Purists, look away now – the new Porsche 911 Carrera that will make its debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show will be turbo-only. Porsche has foregone natural aspiration in the classic rear-engined sports car in the quest for better performance and economy. The change comes as part of a mid-life update that brings with it a raft of features found on the 918 Spyder, and current 911 Turbo and 911 GT3.
Key to Porsche's updates are, as you might expect, those new engines. In the base Carrera, the new 3.0-liter engine produces 370 hp (275 kW) and 449 Nm of torque, which is enough to shoot it to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.0 seconds. Upgrading to the Carrera S gives you an extra 50 hp (37 kW) and 50 Nm, which helps cut the sprint to 62 mph down to just 3.7 seconds. Top speed is pegged at 191 mph (307 km/h), which is 8 mph (13 km/h) faster than the standard Carrera.
That extra power comes courtesy of changes to the turbocharger's compressor wheel, a unique exhaust system and tweaks to the engine control unit (ECU) compared to the standard Carrera's engine.
However, the big question regarding these new engines will be how the changes will affect the driving experience. Although it improves fuel economy (by almost 12 percent compared to the previous generation depending on the model variant, according to the NEDC), turbocharging dulls throttle response and noise – both elements that are central to the appeal of the 911.
On top of the new engines, the 911 now sits 10 mm lower on an active PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) chassis as standard, while new dampers provide better body control on the move. Having made its debut on the new GT3 and GT3 RS, Porsche's rear-wheel steer system is now available on the Carrera S as well.
Inside, the 911 gets a 918 Spyder-aping steering wheel and debuts the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay compatibility, Wi-Fi connectivity and a 7-in touchscreen display.
While the engines and chassis have undergone significant revision, the 911's exterior remains largely unchanged. Slightly revised rear lights and a new rear bumper are the only major changes to the sheetmetal, while the car sits on wider rear rims (up 0.5 in to 11.5 in) and tires (up from 295 to 305 mm).
Pricing for the new 911 will start at US$89,400 for the base Carrera and $103,400 for the Carrera S. Opting for the convertible versions adds another $12,300 to the price of each model. The new models will launch in the US in March, 2016.
The new 911 Carrera will make its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, where we'll be sure to check it out.
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