Porsche 911 (991) Carrera


Debut: 2011
Maker: Porsche
Predecessor: 997 Carrera



 Published on 1 May 2012
All rights reserved. 

The latest 911 takes another giant leap like that of 996...


People say if there is only one sports car you must drive in a lifetime, it will be the 911. Since 1963, the iconic Porsche has always been the standard of daily-use sports cars. It is not necessarily the fastest or the most beautiful, but few rivals can combine driving thrills and everyday usability like it. Even fewer can be as characterful. This unique character comes from the rear-engined layout and six-cylinder boxer engine, which dictate its shape, its sound and the way it corners.

Evolution or Revolution?

For nearly 50 years, Weissach strived to preserve this character while meeting new requirements for performance, drivability, comfort and safety. Most of the time it took an evolutionary approach – such as the cases for the first 25 years and the outgoing 997. Sometimes it needed a small mutation, such as 964 and 993, to keep it at the forefront. There was only one time when the 911 ran out of potential for further development and necessitated a full makeover. That was the 996. The 996 was the turning point of 911's history. It introduced an all-new chassis, modern aerodynamics and a water-cooled 24-valve engine so to wave goodbye to the classical era and say hello to the new world. Its track record became the template for the latest 991.

As early as 2007, Porsche realized that it could no longer continue the evolutionary approach on the next 911. Audi R8 had shown it the strongest ever threats, and the mightily quick Nissan GT-R was just around the corner – having already set many eye-popping lap times at Nurburgring. To maintain its leadership the 911 should take another giant leap like the 996. Therefore, project 998 was kickstarted as a clean-sheet development program. In order to deceive parts suppliers who might leak information to its rivals, the project was renamed to 991 later on so to confuse with the next generation Boxster or Cayman. This explains why the 991 breaks away from the tradition of using incremental numbers for its code name.


A 100mm longer wheelbase and wider front track improve handling.


Chassis and Body

The chassis of 991 is all-new. It has a more modern proportion, i.e. faster windscreen and fastback angles, shorter overhangs, slightly lower and a wheelbase boosted by 100 mm to 2450 mm – that is only the third wheelbase extension in its entire history (the first and second happened in 1969 and 1998 respectively). It also sports a wider front track to improve handling (up 46 mm on Carrera and 52 mm on Carrera S).

Despite of the extra dimensions, the new car is 30-40 kg lighter than the outgoing 997, thanks to an aluminum-steel hybrid construction. Porsche did not follow Ferrari or Audi to employ spaceframe chassis made entirely of aluminum, because that would have thickened the pillars and door sills thus hamper cabin space and ease of entry (remark: aluminum takes larger section than steel to achieve the same stiffness). Instead, the 991 uses super-high-strength steel, baron steel and multiphase steel at locations where stiffness matter most, whereas aluminum is used for the floorpan, roof, door skins, bonnet, engine lid, luggage compartment, front crash structure and rear fenders. They comprise 45 percent of the body shell. Besides, the dashboard mounting beam is made of magnesium. The new chassis is 20-25 percent torsionally stiffer than the old one.


45 percent of the body is made of aluminum. Super-high-strength steel, baron steel and multiphase steel are used at locations where stiffness matter most.


The new shape is the work of chief designer Michael Mauer. Since joining Porsche in 2004, this is the first time Mauer is given the necessary freedom to reshape the iconic Porsche. The new car has a sleeker, more modern profile, yet it still looks every bit a true 911. Its faster rear window leads to a higher tail, which can no longer be called "ducktail". Details at the rear end is further refined. The slim taillights and the way they meet the recessed rear spoiler and rear quarter panels show high level of finishing. Overall, the 991 has a polished, high-quality feel for which its predecessors could only dream. This distances it from cheaper rivals like Lotus and Nissan.

The new body retains a drag coefficient of 0.29, but aerodynamic lift has been reduced to nearly zero, thanks in part to the raised tail. The rear spoiler no longer sits between the taillights, thus it can get wider and more effective. As before, it normally recesses onto the tail and rises at higher speed.


