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Porsche 991: our comprehensive guide to the new 911

Wed, 12 Oct 2011

Porsche president and chief CEO Matthias Muller couldn’t be accused of lacking confidence when he introduces CAR to the new 991-generation Porsche 911 at the Porsche Museum, Stuttgart. ‘Technologically and visually the car is a masterpiece,’ he says. ‘I don’t think I am promising too much here. I already know this car, I know it at detail level; the engineers took a basically perfect car and improved it again. The new 911 is the best 911 of all times.’

We've spoken to the engineering, designing and marketing chiefs and pored over the new 991-spec 911 to bring you everything we know. Here is our detailed guide. And don't forget we've already ridden in the new 911 alongside rally legend Walter Rohrl. Read all about in the October 2011 issue of CAR Magazine.

1. Engines in the new Porsche 991

In line with tradition, the 911 launces in two variants: Carrera and Carrera S. The big news is the Carrera engine, which actually shrinks from 3.6 to 3.4 litres, thanks to a 4mm reduction in piston stroke. Power rises from the old car’s 340bhp at 6500rpm to 345bhp from 7400rpm, while torque remains unchanged at 288lb ft, but at a higher 5600rpm, not the previous 4400rpm.

With a manual gearbox, fuel consumption improves from 27mpg to 31mpg and C02 emissions fall from 242g/km to 212g/km, reducing the cost of 12 months’ tax from £445 to £260 in the UK. Opt for the dual-clutch PDK transmission and fuel consumption falls from 34mpg to 29mpg, and C02 from 230g/km to 194g/km, with a similar tax saving.

The new Carrera S sticks with a 3.8-litre engine, power rising from 380bhp at 6500rpm to 395bhp at 7400rpm, torque from 310lb ft at 4400rpm to 325lb ft at 5600rpm.

Go for the manual gearbox and you’ll get 30mpg and 224g/km (improving on 27mpg and 250g/km); the PDK yields 32mpg and 205/km (compared with the old car’s 28mpg and 240g/km), both variants saving approximately £200 on the cost of a tax disc.

We ask executive vice president of R&D Wolfgang Hatz if, like some rivals, Porsche had considered further downsizing the Carrera engines and adding turbochargers. ‘At the moment, we still believe there is a market for naturally aspirated cars,’ he explains. ‘Maybe in the future there is scope for more downsizing with turbos, but it’s not coming soon and we are very good [in terms of mpg and emissions] compared with rivals. And I like naturally aspirated – it’s fun to drive!’

IN A NUTSHELL More power, lower running costs – and the Carrera engine is smaller too.

2. Equipment, prices of the new Porsche 991-era 911

The Carrera will cost £71,449 in the UK, the Carrera S £81,242. Standard on both models are leather seats, auto climate control, bi-xenon headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, MP3 compatibility, and Porsche Stability Management.

As well as a larger, more powerful engine, the Carrera S also adds 20-inch alloys, Porsche Active Suspension Management and Porsche Torque Vectoring with either a mechanical locking differential (manual gearbox) or an electronically actuated locking diff (PDK). Ceramic brakes and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control – de-coupling the anti-roll bars when the car isn’t cornering – are optional on both models.

IN A NUTSHELL Carrera S carries £10k premium – but it’s packed with equipment.

By Ben Barry (photography exclusively for CAR Paul Barshon)