The LA Auto Show mightn't officially get underway until tomorrow, but Christmas has come a little early for fans of Porsche's classic sports cars. The German automaker has unwrapped its powerful new 911 on the eve of the event, offering folks a first real look at the eighth generation of one of the motoring world's most recognizable rear-engined icons.

The new 911, to be known as type 992, features all the familiar stylings of the famous model but with what Porsche describes as a more "muscular" look. In technical terms this means wider arches covering 20-inch wheels up front and 21-inch wheels down back, while the front end has been stretched out by 45 mm (1.77 in) to make for a slightly wider stance. Electrical pop-out flush doorhandles, meanwhile, make for a smoother finish along the sides.

Beneath the hood a turbocharged flat-six engine pumps out 331 kW (444 hp), powering the rear-wheel-drive Carrera S to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4S in 3.6 seconds via a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission. The optional Sports Chrono package shaves a further 0.2 seconds of those times.

This marks a power increase of 22 kW (30 hp) compared to the previous model, which Porsche attributes to a new injection process and revamped configuration for the turbochargers and charge air cooling system. Top speeds are listed as 308 km/h (191 mph) for the Carrera S and 306 km/h (190 mph) for the 4S.

The redesigned interior brings plenty of modern touches for the digital era, spearheaded by a new 10.9-inch center touchscreen. This is a seven-inch upsize from the previous model and displays software like Porsche's Road Trip planning app with its curated routes, the Porsche 360+ lifestyle assistant, and the web-based emissions calculator. The instrument cluster, meanwhile, is apparently inspired by 911s from the 1970s era, with a central rev counter flanked by two smaller, freeform displays.

And in what Porsche bills as a world first, the new Carrera S and 4S will come with a driver assistance technology called "Wet Mode" as standard. This works by detecting a wet road surface, alerting the driver and making adjustments to the car's control systems to improve safety. Also coming standard is an emergency braking system, while Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera comes as an optional extra.

Pricing for the 2020 911 Carrera S starts at US$113,200, while the 4S will be offered from $120,600. Both are available for order now, with the cars expected to arrive at US dealerships in the summer of 2019.

You can check out the new cars in the promo video below.

Source: Porsche 1, 2

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