Porsche 911 review - design
Can look bulky from some angles, but overall the new 911 perfectly pairs the model’s classic proportions with some slick surfacing and modern details
Well, it’s a 911, isn’t it? You could recognise that profile a mile off, and Michael Mauer and his team have seen fit not to play around too drastically with the 911’s details either. At the front, it’s very similar indeed, keeping the same proportions but introducing a slight chamfer to the bonnet and using a slightly cleaner, more squared-off opening for the lower grilles.
The changes are more prominent at the back, where all models now get a full-width light bar, similar to that used on Carrera 4 variants of the 991, but with a more modern appearance. The number plate cut-out has also moved from the centre of the bumper to the lower valence (unless you opt for the Sport Design package), while the third brake light is now in the centre of the vents below the rear screen.
The overall appearance is slightly more hunchbacked than before – the 911’s tail has been rising steadily since the transition from 993 to 996 – but the car’s wide rear arches look great, and overall it’s probably a cleaner shape than that of the car it replaces. Tick the right option boxes and you can end up with something really very classy indeed.
There is one design detail we’re still not keen on though: the door handles. The old 911 pull-style handles have been replaced by a lift-up handle that sits flush with the body when the doors are locked or the car is in motion. Or just inconveniently sometimes, requiring you to reach below a semi-closed handle to unceremoniously pop the door open. They feel a bit fiddly even when correctly popped-out, and it’s a slightly frustrating initial interaction with the car every time you use it.