The iconic, brand-defining Porsche 911 Carrera has once again been redesigned, and the latest incarnation will be seen for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It's lighter, more economical, more powerful, cleaner and orders are being taken from September 1, with deliveries beginning December 3. After 48 years, the 911 remains a rear-engined, boxer six with vague styling similarities to the 956 and Volkswagen Beetle DNA, but the 911 name still represents excellence, performance and a badge of success.
The new 911 visually seems flatter and longer than the current 911, though in reality, the wheelbase is just 100 mm longer. The new aluminum and steel body is largely responsible for the car's 45 kg weight reduction, though, truth be known, many of the people who will buy this car might be carrying that much extra weight on their person - the biggest advantage will be the increased rigidity of the new body.
Handling has been further improved in a number of different ways on the new Porsche's with the technological gem of the bunch being the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) which gets its first public outing on a production Porsche on the Carrera S.
PDCC is an active roll stabilization system which reduces lateral inclination when cornering, enabling the tires to remain in an optimal position relative to the road surface and hence able to transmit higher lateral forces. Porsche claims that cornering speeds have been increased by PDCC, with faster lap times resulting from the system as well as greater passive safety due to increased traction when it is most needed.
One of the interesting aspects of the new 911 is its aerodynamic optimization with a wider, variably-extending rear spoiler. Just as F1 cars can reduce their drag coefficient (Cd) for passing, both new 911 Carreras can reduce high speed lift while retaining efficient aerodynamics.
One of the many interesting aspects of the new 911 Carrera is the pricing which it will command in various markets around the world.
The announced pricing in some of the markets for which the car is destined is wildly disparate, for example:
For all the many advantages of living in Australia, buying a new Porsche is clearly not one of them.
The new 911 Carrera and Carrera S have made some major advances in reducing fuel consumption and emissions thanks to an array of systems standard in the new car, such as auto start/stop, thermal management, electrical system recuperation, a seven-speed manual transmission or the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission, and electro-mechanical power steering.
Like all prior 911's the new Carrera and Carrera S have six cylinder, horizontally-opposed engines. The Carerra's 3.4 liter engine produces 350 bhp (257 kW) while the Carrera S sports a 3.8 liter 400 bhp (294 kW) engine. With the optional PDK fitted the Carrera consumes 8.2 liters per 100 kilometers (34 mpg imp.) based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) - 1.6 l/100 km (6 mpg imp.) less than the current Carrera, a reduction of around 16%. The Carrera S motor has also reduced consumption despite 15 hp (11 kW) more power than the current S, delivering 8.7 l/100 km (32 mpg imp.).
Both motors produce similar reductions in CO2 emissions, the Carrera at 194 g/km CO2, and the S at 205 g/km.
Performance, the 911's hallmark, has also been improved, with the PDK-equipped 911 Carrera S now capable of hitting 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, with that time reduced to 4.1 seconds if the optional Sport Chrono package is fitted. The 911 Carrera with PDK is slightly slower to that mark at 4.6 seconds (Sport Plus 4.4 seconds).
Of course, several other new models based on the new 911, such as the Turbo and GT3 are now expected in the near to medium future. Indications are that neither of those models will surface in Frankfurt.