Updated 07-21-2015 by Ronan Glon: Added a batch of more revealing official teaser shots.
Porsche is in a good position to know that it’s difficult to reinvent an icon. The Stuttgart-based car maker has taken a safe approach to updating the 991-series, and official spy pictures of the new model undergoing shakedown testing in South Africa show that the only noteworthy modifications up front are slightly tweaked air vents and minutely redesigned LED daytime running lights.
Surprisingly, earlier spy shots reveal that the the business end of the 911 gets a new air deck lid with vertical slats, a first in the model’s decades-long history. Other changes include 3D-look tail lamps and a revamped bumper that incorporates two chromed exhaust outlets and a pair of air vents. As is typically the case, new alloy wheel designs and paint colors will round out the mid-cycle updates.
While the exterior changes are evolutionary at best, the changes under the 911’s short deck lid are expected to be nothing short of revolutionary. In the name of fuel economy, nearly every naturally aspirated member of the 911 family will switch to a downsized turbocharged mill. The only exceptions will be the track-ready GT3 RS, which will retain its 500-horsepower, 4.0-liter flat-six, and a rumored driver-focused, back-to-the-basics model dubbed GT.
Inside, the 2016 911 will boast a new three-spoke steering wheel borrowed directly from the sold-out 918 Spyder, but whether it will come standard or cost extra is an open question. All models will benefit from a bigger touch screen that will run the latest generation of Porsche’s PCM infotainment system.
Porsche will most likely unveil the 2016 911 online in the weeks leading up to its public debut in Frankfurt, Germany. U.S. sales are scheduled to kick off before the end of the year.
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