Porsche 911 spy shots

We'll get to see the next Porsche 911, codenamed 991, during September's Frankfurt Motor Show, and among the things we have already discovered is the possibility of a seven-speed manual transmission. Porsche brought a few folks down to South Africa for rides in some pre-production cars, and Car and Driver has shared some of the tidbits, among which are confirmation of that seven-speed manual in a 400-horsepower Carrera S, as well as a hybrid drivetrain to be fitted in 2016.

The base Carrera will receive 350 hp from a 3.4-liter engine that C/D claims it will share with the Boxster S. That engine would be a drop of 0.2 liters from the current Carrera, but would have five more horsepower than the current car. The S engine stays at 3.8 liters but adds 15 more horses to its output. Both transmissions – PDK dual-clutch and manual – will get launch control, and the 991 range will have electronic parking brakes.

Being a 911, don't expect the overall design to change too much, but the 991 will be 2.5 inches longer and its wheelbase will be stretched by a whopping four inches. Front and rear tracks are also said to be beefier. That could help explain the handling "state of grace" that Inside Line, who was also in South Africa, describes feeling in the passenger seat during some hard driving. The application of electric steering, though, will have everyone wondering if Porsche can maintain its lock on the world's best steering feel. And if you want to know what the interior looks like, head over to TeamSpeed for a couple of shots. Think Panamera. Naturally.