Michael Mauer is finally given the necessary freedom to reshape the iconic Porsche. The result is a sleeker, more modern proportion.


Suspension, Steering and Electronic aids

Suspensions continue to rely on MacPherson struts up front and multi-links at the rear, but their geometry have been revised to take advantage of the wider front track and slightly better weight distribution. As before, PASM provides adaptive damping. A few technologies are new to the car:
  • Dynamic engine mounts: taken from GT3 and Turbo, it uses magnetorheological fluid to alter the stiffness of engine mounts. In normal driving, the engine mounts are set soft to reduce NVH. When computer senses the car is being driven hard, it automatically stiffens the engine mounts to limit weight transfer, hence improving body control.

  • PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring): a brake-actuated torque vectoring system. When the car is running into understeer, it applies soft braking to inside rear wheel, driving more power to the outside wheel and eliminating understeer. (Note: apart from PTV, the 991 has limited slip differential equipped as standard. Cars with manual gearbox uses mechanical type LSD, while PDK mates with electronic type.)

  • PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control): an active anti-roll system first used on Cayenne SUV. It uses a hydraulic motor to swivel the two halfs of anti-roll bars either in the same direction (to harden the suspension) or in opposite direction (to soften the suspension), so to alter the resistance to body roll. Walter Rohl recommended to opt for this feature if you want to optimize lap time.
However, the most controversial change must be the ZF electromechanical power steering, taking place of traditional hydraulic power steering. It uses a rack-mounted motor and complicated control logic to resist the faults of similar systems. Porsche claims it enhances efficiency and precision without compromising feel. Is it true? We shall see soon.
 

Carrera and Carrera S can be distinguished from tailpipes.


Engines, Transmissions and Performance

Compare with the chassis, changes to the flat-six engines are relatively subtle. Their basic architecture remains, as are vital mechanisms like VarioCam Plus, resonance-type variable intake system and direct fuel injection. An efficiency enhancement program added on-demand oil/water pumps, automatic stop-start, regenerative alternator and a coasting function on PDK-equipped cars. Porsche claims fuel economy is reduced by 16 percent.

The ZF-built 7-speed PDK transmission is carried over. Now it is joined with a manual cousin. The new 7-speed manual is derived from the PDK and shares a third of its components. The top gear is reserved for overdrive to save fuel.

As before, there are two versions of regular 911s – Carrera and Carrera S. They can be distinguished from the number of tailpipes, i.e. twin for Carrera and quad for Carrera S. The Carrera has its engine downsized from 3.6 to 3.4 liters in order to boost economy and further space itself from the S. This is also the first capacity reduction since 996. Despite that, engineers still managed to find another 5 horsepower at the top end, resulting in 350 hp at 7400 rpm. Maximum torque is kept at 288 pound-foot, although the smaller motor takes higher rev to reach that level.

The Carrera S motor remains at 3.8 liters. Thanks to a lower restriction intake and exhaust system, new air-flow sensors and fuel injectors, it produces a full 400 horsepower at 7400 rpm, up from 385 hp at 6500 rpm. Max torque increases by 14 lbft and maximum rev is lifted by 500 rpm to 7800 rpm. As expected, performance is startling. If you opt for PDK gearbox and Sport Chrono pack (with launch control), the Carrera S can sprint from 0-60 mph in merely 3.9 seconds, yet that figure is on the conservative side. Flat out, the car can top 188 mph. More telling, Porsche said the 991 Carrera S lapped Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7:40, 14 seconds clear of its predecessor. That puts it on the same ground as the Turbo and GT3 3.8 !


Vastly different from 996 and 997, the cabin gets noticeably wider and a Panamera-style center console.


On the Road

Now let's get on board. The cabin looks vastly different from 996 and 997. First of all, it gets wider, affording considerably more shoulder room. The driver seat also gets more legroom and headroom, so even tall guys will feel comfortable sitting all day. No so good are the rear seats, which remain to be strictly dog seats. Once sat on the driver seat, you will find you are separated further apart from the passenger by a Panamera-style center console. Its aluminum accents and tactile switch gears feel expensive. Actually, the whole cabin is now made of higher quality standards so that it finally looks a match for the price tag. Meanwhile, it keeps the strengths of the old 911 cabin, such as a superb driving position, excellent visibility and a traditional 5-dial instrument. One of the dials has been converted to an LCD information display.

