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Porsche's 991 911 is the next step in the evolutionary line

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 188mph.

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.

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RE: A lot has changed
By BZDTemp on 8/24/2011 4:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
Torque steer is only really a problem with high power cars but then you're right.

In FF setup take a turn too fast and you get understeer, but isn't the proper response no to brake but slight acceleration? Brake too much and you can end up with oversteer. What are the odds an average driver will recover from oversteer?

With FF the proper response to understeer is simply to put less pressure on the gas pedal little unless you're going way to fast in which case the right way is to get of the gas and maybe brake. Lifting of is because then you use less of the available grip for acceleration and there will be more for steering eg. reduce understeer.

Not counting 4WD then FF is really the better solution for anything but sports cars and cars/trucks meant to carry loads. The reason is FF is cheaper and more importantly the car reacts safer in emergency situations - like you hint the average driver will have a hard time recovering from oversteer.

For most drivers the instinct reaction to a problem is to get off the gas and if that is not enough then go for the brake. In a turn with an FF car going to fast(but not crazy to fast) that will mean understeer so getting off the gas will save the day without further skills needed while going to fast in a RWD abruptly getting of the gas can cause the rear end to oversteer in a big way.

Putting it differently front wheel drive is safer because most peoples instinct reactions will not cause further loss of control while with rear wheel drive it is another matter. Of course RWD is more fun because you can use oversteer actively where as understeer is just boring.

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