When Porsche's re-engineered 911 hits the U.S. next spring, it will bury another feature in the nameplate's graveyard of outdated technology.
The 2017 Carrera and Carrera S will come standard with a twin-turbocharged engine for the first time in the icon's 52-year history. While Porsche is playing up the performance benefits of turbocharging, the switch is an unmistakable nod to rising emissions standards around the globe.
"With this car, the 911 can be very efficient and keep its core value of performance alive," said Detlev von Platen, who became Porsche's global sales and marketing leader last week as part of a management shakeup at Volkswagen AG related to the company's diesel-emissions scandal.
The 2017 models are known internally (and to Porsche aficionados) as the 991.2. In addition to the significant engine modifications, the Carrera and Carrera S get a retuned chassis, a new infotainment system and screen, and minor midlife cosmetic changes inside and out.
But the inclusion of turbos will hog the spotlight on this updated generation. The move means that except for continuing to use naturally aspirated engines in some high-performance 911 variants such as the GT3, Porsche will inter the technology alongside other bygone features such as air-cooling and hydraulic steering.
Purists may cringe at the thought of technologies sapping the character out of one of the longest-standing nameplates in the industry. But turbos have performance benefits, too.