Both flat-six engines are creamy smooth and extremely free-revving. Naturally, the 3.4-liter motor could feel a little sleepy at low rpm, but it gathers rev quickly, becomes strong from 4500 rpm and even harder beyond 6000 rpm. The 3.8-liter motor feels significantly more potent. It pulls strongly from 3500 rpm, gets a second boost at 5000 rpm and becomes truly explosive from 6500 rpm to 7800 rpm cut-out, by the time its metallic hollow howl is overlaid with racing-engine-like pops and crackles on the overrun. No other six-cylinder engines could sound so special! The PDK gearshift is crisper than before, edging closer to the territory of Nissan GT-R but overwhelms it with smoothness. The world's first 7-speed manual box is less good – not bad actually, but its gearshift is just not as slick as the outgoing 6-speeder.


Metallic hollow howl overlaid with pops and crackles on the overrun... Six-cylinder engines cannot sound more special!


In normal driving, the 991 is way more refined than 997. The new cabin is so much better isolated from noises so that it needs a sound symposer to conduct the engine noise into the cabin. At cruising speed, the engine is pretty much muted. The annoying tire noise that bothered 911 for generations is largely reduced. The highly rigid, long-wheelbase chassis and reworked suspension also deliver impressive running refinement. Road imperfections are nicely damped and filtered, resulting in a ride suppleness and quietness matching the best grand tourers. Yes, its combination of GT comfort and sports car dynamics is perhaps the biggest achievement.

Speaking of sports car dynamics, the 991 chassis has really lifted the game. Drive as hard as you can on B-roads, you will find it corners more like a mid-engined machine. It shows beautiful poise in cornering. Brake dive and squat under all-out acceleration are significantly reduced. Even though it still displays more vertical movements than the best balanced sports cars, those movements rarely hurt its steering or stability. You can carry huge speed into corners, abandoning the old-school "slow in, fast out" technique that older generations 911 drivers recommended, because the nose of 991 resists understeer so much better. Mid-corner adjustment with opposite lock and burst of throttle becomes a basic instinct, so easy to induce and so easy to catch. That is to say, the 991 is sharper and more confidence inspiring to drive.

Not everybody loves the electromechanical power steering though. This is because it has eliminated the tactile information about surface textures when it is on the straight ahead position – what else can you expect? EPS saves energy because it does nothing on straight ahead! Hardcore drivers prefer those kickbacks and vibration in the helm to let them feel "engaged". However, such information is actually useless. What matters is the feel when the wheel is steered beyond the straight ahead, and this is what the ZF EPS excels. It provides all the messages you need when you get into corners, and frees you from tiresome white noises on highway. Moreover, its response, precision and weighting are beyond criticisms. You will love its new-found lightness at cruising speed and linear weight-up at turns. Sooner or later purists will agree its superiority over the traditional hydraulic rack.


Its combination of GT comfort and sports car dynamics is perhaps the biggest achievement.


Against Rivals

The 991 has raised the game for its rivals to catch up. I can't think of any cars that serve the dual-role of GT and sports car as good as this one. Audi R8 used to be very strong in this respect, but now it is eclipsed by the Porsche in both worlds.

Nissan GT-R should be harder to beat. It is decisively faster in both straight line and the real world. It is roomier and cheaper too. However, the Porsche feels sharper and more communicative in most areas, let it be engine, chassis and most major controls. Being over 300 kg lighter, it stops better and feels more agile. Its ride is far more comfortable and quiet. Its drivetrain has far less NVH. Its cabin and exterior look are in a complete different class. In other words, it trades headline numbers for quality. If you are still not convinced, wait for the 991 Turbo.

The only rival might beat the 991 for pure driving pleasure is Lotus Evora. It gets the best steering in the road car world and a highly interactive chassis. Nevertheless, the rest of the car is just not up to the class standard, let alone the level of 991.

