The 911 has been the world’s best-selling sports car for decades.
Now the new generation has arrived to further extend this lead. With innovative turbo flat engines, an advanced chassis with an even greater spread between performance and comfort and a new infotainment system it is exceedingly well-equipped for this. Thanks to more than four decades of experience with turbo engines – in both motor racing and production sports cars – the new engines in the new 911 Carrera set benchmarks in terms of performance, driving pleasure and efficiency. The rear-axle steering available as an option for the Carrera models for the first time further greatly extends the range of driving dynamics.
Many exterior features of the 911 Carrera have been visually refined: these range from new headlights with four-point daytime running lights to door handles without recess covers, a redesigned rear lid with vertical louvres and new rear lights – including the characteristic four-point brake lights. In the interior the new standard Porsche Communication Management with a multi-touch display offers a considerably expanded range of functions and greatly simplified operation.
The completely new engine generation with bi-turbo charging raises the emotional driving pleasure in the 911 Carrera to an even more intensive experience: 370 hp (272 kW) of power at the rear of the 911 Carrera is waiting to be unleashed and converted into sporty propulsion. The engine in the 911 Carrera S now delivers 420 hp (309 kW). In both cases this represents a power increase of 20 hp (15 kW). Both engines have a displacement of three litres. The greater power of the 911 Carrera S results from turbochargers with modified compressors, a specific exhaust system and tuned engine management.
The new Porsche engines are characterised by significantly increased torque (60 Nm in each case) with maximum torque of 450 Nm (332 ft/lb) and 500 Nm (369 ft/lb) respectively delivered constantly from a low 1,700 rpm up to 5,000 rpm in both cases, thus ensuring excellent driving performance. At the same time with a maximum speed of 7,500 rpm the new engine generation clearly exceeds the top speeds of conventional turbo engines – underscored by the typical sonorous Porsche engine sound.
The new 911 also boasts impressive performance: the 911 Carrera Coupé with Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) and Sport Chrono Package sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds – making it two tenths of a second faster than its predecessor. The 911 Carrera S with PDK and Sport Chrono Package performs the sprint in just 3.9 seconds (also 0.2 s faster). This means that it is the first 911 in the Carrera family to undercut the magic four second mark. And the top speeds of both models have also increased further: the 911 Carrera now has a top speed of 295 km/h / 183 mph (an increase of six km/h), while the 911 Carrera S now even reaches 308 km/h / 191 mph (an increase of four km/h).
In conjunction with the optional Sport Chrono Package the 911 Carrera now has a mode switch on the steering wheel for the first time, derived from the hybrid mode switch of the 918 Spyder. The mode switch consists of a rotary ring with four positions for the driving modes “Normal”, “Sport”, “Sport Plus” and “Individual”. Depending on the equipment, the latter setting enables drivers to configure their own individual vehicle set-up, for example the PASM, active engine mounts, PDK shifting strategy and sports exhaust system. In combination with PDK transmission the mode switch has an additional button, the “Sport Response Button”. When this button is pressed the drivetrain is pre-conditioned for maximum acceleration for 20 seconds, for example before overtaking manoeuvres. For this, the optimum gear is engaged and the engine management adjusted to an even more spontaneous response for a short time.
The 911 Carrera is the benchmark for driving dynamics of all-round sports cars. With every new generation Porsche further increases the spread between everyday comfort and circuit performance. For the first time, the new PASM chassis (Porsche Active Suspension Management), which lowers the ride height by ten millimetres, is a standard feature on board all Carrera models. It further improves stability during fast cornering. At the same time the new shock absorber generation with its wider spread characteristics enhance comfort thanks to an even more precise response characteristic and also improve the body connection during dynamic driving. New standard wheels with five slim twin spokes carry tyres with reduced rolling resistance and enhanced performance. Furthermore, on all variants the width of the rear rims has increased by 0.5 to 11.5 inches and the rear tyres of the 911 Carrera S now measure 305 instead of 295 millimetres.
The active rear-axle steering that is available as an option for the 911 Carrera S is chassis technology adopted from the 911 Turbo and 911 GT3. It further enhances the turn-in behaviour of the 911. In addition, it makes for high driving stability when changing lanes at high speeds. At the same time it ensures greater manoeuvrability in city traffic thanks to the turning circle reduced by 0.5 metres. The improved handling is transmitted to the driver via the new steering wheel generation with a design based on the steering wheel of the 918 Spyder. The basic steering wheel has a diameter of 375 millimetres; the optional GT sports steering wheel measures 360 millimetres. For unlimited everyday practicality Porsche offers a hydraulic lift system with integrated lifting cylinders in the struts of the front axle. Pressing a button increases the ground clearance at the front by 40 millimetres within 5 seconds and thus prevents the vehicle underbody from hitting the ground, for example on steep garage exits.
At Porsche, innovations and developments that have proved themselves under extreme racing conditions always benefit production models, too. Testing in motorsport in particular ensures the performance and resilience of new engines for production sports cars. In the development of charged six-cylinder flat engines Porsche can therefore look back on more than 40 years’ experience. For example, turbocharging with a bypass valve was first used in 1972 in the 917/10 racing car before entering series production two years later in 1974 in the first 911 Turbo. In 1974 charge air cooling was also first introduced in the 917/10. In 1977 this technology then celebrated its premiere in the 911 Turbo 3.3. Further milestones in the development of turbo engines include sequential turbocharging with two consecutive chargers (for the first time in the super car 959), bi-turbo charging with two parallel chargers (for the first time in the 911 Turbo, type 993) and adjustable intake valves (for the first time in the 911 Turbo, type 996).
The big question now is, how will the new Carrera affect Turbo and Turbo S sales? Is there going to be a big enough difference between the models to warrant the premium price of the top of the range cars?