Without question, the model that’s the most synonymous with the Porsche brand is the legendary 911. Whether you grew up with a poster of a 911 hanging on your wall or it was your favorite Hot Wheels toy — the Porsche 911 has a unique way of capturing the hearts of sports car enthusiasts both young and old. Something both a 7-year-old and a 77-year-old can agree on? The fact that the timeless look of the 911 makes it difficult to identify the model year or even the model generation.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of the original BBC Top Gear, you’ve probably heard Jeremy Clarkson’s tongue-in-cheek opinions on Richard Hammond’s passion for the Porsche 911. People who love to criticize the 911 are quick to crack jokes about the model’s (albeit weak) similarities to the Volkswagen Beetle. Drawing comparisons to one of the world’s most beloved vehicles of all time certainly isn’t a flaw in our books.
Now for the task at hand. To help you look like a true Porsche aficionado at your next automotive get-together, there are several key ways to differentiate the outgoing Porsche 991 generation of the 911 from today’s 992 model.
Porsche 911 991 Exterior
Porsche 911 992 Exterior
Starting with the exterior, the best way to tell these two generations apart is by the difference in rear styling. While the 991 model had more conventional left and right tail lights, the 992 generation joins both sides together with a striking horizontal thin LED strip. The lower fascia surrounding the exhaust outlets is also easy to identify the difference. Up front, things are a bit more tricky. Sharper hood edges instead of curves and more rectangular air vents are two key attributes of 992 generation Porsche 911s. From the side, updated door handles are likely the best way to differentiate between the iconic side profiles of the 991 and 992 991 models.
Porsche 911 991 Interior
Porsche 911 992 Interior
If you’re familiar with the 991 generation of the Porsche 911 and you step inside the cabin of a 992 generation 911 you’ll probably experience deja vu. The timeless interior layout of the 911 is one of its signature characteristics. Similarities include a center-mounted tachometer and its gently ascending center stack. Key changes to the 992 family include a massive 11-inch touchscreen that’s home to newly available features like a night-vision system and 360-degree camera. Thoroughly modernized yet true to the model’s heritage, stepping inside the interior of the 992 generation of Porsche 911 will feel just like home to drivers experienced with this iconic sports car.
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about the topic you’ve all been waiting for — performance. It would be considered heresy for Porsche to change the proven formula of rear engine layout + turbocharger = driving bliss. We’ll let you in on a little secret. They didn’t! While the blueprint for success is unchanged, there are several key updates to the 992 generation that are worth highlighting.
992 911 variants proudly feature a larger central intercooler is found at the rear, replacing the twin intercooler units of the outgoing model. Engine compression ratios have increased from 10.1:1 to 10.5:1 while maintaining 16-psi of boost pressure. From the factory, the exhaust manifolds now have a higher flow rate for enhanced power delivery. If your preference is the PDK automatic, you’ll now have 8 gears instead of 7 to help you rip through the power band. One feature that we aren’t necessarily fans of? The gear shift on automatic models is downright tiny! Maybe that’s Porsche’s way of telling you to jump at the opportunity to choose the manual instead. We would certainly recommend taking the hint to enjoy the full 911 experience.