Iconic design with a fresh spin; exceptional agility; top-level engine performance
The Porsche 911 has been given a substantial update for 2012. Internally, the new evolution of the car is known as the 991, and although it still features a rear-mounted flat-6-cylinder engine, the car now features a 3.9-inch increase in its wheelbase over the outgoing model. The body is just 2.2 inches longer and it sits 0.4 inches lower than the 2011 model.
The body, which is now mostly aluminum, has been given an evolutionary redesign. New features include larger headlamps fitted to slightly higher front fenders, higher wheelhouses, a more sharply angled rear window, a higher wasteline and wider rear fenders. All-new LED taillights have also been fitted.
The base engine, offered in the Carrera, has dropped in displacement from 3.6 liters to 3.4 liters, but it now makes 345 hp--a gain of 4 hp over the larger outgoing unit. Carrera S models again get a 3.8 L unit, making 394 hp. Seven-speed transmissions are now featured, including the standard manual and optional PDK automatic.
In the world of high-end sports cars, the 911 is the most iconic choice, with over 30 years of evolution under its belt. For 2012, the design has changed, but the fundamentals are still in place: rear-mounted flat 6-cylinder engine and a precision chassis developed with handling in mind. Together, the components make for a sports car that's hard to beat both in terms of aesthetics and performance. It's arguably a capable competitor for the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi R8, BMW M3 and Nissan GT-R.
The Porsche 911 is all new for 2012, following on its history of evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary leaps. Overall, while styling is updated, the car is still unmistakably 911 throughout, with the characteristic shape and round headlights we've come to expect from Porsche's lead sports car.
Body changes are subtle but numerous, with larger LED main-beam projector headlamps fitted in higher front fenders, a wider rear end, a higher side waistline and all-new LED taillamps.
Two engines are available in 2012. In the base-level Carrera, buyers get a 3.4L horizontally-opposed direct-injected 6-cylinder that makes 345 horsepower--a solid 4 horsepower increase over last year's 3.6L engine. Carrera S buyers get a slightly larger 3.8L flat 6-cylinder, which makes 394 horsepower. Other engines are slated for production later in the 2012 model year, including a Turbo version said to put out more than 500 horsepower.
Also new for 2012 is a 7-speed manual transmission, which is offered as standard equipment. A 7-speed PDK gearbox is optional, serving as an automatic with manual features. In the new manual, the ratios are close together in every gear except 7th, which helps to achieve a better fuel consumption rate during highway use. Other changes include all-new electric power steering in place of the previous hydraulic system, as well as a hydraulic decoupler of the front and rear sway bars, known as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. In addition, Porsche has added a rear wheel torque vectoring system that helps build traction using the rear brakes along with the rear differential.
Inside, the 911 gets a completely new interior, with styling touches consistent with Porsche's Panamera and Cayenne. There's no mistaking the new design as something other than 911, however, with a host of gauges flanking a large tachometer, mounted front and center. The center console is now wider and mounts a larger color touchscreen monitor for navigation and stereo functions. The shifter has also been moved up slightly, and more switches and knobs have been placed there.
In addition to the optional Carrera S package, there's a Sport Chrono package, which adds a thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel with multifunction controls.
Vehicle Price: 79,950.00
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