The last rival is an in-house one – 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Yes, it is another level for driving thrills, but isn't it too hardcore for everyday use? Especially the deafening noise?

So let us congratulate the new 911 for getting back to the top of the world! It shows that even after 50 years there is still plenty of life for a rear-engined, flat-six machine!
Verdict: 
 Published on 7 Apr 2014
All rights reserved. 
911 Targa

Retro-style Targa brings old-school fun at some compromises.


The original 911 Targa was introduced in 1967 as the first open top version of 911. In the view of tighter safety regulations to be adopted in the US market which could have ruled out the possibility of conventional convertibles, the Targa adopted a prominent rollover bar behind the seats and a removable roof panel. A wraparound rear glass window and chrome finish of the rollover bar became its trademark. The Targa continued through the 1970s into 1980s, when it was effectively substituted by 911 Cabriolet, whose fully opened driving environment made Targa superfluous. In the mid-1990s, 993 revived the Targa name with a whole new interpretation. Now it adopted fixed roof rails and a sliding panoramic glass roof, which enabled an airy ambience if not more access to fresh air. The formula carried over to the following 996 and 997, and in my opinion it worked pretty well.

Surprisingly, the latest 991 Targa returns to the original 1967 concept. With a similar chrome rollover bar and wraparound rear screen, it looks retro yet strangely attractive. However, it is not that simple. As modern drivers would not put up with a manually operating roof panel, so the new one is fully electric. In fact, its operation is much like that of a coupe-cabriolet. At the press of a button, the whole rear glass opens to the rear and tilts. At the same time, two flaps in the Targa bar open and release the robotic arms that fold and stow the roof panel, which is actually made of fabric materials and magnesium frames, into the storage space behind rear seats and above the transmission. Then the flaps and the rear glass close. This operation looks really spectacular. Nevertheless, it takes some 19 seconds to finish, more than a typical Cabriolet, and it needs the car to be in complete stationary. This mean, if you want to open or close the roof behind a traffic light, you are likely to be embarrassed by its slowness.


The rear window works as an air collector thus results in strong buffeting...


Another problem is its wind management. The rear window seems to work as an air collector thus resulted in strong buffeting. As a result, the cabin gets very noisy at motorway speed, even when the manual wind deflector is raised. You won’t find the same problem on the 911 Cabriolet.

To demanding drivers, another problem is the extra weight it carries. The new Targa mechanism adds 110 kg to the Carrera 4 or 4S on which it is based (where the old glass-roof model added only 60 kg). It is even heavier than the Cabriolet by 40 kg! This inevitably has a slight burden to its performance and handling. Moreover, the mandatory 4-wheel-drive system means a further 50 kg disadvantage to the rear-drive 911 models, and a slight initial understeer associated with its handling. Both mean the car is slightly less sharp to drive, although in the end the 911 is still a 911.
Verdict:
 Published on 4 Dec 2014
All rights reserved. 
911 Carrera GTS

The GTS feels tauter and keener everywhere, though there is no substitution to GT3.


GTS has become an indispensable model of each Porsche model line. Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne and Panamera all get a GTS model sitting atop their naturally aspirated models. The same goes for 911. The new 911 Carrera GTS is based on the 3.8-liter Carrera 4S, with wider rear track than other rear-drive 911s, though the GTS is available in the form of rear-drive, all-wheel-drive and even Cabriolet. Its engine is tuned to produce 30 more horsepower to a total of 430 hp. You can still select between a 7-speed manual and 7-speed PDK gearbox – the former provides a slightly higher top speed and better feel, but the latter accelerates quicker. PASM adaptive damping, active engine mounts and Sport Chrono pack are made standard on the GTS. The suspension is set stiffer and 10 mm closer to the ground. Otherwise, the GTS differs from Carrera S only cosmetically, such as a new front bumper, smoked headlamps, black exhaust pipes and matt black wheels with center lock.

