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Porsche unveils new turbocharged engines in revised 911 Carrera lineup [w/video]

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A naturally aspirated 911 Carrera is a thing of the past: Porsche just unveiled the “new” Carrera lineup that is powered by twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat sixes, making the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS the only 911s you can buy that don’t have turbos. The turbocharged Carreras hit the market in March 2016.

Porsche rates output for the “991.2” Carrera at 370 horsepower while the Carrera S — thanks to modified compressor wheels, model-specific exhaust, and a different engine management tune — now has 420, increases of five percent. But that’s not the whole story. Torque was raised from 287 pound-feet to 331 in the Carrera (+13%), and from 325 to 368 lb-ft in the Carrera S (+12%). In both cars, this torque is available from 1,700 to 5,000 rpm, and redline remains a 911-like 7,500 rpm. Porsche states the new engines will make a “familiar Porsche sound,” yet it remains to be felt how much turbocharging has softened the razor-sharp throttle response for which naturally aspirated 911s are known.

What we do know is that increased power and torque have favorably affected the 911 Carrera S’s lap times around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Clocked at seven minutes and 30 seconds, the turbocharged Carrera S outguns the 608-hp Porsche Carrera GT around the track by two seconds and the previous Carrera S by 10. Zero to sixty takes 3.7 seconds in the S model with PDK and Sport Chrono Package equipped and 4.0 seconds in the Carrera with the same transmission and package, both undercutting the naturally aspirated 991.1 models by 0.2 seconds. Top speed is now 183 mile per hour in the Carrera and 191 in the Carrera S.

Porsche says the new engines are nearly 12% more efficient than before, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), despite the increases in power and torque. EPA figures are not yet available.

The exterior and interior of the new Carreras, available in Coupe and Cabriolet forms, received minor updates — you’d be hard-pressed to tell the new cars apart from the old ones if you’re not familiar with 911s. The biggest changes come at the rear, where the new turbocharged engines are accommodated with a reshaped decklid featuring a new black grille with vertical slats and revised tailpipes. In particular, the optional sport exhaust system on both the Carrera and Carrera S has dual exhaust tips that exit from the center, similar to the 911 GT3.

Porsche says the headlights are new and have four-point daytime running lights. The taillights now have kinks on their inside edges.

The Carrera and Carrera S both sit 10 millimeters lower than before thanks to reengineered Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM) suspension. New shocks work with the standard lower ride height to provide greater comfort and also better body control in spirited driving, according to Porsche.

When equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, the interior gets its biggest change: a rotary dial on the steering wheel (à la 918 Spyder) to adjust the PASM suspension to one of four settings. Three settings — Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus — are preset, and the fourth setting is new. Named Individual and somewhat dependent on optional equipment installed, the setting allows the driver to adjust chassis setting, auto start/stop system, PDK shifting strategy, and the sport exhaust system. For those who opt for the PDK automatic transmission, a new “Sport Response” setting has been added that configures it to shift for maximum acceleration.

To convert the newfound power and torque into movement, new 11.5-inch wheels have been fitted, half an inch wider than before, though only the Carrera S gets wider 305 mm rear tires, up from 295.

In this era of connectivity, Porsche has updated its communications management system (PCM) with a seven-inch display that recognizes multi-touch gestures as well as handwritten commands. It supports Apple CarPlay for those who own iPhones. The navigation system has the ability to update routes based on real-time traffic information, Porsche says, and Google Earth and Streetview have also been integrated.

Smartphones may connect to the cars using wi-fi, and using Porsche Car Connect and Connect Plus allows drivers to remotely control vehicle function, including updating destinations in the navigation system, and stream music from smartphone music apps.

Active safety systems have been added such as post-collisions braking and a cruise control system that detects when a preset speed has been exceeded and gently applies the brakes to slow the car down to that speed.

The turbocharged engines in the Carrera lineup mark perhaps the biggest single change in the 911’s design since air cooling was ditched in favor of water cooling. However, Porsche has been building turbocharged 911s since the 1975 911 Turbo Carrera — 40 years — so we’re optimistic the automaker’s wealth of experience with forced induction will translate to joyful driving experiences in the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S.

