just a few weeks ago, porsche took the wraps off of the newest generation of the 911 at the 2018 los angeles auto show. the 992, as it will be known, marks the eighth generation of the iconic sports car and goes on sale as a 2020 model starting in the summer of 2019. however, just because it goes on sale next year (and we'll have to wait to drive it until then) doesn't mean we can't have a little fantasy fun now.
the configurator for two versions of the 911 has gone live on porsche's website: the carrera s and carrera 4s will be the first variants of the car to go on sale when it launches. so, as a big fan of the current generation of the car, i decided to take a stab at configuring what would be my ideal version of the new 911.
weighing the options
this is a tricky exercise because, like all porsches, the new 911 can be optioned into the stratosphere. the 911 carrera s starts at $114,250 (including a destination charge) and the 911 carrera 4s starts at $121,650 — exceeding the starting prices of the previous-generation cars by $5,000 more apiece. but from there, by tacking on options, you can run up the prices of those cars to nearly $200,000 without digging too deep (and if you don't believe me, click here).
at that price, you're punching the carrera s firmly into gt3, targa 4 gts and turbo territory — cars that will wildly outperform, outwit and just generally outmatch a carrera s no matter what you shove into it. building our ideal version of the new 911 means that it has to have some sort of price cap, which i have set ours at $140,000; that will make me choose what's important, rather than realize some alcantara-lined, custom paint swatch-colored pipe dream.
that's still about $26,000 worth of options to play with, since i chose a 911 carrera s to start with over the all-wheel drive. while i do concede the benefits of all-wheel drive in performance vehicles (easier to put down power on corner exit; more grip; won't run you off in the rain), i am a rear-wheel-drive kind of guy, and the modern 911s have enough technical traction wizardry to keep me safe. plus, that price difference lets me get that crazy shade of blue, which i adore.
style and substance
the final product i landed on came in just under my self-imposed spending limit, at $139,930. it's a mix of cosmetic and performance enhancements that i think accentuate both the 911 carrera s's sports car nature and its appearance. here's what i chose to add, and why:
- exterior: miami blue paint ($3,270) and 20-inch/21-inch carrera classic wheels ($1,250). i know what you're saying: "brian, you used up more than $4,500 of your enhancement budget purely on cosmetics!" well, guess what? i'm superficial. i think a 911 should look the part, and this bright shade of blue gives the car's shape some extra pop. darker wheels just make the blue look that much bluer, and the classic wheels have always been a personal favorite.
- interior: cabin trim in brushed aluminum ($1,260), multifunction gt sport steering wheel ($330) and sport seats plus ($440). all of my exterior-styling dollars did take some money away from the interior, so i had to eschew powered seats (these sport seats are manually adjustable) and stay away from the swankier leather options. the upgrades to the 2020 911's cabin (larger screens, more sensible button layouts) already make the standard interior much more livable and bring the technology up to date. i'd say that the gt sport steering wheel is a must, as the smaller rim makes driving the car feel that much tighter — and at $330, it's a relative bargain among the porsche options list, especially when you consider that colored ring in the tachometer will run you $420.
- under the hood: eight-speed automatic transmission ($0), rear-axle steering ($2,090) and power steering plus ($280). in the configurator, the manual transmission option isn't yet available, but that would have been my choice. rear-axle steering is a subtle addition; it makes the car's turning circle tighter and improves stability at highway speeds. power steering plus makes the wheel lighter at low speeds for easier maneuverability. both of these options help a city dweller like myself, who has to navigate tight spaces for parking and driveways quite regularly.
- safety, comfort and convenience: premium package ($5,380) and sport package ($5,460). both of these were no-brainer additions for me. the premium package includes some important safety features (adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist) that help with everyday drivability, as well as adding my favorite interior option (seat ventilation) and led headlights. the sport package adds the sport chrono package, which includes launch control, additional drive settings and rev matching (for manual transmissions), as well as a throatier sport exhaust and, most importantly, an active suspension system with a lowered ride height.
- more safety: parkassist and 360-degree camera system ($1,430), and lane change assist aka blind spot warning ($1,060). these round out the car's safety offerings. the 911 sits pretty low and can be hard to see out of, especially to the sides and the rear with its high rear glass. a surround-view camera system and parking sensors help the driver park the car safely.
what's your 911 dream car?
i also added a few miscellaneous touches, like a trim-designation delete so the back only says "911," along with power folding exterior mirrors and wheel caps. there were a few things that i wanted to include that simply added either too much to the base price or were as yet unavailable in the builder. foremost among those was a manual transmission, but porsche has already stated that cars with the manual won't be available until a later date. i also would like to have added the porsche dynamic chassis sontrol system, which more aggressively mitigates body roll, but its price tag ($3,170) and the fact that the car is pretty well-balanced without the system meant it didn't make the cut by a hair over the safety features.
while this is what i came up with, all you porsche fans out there should have some fun on the porsche website and find your fantasy configuration. if you want to start with my version, you can load up what i built here and make it your own. i mean, hey, maybe miami blue isn't really your color (maybe you're more of a lizard green type), or powered seats (which should probably be standard at $140,000) are more important to you.
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