Well, we are tired of sporting the minor differences between 911 models. What we want to know is how much it differs from the lesser Carrera S in the real world. Frankly, in normal driving the extra power is not obvious because you need north of 7000 rpm to feel the difference. Comparatively, the suspension change is more obvious. The GTS feels tauter and keener everywhere. Its turn-in is more precise, cornering attitude is closer to neutral, and the steering is more alert. In short, the whole car feels sharper. Unquestionably this is a better car than the Carrera S, and its small price premium actually represents better value for money. However, there is still a sizable gap between it and the mighty GT3, which is far faster, sharper and more thrilling to drive.

Verdict:
 Published on 19 Dec 2015
All rights reserved. 
911 Carrera turbo (991.2)

Emission legislations forces 911 Carreras to go turbocharging. Then what separates them from 911 Turbo?


We used to think a regular 911, namely Carrera or Carrera S, must be naturally aspirated. Why? Because this has been the case in the past 50 years. Naturally aspiration keeps the car straightforward and its performance and prices accessible, so there seems to be no reason to deviate from the established formula. Moreover, if it switches to turbocharging, what separate it from the 911 Turbo? We can't imagine... Somehow, Weissach engineers seem to be more flexible than we hardcore enthusiasts. Just like how they abandoned air-cooled engine in 1997, which used to be another golden rule we thought, they are not afraid to break away from traditions if they see benefits for doing so.

The talks about the base 911 migrating to turbocharging has been around for more than a year. Why do they switch to forced induction? The answer is again the need to lower CO2 emission to satisfy legislation while meeting customer expectation for increased performance. BMW already made the change in its M3/M4. The same goes for Ferrari 488GTB and Mercedes-AMG GT – the latter is especially successful, setting a model for Porsche to follow. Porsche would be arrogant not to consider the change. Think about this: by downsizing the flat-six motor to 3.0 liters and adding a pair of small turbochargers, both the Carrera and Carrera S can produce an extra 20 horsepower and 44 pound-foot of torque while lowering fuel consumption by 12 percent. Doesn't it sound tempting?

So here is the second generation 991, or you may simply call it 991.2 as Porsche internally does. Although you may spot some tweaks outside and inside, by far the most substantial change has to be the now turbocharged engine with codename 9A2 (as opposed to the previous 9A1). Let's focus on it.


Losing 800cc but gaining two turbos means more power, and way more torque.


From technical viewpoint, 9A2 is a vastly different motor. Although it keeps the same 118 mm bore center of the old engine – which means plenty of space for enlargement in the future in case of need – the new cylinder blocks are casted with a stronger and lighter kind of aluminum alloy. The cylinder bores are now coated with iron in a new plasma-sprayed process called Rotating Single Wire. To downsize the engine to 2981 c.c., its bore is reduced to 91 mm, versus 97 mm of the old 3.4-liter engine or 102 mm of the old 3.8-liter S engine. Meanwhile, stroke is shortened slightly to 76.4 mm, but the combustion chambers remain “oversquare” to keep a high-revving character. The cylinder heads keep the existing dual variable cam phasing and intake variable valve lift (Variocam Plus). Predictably, Varioram induction manifold is abandoned as it is no longer useful on a turbocharged engine. The direct fuel injectors have been relocated to the center and run at higher pressure for finer atomization.

Outside, a pair of turbochargers are added together with their intercoolers. These turbos come from BorgWarner (which acquired KKK many years ago) as in the case of 911 Turbo, but they lack the latter’s sophisticated and expensive variable geometry technology. Considering their smaller sizes, hence lower inertia and less turbo lag, it is not really necessary to adopt VTG. The turbos pump up to 0.9 bar of boost pressure in the base Carrera to realize a maximum 370 horsepower and 332 pound-foot of torque, whereas in Carrera S the boost is dialed up to 1.1 bar to produce 420 hp and 369 lbft. The turbos on the S model has the same exhaust turbines but a slightly larger compressor wheel to enable the increased boost.

