Porsche redesigned the 911 coupe and convertible for 2012. Typical of the brand, the visual changes are evolutionary, but the interior adopts themes from the Panamera hatchback and Cayenne SUV. Myriad trims for the 911 range from the rear-drive Carrera and all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 to the soft-top Cabriolet. Competitors include the Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R and Audi R8.
New for 2013
Redesigned versions of the Carrera 4 and 4S join the 911 lineup and are available in coupe or convertible form. Badges, wider rear wheel housings and a light bar between the taillights help distinguish the Carrera 4 and 4S from the base 911 Carrera.
New available features include adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system that can automatically apply the brakes if necessary and a panoramic moonroof.
Compared to the prior generation, the new 911's wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer and its overall height is lower, too. The new body is about 100 pounds lighter than its predecessor, Porsche says, and it's composed entirely of a lightweight aluminum-steel composite. At high speeds, a variably extending rear spoiler will deploy. Porsche says the 911 convertible's soft-top preserves the coupe's roofline, something convertibles often sacrifice. Exterior features include:
- 19-inch alloy wheels; 20-inch wheels available
- Bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights; available adaptive headlights
- Available sunroof
- Available sport exhaust system
Inside, the 911 has similar center controls to Porsche's Panamera and Cayenne, but the dashboard still has a shelflike design — a longstanding characteristic of Porsche interiors. A tiny backseat perches behind front buckets, which are separated by a center console that slopes gradually toward the dash. Interior features include:
- Leather sport bucket seats; available heated and ventilated seats
- Configurable 4.8-inch color screen in instrument panel
- Automatic dual-zone air conditioning
- Stereo with 7-inch touch-screen and MP3 jack; available Bose and Burmester premium stereos
- Available heated steering wheel
Under the Hood
A pair of horizontally opposed six-cylinder engines power the 911 Carrera. The base model gets a 350-horsepower, 3.4-liter boxer engine mated to a seven-speed manual transmission. There's also an available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The Carrera S gets a 400-hp, 3.8-liter boxer engine with the same transmission options. With the automatic transmission, the 3.4-liter can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds while the 3.8-liter Carrera S can do it in 4.1 seconds. Mechanical features include:
- Fuel-saving stop-start technology
- Rear- or all-wheel drive
- Available adaptive and active suspension systems
Safety features include:
- Side-impact, side curtain and knee airbags
- Electronic stability system with traction control
- Antilock brakes
- Available front and rear parking sensors
- Available collision warning system that can automatically apply the brakes
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