OK, now that we've got the internet flame of ‘it's the same as the old one' doused out, let's look at how the new Porsche 911, which they call 991, is totally different from the 997, which was the one before, and after the 996. Yes, there has been many a neun elf and all have had one aim in life; to be the best 911 ever. This one has its work cut out. And it always starts at the same place — style. A 911 must have certain peculiar technical features untouched, of course, but the design that resulted with the rear-engine layout in the Sixties must somehow also stay the same, according to purists. Porsche's design department has, therefore, had it easy tucking it in every now and again, but this 991 could well be the most radical departure from the norm yet. Although ‘radical' is a word that carries a lot of weight, remember this is a 911 we're talking about. First up is a trip back in time and to the 964's upright front headlamps, which flow naturally into a higher front fender line to the waistline. The roof stays true to tradition but flattens the whole car, narrowing its glasshouse. We'll see what that does to the famed 911 visibility. The rear wings are pounced further out — the track is wider in the new car as well — and there's a sense that the rear overhang is longer with the gentler curve of the roofline into the engine cover. And obviously you didn't miss the 918 Spyder taillights… As far as Porsche styling goes, this is radical, people. Now, underneath the new sheetmetal is a 100mm longer wheelbase and an overall lower body on larger wheels (Carrera and Carrera S get up to 20in rims). Porsche engineers dabbled with lightweight construction to come up with a mix of aluminium-steel construction to reduce the total mass by 45kg while increasing chassis rigidity over the 997. Inside the designers took the Cayenne and Panamera as inspiration with a new tunnel console littered with Porsche's one-button-one-command viewpoint. The dash itself is still traditionally upright and shallow and the binnacle houses five round instruments, of which one is a high-resolution multi-function screen. But despite the big changes in style, dimensions and interior design, Zuffenhausen is most vocal about the lowered fuel consumption across the range, with technology such as auto stop-start, thermal management, electrical system recuperation, as well as the world's first seven-speed manual transmission. In the GCC a double PDK unit is standard. The steering system is a new electro-mechanical set-up, and Porsche is quick to counter our ‘steering feel' doubts by promising typical precision and response while increasing efficiency — no cumbersome pump to sap power and fuel. Porsche designers added 100mm to the wheelbase and lowered the whole body on its 20in wheels, and widened the wings and front track. And sitting out in the rear is also a new 3.4-litre flat-six engine pushing 350bhp in the base rear-drive 991 Carrera, while the S gets a 3.8-litre boxer packing 400bhp. Both models are naturally quicker than their predecessors, with the Carrera S reaching 100kph from rest in 4.1 seconds. Porsche went on to ensure the new 991 generation thrills in the turns too, with better longitudinal and transverse dynamics through the longer wheelbase, a new rear axle and active control systems such as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). Place your order for a Dh334K Carrera or a Dh396K Carrera S today, and you'll be on the road in Q1 2012.