It may be hard for the untrained eye to spot the differences
between the older 997 and new
991 versions of the 911, but people have been saying that for years when it
comes to Porsche's most famous model. The 911 may have not changed
significantly when it comes to styling, but there's enough going on under the
flesh to justify it being called an "all-new" model.
First of all, in a move that is sure to anger some purists,
the 911 is growing
in size yet again (the last big jump came with the 996 introduction). The
rear-engined sports car is now 3.9" longer overall bringing total vehicle
length to 179.5". However, Porsche counters with the fact that the body weight weight of the vehicle is down 100 pounds thanks to the use of lightweight
steel, aluminum, and composites.
Also new to the mix is a “world first” 7-speed manual
transmission for those that prefer to row your own gears. For those that would
rather have a computer micromanage your shifting, the 7-speed Porsche
Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) is available. Porsche has also installed an
automatic start/stop system in the 911 which will help to improve fuel
efficiency while driving around in the city.
Although Porsche has not revealed U.S. EPA numbers for the
new 911, the company says that fuel consumption is down 16 percent compared to
the outgoing model using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
The engines are mostly carryover this time around, but power
is up for both the Carrera (3.4) and the Carrera S (3.8). The 3.4-liter flat-6
is up 350hp (an increase of 5hp) while the larger 3.8-liter flat-6 jumps to
400hp (up 15hp).
As in previous models, 911s with the PDK transmission will
be faster on the track than the manual-equipped cars. The Carrera with a PDK
can hit 60mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 179mph. The Carrera S
with PDK and Sport Chrono Package can do the dance in 3.9 seconds and reach
However, all of this fun is going to cost you a serious
amount of coin -- the base MSRP for the Carrera is listed at $82,100. Stepping
up to the Carrera S will set you back a whopping $96,400, and that's before the
option overload that greets you when it's time to order your new 911.