Every new Porsche 911 model has to deal with the burden of history and expectations. As the company itself says, Porsche could simply have made a capable sports but that would not have been a Porsche at heart, certainly not a 911, a name that is just as legendary as it is respected. This time porsche did it with a brand new design that lets the car evolve into the future whilst still remembering its roots and a longer wheelbase, with refined engines that consume less fuel but deliver more power, with efficiency-enhancing technologies such as Auto Start Stop, thermal management and electrical system recuperation, with an intelligent lightweight body that uses a composite blend of aluminum and steel and a new hood concept on the Cabriolet models, with a suspension derived from motorsport, and with a progressive interior designed for sporty comfort. A true 911 model, an evolution of the old and tested Porsche engineering ingenuity.
The engine is a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter horizontally opposed Flat Six. As more and more cars turn to turbochargers to boost Fuel economy and power figures the naturally aspirated Porsche engine is much more rewarding through the entire rev range. The engine is smooth as silk through its entire range of RPMs finally peaking in power at 7400 RPM. In the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, the 3.8-liter engine develops 294 kW (400 hp). All models are equipped with direct fuel injection (DFI) and VarioCam Plus for increased power and reduced fuel consumption. This power is transmitted to the wheels by the new and efficient 7-speed manual gearbox or, optionally, by efficiency-enhanced Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which offers gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. The PDK transmission is still one of the best in the market, boasting split second gear changes that are exceptionally precise.
The powertrain delivers improved sporty performance compared to the previous model while also reducing fuel consumption by up to 16%. Loaded with features such as the Auto Start Stop function, electrical system recuperation and intelligent thermal management as well as the new, energy-saving electromechanical steering system and, in the case of PDK, the introduction of the coasting function. The chassis is also packed with forward-looking technology. Fitted as standard in the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) increases dynamic performance. Available as an option for the S models, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) improves dynamic performance further still. Dynamic engine mounts, included as part of the optional Sport Chrono Package, are now available in a 911 Carrera for the first time. These provide perceptibly more stable handling under load change conditions and in fast corners. The new 911 has a lightweight composite construction in aluminum and steel. Used extensively and in just the right places, lightweight aluminum improves fuel economy and dynamic performance and helps to achieve a low weight to power ratio of 7.6 lb./hp for the 911 Carrera S.
The handling characteristics of the new Porsche Carrera S are truly fantastic. The chassis is beautifully rigid all through those fast corners showing almost no lean. Flat, composed and graceful are the words that come to your mind when the Carrera S races round those bends. Also supplied as an option for the S models, is the Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) which brings out the dynamic performance further still. Dynamic engine mounts, included as part of the optional Sport Chrono Package, are now available in a 911 Carrera for the first time. These provide perceptibly more stable handling under load change conditions and in fast corners. Both these optional features add up to take the already rock steady handling of the Carrera to a whole new level. The first ever electric power steering system on any Porsche model is smooth, maybe its too smooth. On any surface, Be it flat tarmac or a broken pavement the lack of steering feedback makes you feel as if its glass you’re rolling on. Good for some bad for others.
Another much talked feature is the soft top of the Cabriolet model. The normal ribs that the fabric is stretched between in most of the soft top cars have been replaced with four magnesium panels. These panels stretch a polyacrylic fabric between them making the roof seem flat and also making it much more rigid, giving it aerodynamic characteristics almost like the coupe and also helping to reduce the cabin noise. The top can open or close in just 13 seconds and at speeds upto 31 miles an hour adding everyday practicality. When folded it is covered with a mesh which goes over the rear seats to reduce turbulent winds and noise. Supplied with Bi – Xenon lamps housed in the classic Porsche oval surrounds and also have the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) with dynamic cornering lights and speed-sensitive headlight control logic available as an option. The 911 Carrera models and the 911 Carrera S models are equipped as standard with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels respectively. One inch larger than those on the respective previous model, they enhance the sporty presence of the new 911.
The interiors too for this new Porsche are pleasant rich and functional without being too soft or snobbish. Everything has been arranged to occupy a place that is just right for it. The interiors truly reflect its targeted audience, commuters with a panache. A classic 911 feature is the arrangement of the five circular instruments with the rev counter in the middle. A new addition is the instrument cluster featuring a high-resolution 4.6-inch full VGA TFT color display for viewing on-board computer, audio system or navigation information. Fitted as standard, the Sports seats combine even greater comfort with racing-style support and now feature 4-way electric adjustment. The new automatic climate control with zonal temperature controls for driver and front passenger also comes as standard. Also new is the optional light design package for the footwells, storage compartments, rear compartment and overhead console. As ever, we offer an extensive selection of interior colors and materials, such as carbon, leather, wood or aluminum. Acoustics are an integral part of the concept, particularly the engine sound. Available as an option is the Burmester® High-End Surround Sound System. Optimized for the new 911 Carrera model range, it features 12 loudspeakers and a total output of 821 watts for a perfect spatial sound.
MSRP for the coupe is $96,400 and for the cabriolet is $108,000.
Track speed: 187 mph for manual transmission and 185 for PDK.
Acceleration: 0-62 mph in 4.5 s for manual 4.3 for PDK and 4.1 for PDK with Sports Plus.