Despite of a lighter block, oil pan, lubrication pump and exhaust, the additional turbos, intercoolers and pipes etc. made the new engine 20 kg heavier than before. On paper, 20 extra kilograms for 20 extra horsepower seem not worthwhile. In reality, however, the new motors feel much stronger than the numbers suggested. This is because their maximum torque is produced from as low as 1700 rpm to as high as 5000 rpm. In contrast, the old engines not only produced 44 lbft less peak torque but they also needed to be revved to 5600 rpm. At low to mid-range the gulf between the two is vast. It is almost like a V8 versus a V6!


Carrera S turbo laps Nurburgring in 7:30, some 10 seconds faster than the old car!


With such added energy, both the Carrera and Carrera S, which are 45 to 50 kg heavier than before, take two-tenths of a second less to do 0-60 mph. Although these days I am no longer thrilled by 3-point-something-seconds as much as the first time saw it on Porsche 959, the fact that a 911 Carrera S PDK quoted 3.7 seconds is still something worth noting, because this is supposed to be an everyday sports car! And its top speed is 190 mph! And it laps Nurburgring in 7:30, some 10 seconds faster than the old car! That said, the real surprise is the base Carrera, because with the extra torque it no longer cries for more punch. In fact, it is faster than the old Carrera S in Nurburgring and just a touch slower in straight line, managing the 0-60 benchmark in 4 seconds flat. For the first time ever there is no regret to choose the cheaper car instead.

Has it lost character? Well, a little bit in terms of throttle response and aural thrills, inevitably. There is a little turbo lag at low revs. The exhaust note is muffled by the turbochargers, losing the volume and the hard edge element of the old motor, but thankfully it is still a distinctive 911 sound. With thicker torque, the new engine no longer begs you to rev it. You can sit back and keep using higher gears to cover ground. However, its power delivery is remarkably linear and the power band is wide, obviously more so than the 911 Turbo. It is happy to rev to the 7500 rpm redline, just 300 rpm shy of the old engine, and the power tails off very slowly from the 6500 rpm peak. Such an enthusiasm for rev is rare among turbocharged motors – Ferrari 488GTB has it, but not BMW M3/M4. This means, on the one hand you can cruise on highway as relaxingly as if driving a luxury car, on the other hand you can still enjoy the fun of revving the engine should you like. The new engine gives you more freedom.

Both transmissions are also improved. The 7-speed manual used to be a weak point of the 991. Now its gearshift becomes shorter and quicker, and a new twin-plate clutch brings better pedal feel and weighting. The PDK gets a dual-mass flywheel with centrifugal pendulum to allow smoother change at lower revs. Ratios of both gearboxes are made higher to take advantage of the increased torque.


Crisper handling, flatter ride, tighter body control, better steering feel... the only thing going to the wrong direction is front-end styling.


The chassis is improved, too. Suspension springs, dampers and anti-roll bars are all retuned, while PASM adaptive damping is now standard (almost all customers opted it anyway). Ride height is lowered by 10 mm, while rear tires are widened by the same amount to cope with the extra power. Likewise, the brakes get larger. Besides, Carrera S is available with the option of 4-wheel steering for the first time (GT3 and Turbo got it as standard). On the road, these mods return a crisper handling and flatter ride. Body movement becomes tighter and more progressive in cornering. The old car’s superb balance and adjustable attitude remain. Ditto the supple ride which makes the 911 so accessible on mountain roads. Meanwhile, the electric power steering gets more feelsome, thanks to the experience gained in the last 4 years.

The only thing going to the wrong direction is perhaps styling. Up front, the larger and squarer bumper intakes have less aesthetic than before. At the back, the engine lid switches to retro-style longitudinal grille elements which is again less beautiful than the last horizontal grille. Extra outlets are opened at the outer sides of rear bumper to extract hot air from the turbocharged engine. They hurt the purity of the old design.

