Porsche 977 bodyshell
A new Porsche 911 is always fascinating because it’s interesting to see how after more than 40 years of development the Porsche team still manages to bring changes and improvements to this icon model. The new 997 bodyshell combines the sleek modern looks of the 996 series with the popular retro styling cues from older 911s. The front end is completed with round lights and separate parking/fog/indicator lights. This change, combined with wider hips echoes the last of the air-cooled 911s, the 993. Other changes in the bodyshell are the new door handles, wing mirrors and the stylish cut of the rear wings into the bumper/lights. Even if the 997 looks a lot like the previous model, the 996, the new car is actually 38mm wider which creates a more aggressive appearance.
With each new model introduced, Porsche has aimed to reduce the drag co-efficient helping the 911 slide through the air more effectively, and so aiding performance. The same thing has been done with the new car, and if we compare the 993 Cd of 0.34 to the 997`s 0.28 we can see how far the aerodynamic game has moved on. The latest body shell and rear wing combine with new underbody paneling to also offer increased levels of down force for this latest evolution of Porsche's finest.
The latest Porsche model is the best handling 911 ever. Improving a car's rigidity helps ensure the suspension can work more effectively and while not making such a quantum leap as the team did with the 996. Porsche improved torsional rigidity by 8% and added as much as 40% more flexural strength. For the new car, Porsche wanted to improve crash safety so they added two new air bags located in the side of each front seat back-rest, designed to protect the thorax. They kept the previous two front and two side airbags, which means that now there are six in total. For the same reason, crash safety, the reinforced body shell features further protection such as a more extensive use of super high strength steel. The latest model is also 50 kg heavier than the 996. The reason is that modern crash safety regulations kind of force the new cars to come with increased weight, despite the usage of a large range of weight saving measures, including an aluminum bonnet. Aside from the crash safety improvements, much of the additional weight can be attributed to the higher standard specification of the new cars. Power to weight is similar with the latest car offering 233 bhp per tone against it’s predecessors 238 and the new models improved aerodynamics must help it post Porsches claimed performance figures, which are identical to the 996.
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