The legend lives on.
Since 1963, the Porsche 911 has been held atop a pedestal as the prototypical sports car. For 48 years, the 911 has held this distinction, and retains it with the newest 991-generation 911. The latest 911 doesn’t have some of the drastic changes of past such as the elimination of air-cooled engines in the 996 or the Tiptronic transmission and all-wheel drive of the 964, but still asserts itself as the quintessential sports car.
There are a few obvious changes to the typical Porsche and/or automotive enthusiast at first glance. The 991 911 sits lower, has a 100 mm longer wheelbase, has a sleeker look and stretched silhouette that is ends with a distinct rear. For the exterior design, Porsche kept the styling relatively conservative. Minor changes such as enlarged air intakes at the front with integrated LED light bars, a wider front track, and side mirrors positioned on the door instead of the A-pillar give the 991 a different face that the 997. The standard wheel choices also grow from 19- to 20 inches in diameter for improved aesthetics. The wide butt of the 911 is apparent more than ever and comes wearing new LED taillights in a thin, streamlined shape. If anything, it’s more of a nip and tuck than a full-on nose job.
Underneath the new sheet metal is an aluminum-steel construction that reduces weight by 99 lbs. over the 997. The new 2012 Carrera and Carrera S’s engines also sit a few inches forward to produce a more ideal weight distribution and better handling dynamics while preserving the rear-engined platform that the 911 is known for. The wider front and rear tracks help improve grip along with the revised suspension design, making the new 911 one of the most dynamic Porsche models currently available. On the Carrera S model, the new Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is available. Under hard cornering, the system adjusts the wheels to ensure that the tires are always in the optimal position, resulting in higher lateral grip.
The new Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S models will be powered by new engines that boast greater fuel efficiency and emissions without sacrificing output. In fact, both engines are more powerful than the previous variants while being “greener”. Both engines utilize start/stop technology, thermal management, and energy recuperation systems to reduce fuel consumption. The standard Carrera will feature a 3.4-liter flat-six that churns out 350 horsepower and can accelerate to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds with PDK while returning 34 mpg imp (Euro cycle). The Carrera S will boast a 3.8-liter flat-six with 400 ponies and 32 mpg imp. (Euro cycle) and is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with PDK and 3.9 with the optional Sport Plus package.
The standard transmission on both 911 models is a new seven-speed manual, something that will get every enthusiasts mouth watering. The state-of-the-art, lightning quick PDK seven-speed dual clutch transmission will be available as an option on both models and help return better fuel economy and acceleration than the manual transmission.
The same conservative design mindset that Porsche used on the exterior were carried over to the interior. The most drastic update is the center console. Traditionally, the center console has been low, almost at the knees of the driver and passenger. In the new 991 generation, Porsche has taken a page from their book of motorsports and raised the console so that the gear shifter is closer to the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. Towards the back of the console sit a number of buttons for functions such as the suspension settings. The usual three-gauge cluster with centrally-mounted tachometer faces the driver along with a new high-res multifunction screen.
The new 991 generation Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S models were unveiled at the 2011 IAA Frankfurt Auto Show. Both models are currently available for ordering from U.S. dealerships. Prices for the Carrera begin at $ 82,100 for the manual and $ 86,180 for PDK, while the Carrera S will start at $ 96,400 for the manual and $ 100,480 for PDK.
2012 Porsche 911 Video:
2012 Porsche 911 Gallery:
Is the Porsche 991 your favorite generation of 911? Leave a comment and let us know!