It remains a total mystery how the Porsche team manages each and every year to improve upon what seems to have already been the ultimate high performance sports car. But somehow they do just that consistently without fail. This is a practice that has gone on for nearly 50 years since the 911’s inception.
The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S coupe have both gotten infinitely better than last year’s models. The new generation 911 emerges from a major developmental process – one of the most significant in the history of this classic sports car with nearly 90 percent of all of its components having been redesigned or redeveloped. The lightweight body is completely new, with drivetrain and suspension systems, which combine to deliver improvements in the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy. Driving dynamics have benefited along with a 16 percent lower fuel consumption and lower emissions, not to mention enhanced practicality and functionality.
Power for this latest iteration 911 will come from two sources: a 3.4-liter boxer 6-cylinder engine with 350 horsepower for the base 911 Carrera and a 3.8-liter boxer 6-cylinder for the 911 Carrera S, which produces 400 horsepower along with a whopping 440 pound feet of torque. Both engines feature direct fuel injection and drive the rear wheels, with power geared through either a 7-speed manual gearbox (it’s the first passenger car in the world to feature a 7-speed manual as standard fare), or an optionally available PDK automatic with electronically controlled rear differential and PTV Plus (Porsche Torque Vectoring).
This latest 911 Carrera appears to be smaller at first glance. But in actuality it sports a longer wheelbase and a wider track while riding on 20-inch wheels and tires. The overall length is also increased by 56 mm, while overhangs have been shortened by 32 mm up front and 12 mm in the rear. The roofline is 7 mm lower on the Carrera and 6 mm on the Carrera S. It is the most compact sports car in its class. Despite all its modifications, the 911 Carrera’s styling is essentially evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and it weighs less.
Complementing the fresh, racier exterior, the interior draws visual inspiration from the Porsche Carrera GT and functional control treatment and placement from the Panamera and Cayenne. The center console rises forward housing the gearshift lever and larger 7-inch touch screen information center. Both driver and front passenger are treated to newly developed sport seats with electric four way adjustments.
The interior layout presents optimal and ergonomically satisfying functionality in the placement of controls and switchgear. The only negative issue encountered was the windshield wiper speed, which proved ineffective when switched to maximum speed at normal freeway speeds in heavy inclement weather.
All in all, this latest example of the Porsche 911 Carrera S is an incredible sports car – something that Porsche is best noted for producing year after year with continual and progressive improvements. It is a truly amazing machine on the road or on the track. Safety systems and features abound and are in place to save both driver and car at less than a moment’s notice.
Is it inexpensive? We don’t think so. Is it worth it? Yes!
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