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Frankfurt show: Historic changes to iconic Porsche 911

Turbo engines only for iconic 911 Carrera as Porsche chases blown rivals

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7 Sep 2015

FOR first time in 52 years, Porsche’s 911 Carrera and Carrera S models will forgo naturally aspirated engines, as the brand aims to keep up with its competition.

Australian models will also score a hefty increase in base specification to match a healthy price rise, when they go on sale here from next month.

The mid-life update to the 991-series 911 sees the rear-engined coupes fitted with brand-new 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged boxer motors, revised transmissions and a modified chassis, along with minor exterior and interior changes.

Previously, a 3.4-litre and a 3.8-litre flat six powered the Carrera twins.

Thanks to the addition of twin turbochargers, the Carrera and Carrera S have each gained 15kW of power and 60Nm of torque, while fuel consumption and emissions are both reduced.

The 3.0-litre engine retains the unusual boxer configuration, where the pistons lay almost horizontally across the block. Both cars use the same engine, which uses a pair of fixed-vane turbos (as opposed to the variable-vane type seen in the brand’s more expensive Turbo), but the boost pressure is increased marginally for the Carrera S.

Performance figures for the entry level Carrera, which will start at $217,800 plus on-road costs for the seven-speed manual version, are 272kW and 450Nm, giving it a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 295km/h when fitted with the twin-clutch PDK gearbox and Porsche’s optional Sports Chrono package.

The Sports Chrono package gives the Carrera fluid-filled engine mounts, sharper shifting on PDK-equipped cars and in-cabin adjustable dampers, and costs $3890.

The PDK gearbox costs an additional $5950.

Fuel economy improves to 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres (a saving of 0.8L/100km), while its emissions fall to 190g of CO2 per kilometre.

The Carrera S, meanwhile, will start at $252,800 plus on-roads. Thanks to a slight increase in turbo boost pressure over the Carrera, its power rises to 309kW and its torque to 500Nm, while its 0-100km/h sprint falls to 3.9 seconds in PDK/Sports Chrono guise. It will top out at 325km/h.

Fuel economy, meanwhile, improves by a litre per 100km to 7.7L/100km, and emissions to 199g of CO2/km.

The prices for both cars have risen , with the Carrera jumping $9200 and the Carrera S $7600 over the outgoing cars.

Chassis-wise, Porsche has added the four-wheel-steering system from the GT3 and Turbo variants to the Carrera twins, while stiffening the rear springs and anti-roll bar to cope with the additional 40kg of weight from the new engine arrangement.

The front end has also been tweaked, and new dampers are fitted at all four corners. The Carrera incorporates a mechanical limited-slip diff on the rear axle, while the S uses an electronic version.

Porsche Active Stability Management (or PASM) is now standard on both cars, allowing the chassis to ride 10mm lower when required, while the brake rotors are larger. Tyres, too, are 10mm wider on the rear.

Both Carreras are now fitted with nose-lift kits, which raise the front of the cars by 40mm to improve access to steep driveways.

Exterior changes are relatively limited, and include new rim designs, revised door handles, a new front bumper design that incorporates automated cooling and aero flaps and a set of redesigned tail-lights.

The boot lid also scores new vents, while the exhaust exits have been relocated.

The interior follows a similar less-is-more theme, with a half-inch larger and more sophisticated Porsche Communication Management infotainment system that will feature Apple CarPlay.

If a customer opts for the Sports Chrono package, an optional, smaller GT steering wheel features a 918-like chassis adjustment dial that can call up Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual modes.

Australian-market Carreras also gain a digital radio and front park assist mode that incorporates a reversing camera. These were options on the previous model.

The cabriolet versions of the Carrera and Carrera S will also be updated with the new engines fuel economy numbers are 0.2 and 0.1 L/100km higher respectively.

Prices have also increased on the drop-tops the Carrera Cabriolet jumps $9400 to $239,300 before on-road costs, and the Carrera S leaps $7100 to $274,300.

Porsche has notched up 279 sales for the 911 so far this year, an eight per cent increase over the same period last year, and giving it a 26 per cent share of the premium sportscar segment.

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera pricing*
Coupe$217,800
S Coupe$252,800
Cabriolet$239,300
S Cabriolet$274,300
*Excludes on-road costs

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