As for the Carrera GTS, that model has been removed from the 911 range on Porsche’s website, for the moment leaving the PCA 60th Anniversary 911 GTS Club Coupe as the only naturally aspirated 2016 model year 911 that doesn’t have “GT3” in its name. Of course, all of the 2016 GTS Club Coupes are spoken for, and they're technically part of the pre-update 991.1 family of Carreras.

911 Carrera and Carrera S pricing:

911 Carrera $89,400
911 Carrera S $103,400
911 Carrera Cabriolet $101,700
911 Carrera S Cabriolet $115,700

Scroll down to watch two videos of the new 911 Carrera.

[UPDATE: A previous version of this article misstated that the 911 Carrera previously had four circular exhaust tips, when it actually had trapezoidal exhaust tips.]

Photos courtesy Porsche


Official Porsche Press Release

The sports car legend enhanced: the new Porsche 911 Carrera

New turbocharged engines, an advanced chassis, and new Porsche Communication Management

Atlanta, Georgia. Celebrating its debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show, the new 911 Carrera is taking performance and everyday usability to new heights. Innovative flat-six engines derived from four decades of turbocharging used in racing and on road cars not only make this the fastest 911 Carrera ever, but also provide abundant torque for superior passing power. An advanced chassis offering an even more sophisticated combination of ride comfort and performance characterizes the handling of the new 911. For the first time, rear-axle steering is available as an option for the Carrera S, significantly enhancing its already superb agility. These improvements reduce the lap time on the North Loop of the Nürburgring to just 7 minutes and 30 seconds, making it 10 seconds faster than the previous Carrera S.
 
Many exterior features of the 911 Carrera have been visually refined from new headlights with four-point daytime running lights to integrated door handle recesses, a redesigned rear deck lid with vertical louvers, and new rear lights – including the characteristic four-point brake lights. The new standard Porsche Communication Management system with a multi-touch display offers an expanded range of functions and simplified usability.
 
New turbocharged engines: 20 horsepower increase, reduced fuel consumption
The completely new engine generation featuring twin-turbo technology enhances the driving pleasure of the 911 Carrera and provides a 20 hp increase compared to the previous models. The 3.0 liter engine in the standard Carrera now develops 370 hp. Using turbochargers with modified compressor wheels, a model-specific exhaust system, and a different tune for the engine management system, the 911 Carrera S delivers 420 hp from the same displacement.
 
The new Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S engines are characterized by significantly increased torque. Offering up to 331 lb.-ft. and 368 lb.-ft., respectively, from 1,700 rpm up to 5,000 rpm, both powertrains supply generous torque over a broad powerband. Reaching up to 7,500 rpm, the new engine generation also maintains relatively high engine speeds for a turbocharged powertrain – accompanied by the familiar Porsche sound.
 
Traditionally, a new 911 offers enhanced performance and efficiency compared to the predecessor. Depending on the model variant, the new engines are almost twelve percent more efficient compared to the previous generation according to the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). EPA ratings will be available at a later date.
 
The new 911 models also boast impressive performance: the 911 Carrera Coupé with Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) and Sport Chrono Package sprints from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds – making it two tenths of a second faster than its predecessor. The 911 Carrera S with PDK and Sport Chrono Package needs just 3.7 seconds (also 0.2 s faster). Both models reach higher top track speeds: the 911 Carrera is now able to reach 183 miles per hour, while the 911 Carrera S can achieve up to 191 miles per hour. All new Carrera variants are offered with a manual seven-speed transmission as standard.
 
When equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package, the 911 Carrera now comes with a mode switch on the steering wheel, derived from the hybrid map switch in the 918 Spyder. The mode switch consists of a rotary dial with four positions for the driving modes Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual. Depending on the optional equipment installed in the car, the Individual setting allows drivers to configure their own specific vehicle set-up for the chassis, Auto Start/Stop system, PDK shifting strategy, and Sport Exhaust System. On models equipped with the PDK transmission, the mode switch has a “Sport Response” button, which pre-conditions the drivetrain for maximum acceleration.
 
