecessor – and also offers extensive digital features,” said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, at the launch.
You could add: except that it doesn’t really. Porsche offers three dedicated apps at launch: the Porsche Road Trip app for planning routes and destinations, including hotel or restaurant recommendations and points of interest; Porsche 360+, a personal lifestyle assistant; and the Porsche Impact emissions calculator, which recommends financial ways for owners to offset the carbon footprint of their driving, such as investing in renewable energy projects. The last is probably the most innovative.
The company boasts “swarm data” is used for its permanently connected navigation system, which sounds suspiciously like Google’s hugely popular Waze navigation app which uses data from users to provide real time traffic information.
Elsewhere the tech is probably the very least of what buyers of any supercar should expect 2018. New driver assist systems on offer include Porsche Wet mode, which detects water on the road, pre-conditions the control systems and vehicle settings, and warms the driver, who can then set up a safety-oriented mode.
There is also standard warning and brake assist with emergency braking, which detects the risk of collisions with moving objects; adaptive cruise control with distance control and emergency assist; and the optional Night Vision Assist, featuring a thermal imaging camera.
In short, the new 911 is a bang up to date ICE powered sports car with zero concessions to the future. Unlike the new Range Rover Evoque, there is no hint of a platfrom that could be shared with batteries or EV drives.
The new 911 is not about the future, it is about now and the rest of its probable 8 -10 year lifespan, where those lucky enough to afford it will revel in its dynamics, and the noise from its exhaust pipes.
The 911 is, as Blume says, the company’s icon. Perhaps this resolutely old school – and undoubtedly magnificent on the road – new car will be the last of the breed. The icon cannot be made electric.
If you want an electric Porsche it seems you must wait for Taycan and Mission E generation concepts to bear fruit.
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