After months of rumour & speculation, details of the latest iteration of the evergreen Porsche 911 were announced by the company today ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Chief amongst the rumours was that the much-loved naturally-aspirated engines would be replaced by downsized all-turbo engines. This was almost inevitable given increasingly stringent emissions legislation. However, the facts as outlined in the press releases make it clear that far from the all-new downsized turbocharged engines diminishing the performance of the 911, they enhance it.
Even the 3 litre flat six twin-turbo unit in the entry level 911 Carrera gets a 20hp power hike from the current model, to 370hp, coupled with a massive gain in torque, up 60Nm to 420Nm. The 911 Carrera S model delivers 420hp, again up 20hp, with a similar 60NM torque increase to 500Nm, courtesy of turbochargers with modified turbine compressors, a specific exhaust system and tuned engine management.
The pundits have feared that use of the smaller engine will impact on performance, but on the data release by Porsche, this seems far from the case. The fastest lap time around the North Loop of the Nürburgring is reduced to 7 minutes and 30 seconds – ten seconds faster than before. And after all, Porsche are no strangers to turbocharging, with the benefit of more than four decades of experience in both motor racing and production sports cars. Indeed, driveability should be enhanced, for peak torque on both models is delivered between 1,700 and 5,000 rpm, with the engines going on to an impressive 7,500 rpm.
The 911 Carrera Coupé with Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) and Sport Chrono Package sprints from zero to 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 achieves this benchmark in just 3.9 seconds (also 0.2 secs swifter). 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 183 mph (an increase of 4 mph), while the 911 Carrera S now reaches 191 mph (an increase of 3 mph).
The new engines also offer a healthy improvement in emissions and fuel consumption. Depending on the model, the 911 is now almost 12 per cent more efficient. The 911 Carrera with PDK transmission returns 38.2 mpg Combined (an increase of 3.8 mpg), while the 911 Carrera S with PDK consumes 36.7 mpg Combined (an increase of 4.2 mpg).
In terms of emissions, this translates to 169 g/km CO2 for the Carrera PDK and 174 g/km CO2 for the Carrera S PDK – placing both these models in Band H for the purposes of vehicle excise duty.
The familiar front air intake ducts are retained, however as a fuel-saving feature they now feature active air intake flaps which close automatically to reduce drag, opening only when required to provide adequate cooling air.
Chassis-wise, the 911 remains broadly unchanged, although a number of new options are available. Active rear-axle steering is available as an option for the 911 Carrera S, which is chassis technology adopted from the 911 Turbo and 911 GT3 (and 918 Spyder). It further enhances the turn-in behaviour of the 911. In addition, it makes for high driving stability when changing lanes at high speeds. It also ensures greater manoeuvrability in city traffic thanks to the turning circle reduction of 0.5 metres.
For unlimited everyday practicality, customers can choose a hydraulic lift system with integrated lifting cylinders in the struts of the front axle. Pressing a button increases the ground clearance at the nose by 40 millimetres within five seconds and thus prevents the vehicle underbody from hitting the ground, when traversing steep ferry ramps or garage exits for example.
In conjunction with the optional Sport Chrono Package, the 911 Carrera now features a ‘mode switch’ on the steering wheel, derived from the hybrid mode switch of the 918 Spyder. The mode switch consists of a rotary control with four positions for the driving settings “Normal”, “Sport”, “Sport Plus” and “Individual”. Depending on the car’s specification, the latter setting enables drivers to configure their own individual vehicle set-up; eg Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), PDK transmission shifting strategy and sports exhaust system.
In combination with the PDK, the mode switch has an additional “Sport Response Button”. When this is pressed, the drivetrain is pre-conditioned for maximum acceleration for 20 seconds, in anticipation of an overtaking manoeuvre, for example. For a short time, the optimum gear is engaged and the engine management adjusted to an even more spontaneous response.
The new models also feature an improved standard specification, with PASM now being offered as standard. PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) lowers the ride height by ten millimetres, to improve stability during fast cornering. At the same time, new dampers enhance comfort thanks to an even more precise response characteristic as well as improving body control during dynamic driving.
Visually, a number of exterior features of the 911 Carrera have been tweaked: these include new headlights with four-point daytime running lights, handles inset to the door panel without recess covers, a redesigned engine lid with vertical louvres and new tail lights – including the now characteristic four-point brake light Porsche motif.
The most easy to spot feature setting the new models apart from the outgoing car is probably the exhaust plumbing: the optional sports exhaust now exits via two centre-mounted pipes, rather than the rather impressive four-pipe setup of the earlier car.
Inside the car features a development of the Porsche Communication Management System (PCM) including Online satellite navigation and voice control. The PCM can be operated by performing multi-touch gestures on the seven-inch display, similar to operating a smartphone. User inputs by handwriting are also possible. Mobile phones and smartphones can now also be connected via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth™. The smartphone tray is integrated for the first time in the centre armrest, offering battery-saving charging and optimised mobile phone reception. Also new is the option of connecting an iPhone® to the PCM to use Apple CarPlay®.
Real-time traffic information is available for significantly improved route navigation. It gives the driver a quick overview of the traffic situation and guarantees dynamic adaptation of the route to this information. Google Earth® and Google Streetview® are also being integrated for the first time to offer better orientation. Other components of the PCM are Porsche Car Connect and the Porsche Connect app, which can be used for such functions as remote control of vehicle functions, transfer of destinations to the PCM for navigation and use of music streaming services by third-party providers via the PCM.
An extended range of new and improved assistance systems are available on the new 911. The optional automatic speed control can now also brake moderately when the pre-set speed is exceeded, for example when driving downhill. Furthermore, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) option now has a coasting function in conjunction with the PDK transmission. When driving in a queue the clutches are disengaged, thus saving fuel with unpowered coasting. The optional Lane Change Assist monitors traffic behind with radar and uses LED lamps in the left and right of the mirror triangle to warn the driver about approaching vehicles in the blind spot. In addition, Porsche increases active safety with the multi-collision braking system as a standard feature.
Standard equipment on every 911 Carrera includes leather interior, sports seats, Porsche Communication Management (PCM) including satellite navigation system with seven-inch colour touchscreen, universal audio interface offering telephone module and MP3 connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, SPORT button, Bi-Xenon headlights, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Stability Management (PSM), tyre pressure monitoring, Porsche Vehicle Tracking anti-theft system, three year warranty and three year roadside assistance package.
Customers will also be able to explore the potential of their new car by participating in a complimentary course at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.
The new 911 is on sale now, with first UK deliveries due in December. Prices range from £76,412 for the Carrera Coupe to £94,698 for the Carrera S Cabriolet.