Illustration: Scott Olsen... read full caption Illustration: Scott OlsenOkay, everyone, get it out of your systems. "Oh, look! A new PORSCHE 911
that looks just like the old 911!" We know that sentiment is going to fill the comments section below this article. For fans of the 911, we celebrate the fact that every new PORSCHE 911
still looks like a 911. The first car was a near-perfect design for its time, and all Porsche
has had to do over almost 50 years of production is modernize it with each new generation. What really matters is what's under the skin, and the 2012 991 has plenty going on.
Illustration: Scott Olsen... read full caption Illustration: Scott OlsenTo start, the dimensions have changed more in one fell swoop than ever in PORSCHE 911
history. The wheelbase has grown by almost four inches, while the overall length has only grown by 2. This may not seem significant, but the PORSCHE 911
has always been defined by long overhangs, especially in the rear. The shorter overhang in back is accomplished by using newly designed transaxles that move the axle line 3 inches back in relation to the engine. This is a big step in Porsche's -- and more specifically the 911's -- ongoing battle with physics. The more mass that is positioned between the axles, the less cantilevering that takes place under high-load conditions, something that defines and hinders the rear-engine design.
Moving the engine and transmission forward means more intrusion into the interior. To increase passenger space, the A-pillars and windshield have been pushed forward. The A-pillar has moved 1.4 inches, while the base of the windshield center is pushed forward more than three inches, translating to a more rounded windshield, also part of the 911's ongoing evolution. Trunk volume is said to be the same at 4.8 cubic feet, while the front-mounted gas tank volume increases by nearly a gallon.