The next-generation Porsche 911 will be a significant departure from all previous generations, though to the untrained eye that could be a hot-air boast. The chief novelty of the 991, confirmed for us recently by Porsche sources in Germany, is that the entire range will benefit from a KERS device, such as what was used by a couple of teams in Formula 1 in 2009 and then immediately banned by the FIA for the 2010 season as an unfair advantage, only to be allowed again for this 2011 season.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System takes brake energy recuperation to a whole new sophisticated level, putting it on reserve for when you want the pedal on the metal for quick overtaking. But it's not stored in any additional onboard battery system – instead, it is meted out via a dedicated special flywheel system.
The chief giveaway that Porsche is definitely planning the KERS strategy is the added wheelbase length of four whole inches together with added vehicle length of 2.75 inches. Just the right amount of distance for incorporating the new flywheel technology between the gearbox and engine.
Though the starter 991 911 Carrera is earmarked to have 350 horsepower from a smaller 3.4-liter flat-six engine, the KERS ingredient will give the car acceleration figures comfortably quicker than the 4.7-second 0-to-60 time of the current 997 911 Carrera. And this direction ensures that the new 911 can still emit less noxious stuff, go faster, go farther on a gallon, and, according to our sources, even weigh around 100 pounds less as Porsche rolls out more and more lightweight materials usage where we've never seen it before.