The Porsche 911 Carrera is now younger than ever in its illustrious 48 years. The sports car icon has been completely redesigned with a stretched silhouette, exciting contours and precise design details; yet it remains unmistakably a 911 from the very first glance.
The 100 millimetre increase in wheelbase and reduced height combined with wheel size options up to 20 inches underpin the athletic appearance. From the front it is the 911’s trademark wide-arched guards that catch the eye. They emphasise the wider front track that make the new 911 Carrera sit even more solidly on the road. The remodelled exterior mirrors are now on the upper edge of the door which provides aerodynamic advantages while emphasising the impression of width.
The all-new, lightweight body is an intelligent aluminium-steel composite construction. It alone accounts for a significant proportion of the weight reduction of up to 45 kilograms while providing significantly greater rigidity. Aerodynamic optimisation – including a wider, variably extending rear spoiler – further reduces the new 911 Carrera’s lift forces while retaining a very good Cd value.
Complementing the modern exterior design is an interior architecture that takes its cue from the Porsche Carrera GT. The driver is now even more closely integrated with the cockpit thanks to the centre console rising up to the front with the high-mounted shift lever or gear selector located especially close to the steering wheel in typical motorsport fashion. Classic Porsche elements are also to be found on the inside: the instrument cluster with its five round instruments; one of them a high resolution multi-function screen, the central rev counter and the ignition lock to the right of the steering wheel.
Setting the standard in its class, as it has for generations, the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S raise the performance and efficiency bar yet another notch. All versions get by with significantly less than 10L / 100kms of fuel. Fuel consumption and emissions are up to 16 per cent lower compared with its predecessor.
This reduction is achieved by, but not limited to, functions such as: auto start/stop, thermal management, electrical system recuperation, the world’s first seven-speed manual gearbox and ‘sailing’ in conjunction with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplungsbetriebe (PDK) transmission. The new electro-mechanical power steering offers not only Porsche’s typical precision and feedback but also helps to increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
For example, the 911 Carrera with the new 257 kW, 3.4-litre boxer engine and optional PDK consumes just 8.2L / 100kms based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – 1.6L / 100kms less than its predecessor. Also, at 194g / km CO2, it is the first Porsche sports car to make it below the 200g / km mark.
The Carrera S, with its 3.8-litre boxer engine now producing 294 kW, has its fuel consumption reduced by 14 per cent (or 1.5L / 100kms) to 8.7L / 100kms when paired with the optional PDK, despite an 11 kW power hike. That equates to CO2 emissions of 205g / km.
At the same time there are performance improvements to both models. The Carrera S with PDK accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. Pressing the Sport Plus button on the optional Sport Chrono package cuts that to 4.1 seconds. The Carrera with PDK needs only 4.6 seconds (Sport Plus 4.4 seconds).
The new 911 doesn’t just offer better acceleration, but adds unprecedented levels of road holding to the performance equation. Its greater agility, precision and driving stability are based on, among other things, the wider front track, the new rear axle and new electro-mechanical power steering.
Depending on the model, there are other standard or optional active control systems that further enhance the driving dynamics. That is especially true for the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilisation system, available for the first time on the 911 Carrera S. The system reduces body roll during cornering to keep the tyres in optimal position to the road surface, thereby increasing cornering speeds on road and track.
The new 911 Carrera expands its ability to fulfil apparent contradictions such as performance and efficiency as well as sportiness and everyday practicality, which has typified the sports car icon in recent years. So this makes the new 911 more of a 911 than ever.
Porsche’s latest 911 will be shown to the public at the 2011 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show; with European sales commencing in early December followed by Australian sales in March. The Carrera will be priced from $229,900 and the Carrera S from $263,100.