July 14, 2024

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Exterior: design and body – Porsche Newsroom

8 min read

The Porsche 911 is a classic that for eight generations – so far – has been consistently and extensively developed. This applies to the technology as well as to its iconic fundamental shape. Every generation exhibits a design that is a contemporary interpretation of the classic core features of the 911. Committed to tradition and, at the same time, remaining an exciting sports car of its time, the 911 is known for adding innovative accents to its stylistic portfolio with each generation.

The aim of continuously improving driving dynamics is at the forefront of all innovations. The new Porsche 911 takes up this principle with a series of measures that improve its aerodynamic properties and accommodate the additional cooling requirements of the fundamentally revamped drive systems. At the same time, Porsche has succeeded in making its look even more distinctive. Specific features at the front and rear emphasise the width and stature of the sports car. This gives the 911 an even more elegant, striking and commanding appearance on the road.

Porsche integrates all frontal lighting functions into the characteristic headlights of the 911. This enhanced functionality of the headlights makes it possible to dispense with auxiliary lights in the redesigned front end. This enables a cleaner design and larger front air intake sections for cooling the substantially revamped engines. The new position of the number plate holder creates space for additional assistance sensors, which are concealed behind a high-gloss surface below the number plate. Porsche is also differentiating the 911 model variants more distinctively: each has its own unique front section, making it unmistakable. Example: the 911 Carrera has inherited the characteristic horizontal cooling air intakes from its predecessor.

The rear end of the new 911 has a clear and progressive design. Here, too, the focus is on aerodynamic optimisation. Porsche has integrated a newly designed light unit with integrated LED light arc into the rear end. The elegant, seamlessly framed line of light stretches from flank to flank. The visually integrated, raised ‘PORSCHE’ lettering forms an attractive contrast. In the upper section of the rear end, Porsche has reduced the number of cooling air louvres in the rear lid from nine to five per side and has also integrated two additional air intakes.

The number plate has been moved upwards and the rear apron exhibits a clear structure. Porsche has also integrated an air outlet for the charge-air cooling system. The 911 Carrera GTS has two air scoops. Porsche now finishes the lower rear spoiler in black, achieving a look without visual disruption. The model-specific exhaust system is integrated into the rear section. The tailpipes of the 911 Carrera also have a unique design. Porsche can optionally install a sports exhaust system with oval tailpipes in black or silver.

Porsche Active Aerodynamics in the Carrera GTS

In the new 911 Carrera GTS, various active aerodynamic elements significantly reduce drag compared to the predecessor model, depending on the driving situation. In addition, the cooling air flaps, positioned vertically for the first time, make the new Carrera GTS unmistakable.

Five of the six cooling air flaps on each side are visible, while the sixth flap is located within a duct further inside the front end. The continuously adjustable flaps control the cooling air supply as required depending on the driving situation, outside temperature and power demand. At low loads, they remain almost closed. This optimises air resistance and reduces fuel consumption. The flaps open under high loads, such as when driving on the racetrack. The new centre radiator of the 911 Carrera GTS caters to the increased cooling air requirements of the more powerful drive system.

In addition, the new 911 Carrera GTS features adaptive front diffusers, which are located in the front underbody panelling ahead of the wheel arches. They are controlled in combination with the cooling air flaps, with both systems opening and closing in tandem. If the diffuser duct is closed, the air flows past it reducing drag. When the duct is open, the air flows through the duct into the wheel arch, reducing lift on the front axle while also cooling the brakes. The diffusers thereby compensate for the negative effects on lift and aerodynamic balance caused by the cooling air supply drawn in through the front air flaps. If both systems are closed, their aerodynamic advantages add up.

Porsche has implemented the active aerodynamic systems at the front of the 911 Carrera GTS in a distinct front apron. The front spoiler lip is painted in satin-finish black. Porsche also differentiates the GTS from the different derivatives in other ways. The high-performance model is fitted with model-specific 20/21-inch (front axle/rear axle) centre-lock Carrera GTS wheels painted in Anthracite Grey.

As with its predecessor, the aerodynamic features of the Porsche 911 include an automatically extending rear spoiler. Its position depends primarily on the speed, but also on the charge-air temperature.

At the rear, the panelling of the Carrera GTS has a distinctive lower section. Here, the designers have integrated two centrally-positioned oval tailpipe trims in high-gloss black and two air outlets for the charge-air cooling system. A sports exhaust system with larger tailpipes is available as an option. In addition, the 911 GTS features transparent taillight strips and two particularly effective cooling air intakes with longitudinal louvres and black inserts.

With HD-Matrix LED headlights for the first time

With the redesign of the headlights on the 911, Porsche has combined an upgraded lighting range with a new design. Matrix LED headlights now come as standard. They divide the main beam area into 11 segments, which are faded in or out depending on the situation, supported by camera and navigation data. The result is a glare-free high beam. The headlights feature three-dimensional moulded light modules and the quintessential Porsche four-point daytime running lights.