However, for driving, there is still nothing in the class can beat the 911. Mercedes-AMG GT might have a madder engine, but it is not as well balanced and controllable as the 911. Same goes for Audi R8, even though it is now at the price range of 911 Turbo. Nissan GT-R is still faster than the Carrera S, but it is also rougher and less comfortable to drive everyday, let alone the build quality and badge. 911 GT3 remains a better car for keen drivers though. It reminds us, no matter how good a turbocharged motor is, in terms of raw excitement there is no replacement for a good naturally aspirated motor. Yes, although the new turbocharged Carrera models are better than ever, we do miss the sound and response of the old 3.8-liter boxer.
Verdict:
 Published on 13 Feb 2017
All rights reserved. 
911 Carrera GTS (991.2)


The GTS is a Carrera S+, but how about seeing it as a mass production 959?


Interestingly, the latest 911 Carrera GTS has many things reminiscent of the legendary 959. Its twin-turbo flat-six is approximately the same size and produces the same 450 horsepower. It rides on electronically controlled suspension and can be equipped with 4-wheel-drive system (in case of Carrera 4 GTS). Both weigh about 1450 kg in standard form, and are good for 0-60 mph in 3.5 or 3.6 seconds. The 959 is a few mph faster at the top end, but the Carrera GTS is a few tenths quicker to 100 mph. 30 years separates them, but on paper at least, they run neck to neck.

In some areas, the new car surpasses the classic, such as more torque (406 vs 369 lbft), more gears (7 vs 6), the availability of PDK twin-clutch transmission, active anti-roll bars, adaptive engine mounts and launch control, something unimaginable back in the 1980s. The GTS also sports optional 4-wheel-steering, so it sounds more like a late-1980s Japanese high-tech demonstrator.

However, this is still a production Carrera, not even a top-of-the-range 911. It is essentially a 911 Carrera S+, sitting below the GT3 and Turbo. The creation of GTS could not be easier. Porsche started from the wider body of Carrera 4S, equipped it with all the popular options, i.e. PASM adaptive damping and Sports Chrono pack. The latter includes the aforementioned adaptive engine mounts and switchable sport exhaust. The suspension is set 10mm further lower than Carrera S. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine gets slightly larger turbos for slightly higher boost pressure, resulting in 30 extra horsepower and 37 lbft of torque. Nothing revolutionary, but you know this is the way Porsche upgrades its cars.



It goes and corners like a Carrera S dialed up by a few degrees...


Predictably, the GTS goes and corners like a Carrera S dialed up by a few degrees. The engine feels a bit stronger at mid-range without adding much turbo lag low down or altering the 7500 rpm redline. With sport exhaust it sounds more thrilling at push. The car is slightly faster than the Carrera S, but not fast enough to blow your socks off. It lapped Nurburgring Norsdschliefe in 7:26, only 4 seconds less than the S. Unlike the GT3 RS, it is not a track special. Although the suspension is a little firmer than the Carrera S, it remains largely comfortable on normal roads. The steering feels more engaging, but I suppose this is down to the experience Porsche has learnt in mastering electrical power steering thus should be filtered back to all 911s.

We love the Carrera S, so with a little more power and poise the GTS keeps winning our votes as the best road-going production sports car. No, it is not as thrilling to drive as a purist GT3 or 911 R or as astonishingly quick as McLaren 570S, but when everyday usability and value are taken into consideration, the Carrera GTS should be the most sensible choice. After 30 years, Porsche has finally managed to turn 959 into its mass production car.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission

Suspension layout

Suspension features

Tires

Kerb weight

Top speed

0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

911 Carrera
2011
Rear-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4491 / 1808 / 1303 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
3436 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
VIM
DI
350 hp / 7400 rpm
288 lbft / 5600 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping

F: 235/40ZR19
R: 285/35ZR19
7M: 1380 kg
PDK: 1400 kg
7M: 180 mph (c)
PDK: 178 mph (c)
7M: 4.6 (c) / 4.4* / 4.8****
PDK: 4.2 (c)
7M: 10.4 (c) / 10.6* / 10.8****
PDK: 9.7 (c)
911 Carrera S
2011
Rear-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4491 / 1808 / 1295 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
3800 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
VIM
DI
400 hp / 7400 rpm
324 lbft / 5600 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping,
active anti-roll
F: 245/35ZR20
R: 295/30ZR20
7M: 1395 kg
PDK: 1415 kg
7M: 189 mph (c)
PDK: 188 mph (c)
7M: 4.3 (c)
PDK: 3.9 (c) / 3.6* / 3.5** / 3.7***
7M: 9.4 (c)
PDK: 8.7 (c) / 8.6* / 8.4** / 8.9***
911 Carrera 4S
2013
Rear-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4491 / 1852 / 1296 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
3800 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
VIM
DI
400 hp / 7400 rpm
324 lbft / 5600 rpm
7-speed twin-clutch

