The 991 generation Porsche 911 has received a bit of a facelift, but there's more to this revised car than a couple of subtle exterior changes. Hidden under that rear engine cover sits a new, and highly controversial, turbocharged engine. That's right, for the first time ever, 911s without that iconic turbo badge have received forced induction. In order to move with the times and improve efficiency, the entire 911 range (except for the track-oriented "GT" models) will be equipped with turbos from now on. On most cars, the addition of said technology wouldn't cause much of a stir, but with a car as resistant to change over the years as this, more than a few people have been dreading this day. So let's get into what exactly this change does for Porsche's signature sports car.
Rather than the 3.4 liter flat-six found in the old Carrera, as well as the 3.8 liter unit found in the Carrera S, the new range will be powered by a new, 3 liter engine. This new power plant packs 365 horsepower and 332 lb ft in standard Carrera trim, with a more meaty 414 hp and 369 lb ft from the Carrera S. These numbers represent slight increases in power over the outgoing models, with significantly more torque compared to the naturally aspirated engines. 0-60 is taken care of in 4.2 seconds in the standard car, with the S model hitting 60 in an impressive 3.9 seconds. But the improved performance figures only tell half of the story. Porsche's decision to turbocharge the 911 was caused largely by governments cracking down and forcing manufacturers to make their cars more economical. As a result, the new 911 range is capable of a nature-hugging 38.2 miles per gallon (when driven like a saint, of course), a figure which will surely please even the most conservative of car lovers.
Predictably, the new 911 looks very similar to its predecessor, but a few small changes will allow you to distinguish this model from the countless 911 variants of the past few years. The headlights and taillights have been refreshed, and so has the front grille. The rear engine cover also features a new design, and vents have been integrated into the rear bumper, probably to assist with cooling the car down as its owner inevitably pilots it through the countryside. Lastly, the exhaust pipes have been redesigned. The Carrera sports a twin-pipe design, while the Carrera S retains the outgoing model's beloved quad-pipe setup. Both models will be available from launch as either a coupe or a cabriolet, allowing buyers to have their pick of the lineup from day one.
Adaptive dampers now come as standard on the 911 range, which allow the car to be setup for either a very comfortable ride (for your leisurely cruises) or a proper thrashing (for your not-so leisurely cruises) at the touch of a button. Rear wheel steering (featured on the current 911 GT3) is now an option for the Carrera S as well, meaning the car will feel more than happy tearing through your favorite series of corners.
The latest 911 range from Porsche appears poised to take the world by storm, and I see no reason why it shouldn't. Sure, purists won't be happy with the new-fangled technology in the engine bay, but that won't stop Porsche from selling them as quickly as they can push them off the production line. For now, we'll have to wait and see what the journalists think of how it drives, but I have a feeling it'll be pretty damn good.