Porsche engineers have reportedly been tasked with developing a brand new version of the iconic 911 that will put an unabashed focus on simple driving pleasure. In other words, the car won’t be designed to beat its rivals around the Nürburgring or sprint from zero to 60 mph as quickly as possible.
The back-to-basics, driver-focused 911 doesn’t have an official name yet, though it will reportedly join the GT-badged family that is currently made up of the GT3 and the track-bound GT3 RS (pictured) that Porsche presented last March at the Geneva Motor Show. The car will be built around the base, rear-wheel drive 911’s narrow body. It will lose most of the spoilers, splitters and other aerodynamic add-ons that characterize its GT-badged siblings. And finally, it will ride on relatively narrow tires because it won’t need as much grip.
Closely following the industry’s down-sizing trend, the bulk of the 911 lineup will adopt a turbocharged engine when the model is given a mid-cycle facelift later this year. However, British magazine Autocar reports the back-to-basics model will be powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six engine that will make at least 475 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 324 foot-pounds of torque at 6,300 rpm without the use of a turbo.
Power will be sent to the rear-wheels only via a manual transmission, though whether it will be a six- or a seven-speed unit is an open question. ABS and ESP will of course come standard, but don’t expect the driver-focused model to offer driving aids such as an electronic rear differential and a torque vectoring system.
The back-to-basics Porsche 911 isn’t scheduled to bow until next year at the very earliest, meaning it won’t arrive in showrooms until the 2017 model year. Of course, none of this is set in stone, as Porsche executives haven’t yet confirmed or denied the rumors.