F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping

F: 245/35ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
1465 kg

184 mph (c)

PDK: 4.1 (c) / 4.0*

PDK: 9.2 (c) / 9.3*





Performance tested by: *C&D, **R&T, ***MT, ****Autocar





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission

Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight

Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

911 Targa 4S
2014
Rear-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4491 / 1852 / 1291 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
3800 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
VIM
DI
400 hp / 7400 rpm
324 lbft / 5600 rpm
7-speed twin-clutch

F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
F: 245/35ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
1575 kg

183 mph (c)
4.2 (c) / 4.2*

9.8*

911 Carrera GTS
2014
Rear-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4509 / 1852 / 1295 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
3800 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
VIM
DI
430 hp / 7500 rpm
324 lbft / 5750 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
F: 245/35ZR20
R: 295/30ZR20
7M: 1425 kg
PDK: 1445 kg
189 mph (c)
7M: 4.2 (c) / 3.8**
PDK: 3.9 (c) / 3.6*
7M: 9.4**
PDK: 8.5*
































Performance tested by: *C&D, **R&T





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission

Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight

Top speed

0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

911 Carrera (991.2)
2015
Rear-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4499 / 1808 / 1294 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
2981 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Twin-turbo
DI
370 hp / 6500 rpm
332 lbft / 1700-5000 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
F: 235/40ZR19
R: 295/35ZR19
7M: 1430 kg
PDK: 1450 kg
7M: 183 mph (c)
PDK: 182 mph (c)
7M: 4.4 (c) / 4.0*
PDK: 4.0 (c) / 3.4*
7M: 9.8 (c) / 9.1*
PDK: 9.2 (c) / 8.5*
911 Carrera S (991.2)
2015
Rear-engined, RWD, 4WS
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4499 / 1808 / 1296 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
2981 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Twin-turbo
DI
420 hp / 6500 rpm
369 lbft / 1700-5000 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
F: 245/35ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
7M: 1440 kg
PDK: 1460 kg
7M: 191 mph (c)
PDK: 190 mph (c)
7M: 4.1 (c)
PDK: 3.7 (c) / 3.1*/ 3.1**
7M: 8.9 (c)
PDK: 8.2 (c) / 7.5* / 7.9**
911 Carrera 4S (991.2)
2016
Rear-engined, 4WD, 4WS
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4499 / 1852 / 1298 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
2981 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Twin-turbo
DI
420 hp / 6500 rpm
369 lbft / 1700-5000 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
F: 245/35ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
7M: 1490 kg
PDK: 1510 kg
7M: 189 mph (c)
PDK: 188 mph (c)
7M: 4.1 (c)
PDK: 3.7 (c) / 3.2*
7M: 8.7 (c)
PDK: 8.0 (c) / 7.8*




Performance tested by: *C&D, **MT





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission

Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight

Top speed

0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

911 Carrera GTS (991.2)
2017
Rear-engined, RWD, 4WS
Steel monocoque
Steel+aluminum
4528 / 1852 / 1284 mm
2450 mm
Flat-6
2981 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Twin-turbo
DI
450 hp / 6500 rpm
406 lbft / 2150-5000 rpm
7-speed manual or
7-speed twin-clutch
F: struts
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
F: 245/35ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
7M: 1450 kg
PDK: 1470 kg
7M: 194 mph (c)
PDK: 193 mph (c)
7M: 3.9 (c)
PDK: 3.5 (c)
7M: 8.4 (c)
PDK: 7.9 (c)






























































Performance tested by: -





AutoZine Rating

Carrera / S / GTS



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