HD-Matrix LED headlights are available as an option for the first time in the 911. With more than 32,000 pixels per headlamp, this lighting system generates a high-resolution, digital light image that covers the entire high beam range as well as the main area of the low beam. Each individual pixel can be activated, deactivated or dimmed in 1,024 steps. This creates a homogeneous light field that adapts to the respective driving situation at lightning speed. This technology introduces many new adaptive functions to the 911. The-HD Matrix LED headlights offer, for example, lane illumination, roadworks and narrow-lane lighting, marker light and a dedicated motorway high beam. Special light modes for driving in rain or fog, at junctions, when turning or on bends also feature in the range of functions. 

The HD-Matrix technology is based on HD-Matrix modules with 16,384 individual micro-LED pixels on a surface measuring just under 41 mm². Each headlight contains a module with a wide-angle lens for wide light distribution (40 degrees wide, 10 degrees high) and one with a telephoto lens for long range (20 degrees wide, 5 degrees high). A powerful control unit monitors the dimming, activation and deactivation of the individual pixels. The system calculates changes in just 16 milliseconds.

The HD-modules are located in the lower section of the headlights. The bifunctional modules installed above them provide the courtesy lighting and the auxiliary high beam. If the system does not detect a vehicle in front or an oncoming vehicle when the automatic high beam is activated, the auxiliary high beam switches on and increases the amount of light from 1,400 to 2,500 lumens. The auxiliary high beam illuminates the road to a distance of more than 600 metres. If another vehicle is detected, the system automatically switches back to HD-Matrix mode.

The four modules generate the distinctive Porsche light signature, which is active in the new HD-Matrix LED headlights in all light modes, even when the low beam and high beam are switched on.

Dimensions and the Coupé, Cabriolet and Targa body styles

The 911 has always stood for variety. Which is why Porsche is offering the 911 Carrera and the Carrera GTS in both the Coupé and Cabriolet body variants. The all-wheel drive GTS is also available as the 911 Targa 4 GTS. The proven roof designs of the two open-topped 911 variants were adopted without any changes to the structure design. Porsche offers four solid colour variants for the soft top, and a black roof with grey stripes that extend lengthwise – including onto the hood and luggage compartment lid – is also available for the Cabriolet. The wheelbase of all body variants is 2,450 mm, and the width is 1,852 mm (excluding mirrors). The length of the 911 Carrera is 4,542 mm and 4,553 mm for the GTS models due to the model-specific front and rear aprons. Depending on the model and chassis, the height varies between 1,292 and 1,302 mm.

Exciting shades in a new colour system

Porsche is reorganising the range of exterior paint options for the 911 and is introducing new colours. The four colour worlds – Legends, Dreams, Shades and Contrasts – each cater to different customer preferences and make it easier to select a personal colour preference from the extensive range. The Legends colour world stands for extraordinary yet classic style. The paints are particularly high-quality and rich in nuance. Legends includes the colour Crayon as well as the new Shade Green Metallic and Slate Grey Neo paints. In the Dreams colour world, Porsche combines expressive and vibrant colours such as the elegant Gentian Blue Metallic, Carmine Red and Guards Red. New additions are Lugano Blue and Cartagena Yellow Metallic. The hues grouped together in the Shades colour scheme foster understatement, with paint tones such as Jet Black Metallic, Vanadium Grey Metallic, GT Silver Metallic and Ice Grey Metallic. Black and White are assigned to the Contrasts category, which expresses a clear and pure aesthetic.

As individual as a Porsche 

Selecting a Porsche 911 is always a personal choice. Porsche therefore traditionally offers a wide range of advanced customisation options. Additional colour variants are available, as usual from Porsche, in the modular programmes Paint to Sample and Paint to Sample+, as well as from the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur special request programme. Some of these options can now be selected directly within the online configurator via the personalisation icon.

All Porsche 911s are built on a production line in Zuffenhausen. On average, about 40 per cent of all Porsche 911s are additionally refined by hand in the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. Almost every Porsche customer orders at least two options from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur when configuring their vehicle. These include Aerokits; exterior packages and numerous special colours; wood, carbon, or leather trims; individual embossing and hand-stitched leather door panel trims; and cockpit features from the factory’s own saddlery.

Numerous exterior options for the 911 from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur are also available directly from the configurator. For the new 911, these include the Carbon Design Package including matching side skirts, new decorative decal sets in Arctic Blue, tinted HD-Matrix LED Main Headlights, Exclusive Design Tail Lights and a sports exhaust system with titanium tailpipes.

The performance plus: Nürburgring-tested

The Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur Aerokit is among the options that were also available for the previous-generation Porsche 911, comprising a range of aerodynamic improvements that enhance the sports car’s capabilities on the racetrack. These include, for example, a distinctive front apron with a more pronounced front spoiler, painted side skirts and a striking fixed rear wing with integrated brake light.

All these measures increase the downforce on the front and rear axles and thereby improve traction. The Aerokit is available in body colour, Black, and Carbon – and also in Anthracite for the GTS models. On the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the new 911 Carrera GTS has already demonstrated its enhanced performance compared to its predecessor. Jörg Bergmeister set a lap time of 7:16.934 minutes, beating the previous model’s time by 8.7 seconds. The sports car was equipped with the Aerokit.


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