A standard feature: reengineered PASM with chassis lowered by ten millimeters
The uniqueness of the 911 Carrera stems from its ability to blend refined everyday comfort with exceptional performance. On the new generation, Porsche has increased the dynamic capability even further than before. The revised PASM chassis (Porsche Active Suspension Management), which lowers the ride height by ten millimeters, is a standard feature. It helps improve driver control during fast cornering. New shock absorbers enhance comfort thanks to an even more precise response characteristic and improved body control during spirited driving. New standard wheels with five twin spokes are equipped with tires that offer reduced rolling resistance and enhanced grip. Furthermore, the width of the rear rims has been increased by 0.5 to 11.5 inches on all variants. The rear tires of the 911 Carrera S now measure 305 instead of 295 millimeters in width.
 
Rear-axle steering is available as an option for the 911 Carrera S, adopted from the current 911 Turbo and 911 GT3. It further enhances the turn-in behavior of the 911. Additionally, it increases driving precision when changing lanes at higher speeds. At the same time, it ensures greater maneuverability in city traffic thanks to a turning radius that is 1.6 feet smaller than without this option. The improved handling is transmitted to the driver via the new steering wheel generation with a design based on the steering wheel from the 918 Spyder. For enhanced everyday practicality, Porsche offers an optional electro-hydraulic lift system with lifting cylinders that are integrated into the front axle struts. At the touch of a button, the ground clearance at the front axle is increased by 40 millimeters within 5 seconds. This is particularly useful when clearing speed bumps or steep driveways.
 
New Porsche Communication Management including online navigation
A standard feature of the new 911 Carrera models is the newly developed Porsche Communication Management System (PCM), including an online navigation module. The PCM can be operated by multi-touch gestures on the seven-inch display, similar to a smartphone. Handwritten user inputs are recognized. Mobile phones and smartphones can now also be connected via Wi-Fi. Also new is the option of connecting an iPhone® to the PCM to utilize Apple CarPlay™.
 
Real-time traffic information is available for significantly enhanced navigation. It gives the driver a quick overview of the traffic situation and guarantees dynamic adaptation of the route to this information. Google® Earth and Google® Streetview are also being integrated for the first time to offer better orientation. Porsche Car Connect and the Connect Plus module can be used for remotely controlled vehicle functions, transferring destinations to the PCM for navigation and streaming music using third-party service providers via the PCM.
 
New and extended optional assistance systems
The 911 Carrera also offers enhanced active safety through new and improved assistance systems. Post-collision braking is a standard feature, and the cruise control now brakes moderately when the pre-set speed is exceeded, for example when driving downhill. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) option has been upgraded with a coasting function in conjunction with the PDK transmission. The optional Lane Change Assistant monitors traffic approaching from behind with radar and uses LED lights to the left and right of the mirror triangle to warn the driver of vehicles in the blind spot.
 
Market launch in March 2016
The new Porsche 911 Carrera models will be launched in the United States in March of 2016. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices start as follows:
911 Carrera                                                                                              $89,400
911 Carrera S                                                                                        $103,400
911 Carrera Cabriolet                                                                          $101,700
911 Carrera S Cabriolet                                                                      $115,700
 
40 years' turbo experience in motorsport and series production
At Porsche, innovations and developments that have proved themselves under extreme racing conditions benefit production models, too. Testing in motorsport ensures the performance and resilience of the new engines for production sports cars. In the development of turbocharged six-cylinder flat engines Porsche can look back on more than 40 years of experience. For example, turbocharging with a bypass valve was first used in 1972 in the 917/10 racing car before entering series production in 1974 in the first 911 Turbo. In 1974, charge air cooling was also first introduced in the 917/10. In 1977, this technology then celebrated its premiere in the 911 Turbo 3.3. Further milestones in the development of turbo engines include sequential turbocharging with two consecutive chargers (for the first time in the 959), twin-turbo charging with two parallel chargers (for the first time in the 911 Turbo, type 993) and adjustable intake valves (for the first time in the 911 Turbo, type 996).

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