Porsche’s iconic 911 undergoes a major transformation for model year 2017. From here on in, the facelifted and updated 911 Carrera and Carrera S now get twin turbocharged engines as standard. That’s right – turbos aren’t just for 911 Turbos anymore.
Both the Carrera and Carrera S now use a smaller 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged horizontally opposed six-cylinder, down from 3.4 and 3.8 litres, respectively. Despite the downsizing, the Carrera produces 370 hp (+20 hp) and 331 lb-ft of torque (+44 lb-ft), while the S develops 420 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Porsche claims the design of the engines preserves the rev-happy nature of a naturally aspirated design, but offers more thrust in the lower rev range. If the factory-claimed acceleration figures are anything to go by, the new turbo’d 911s deliver – the standard Carrera 2 takes as little as 4.2 seconds to hit 100 km/h, with the 4S taking just 3.6 seconds. In fact, the new base Carrera is nearly as quick as the old Carrera S, while the all-wheel drive 4S is rapidly honing in on 911 Turbo territory.
The 911 continues to be offered in a plethora of body styles and powertrain configurations. Coupes and Cabriolets can be had in rear-drive Carrera 2 and Carrera S forms, while Coupes, Cabriolets, and Targas can be had in all-wheel-drive Carrera 4, and 4S forms.
Meanwhile, the Turbo and Turbo S continue on with their 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engines developing 540 hp and 580 hp, respectively. As for the GTS and GT3, they’ve been put on hiatus, and should return at a later date.
But there’s more to this big announcement than a new engine; Porsche has taken the time to give the rest of the car a thorough update. A refined version of the standard seven-speed manual offers improved shift quality, while the seven-speed PDK twin-clutch now receives a dual-mass flywheel for smoother low-speed shifts. Standard too is Porsche’s Active Suspension Management with adaptive dampers, while upgraded brakes and wider rear tires help to tame the added power. A few new features have trickled their way down to the Carrera and Carrera S, including available rear-wheel steering, a performance exhaust system, lane-change assist, and a new nose-lift system for increased ground clearance.
Visually, the updated 911 receives new “spotlight” LED daytime running lights, three-dimensional LED tail lights, and reworked front and rear bumpers with new air vents and centrally mounted twin tail pipes. The 911’s engine air vents are an easy giveaway – vertical strakes instead of horizontal ones. Inside, there’s a new steering wheel, plus Porsche’s latest infotainment system which boasts Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and gesture control.
Ever cognizant to the demands of traditionalists, Porsche will continue to offer a naturally aspirated 911 as a part of the family, but only in the form of the limited-edition 911 R. It’s a dream concoction of the 911 GT3 RS’ engine stuffed in the body of a 911 GT3 minus the massive rear spoiler, but with less weight and a traditional six-speed manual transmission. The 500-hp rear-drive monster gets ceramic brakes as standard. It’s good for a 0-100 km/h time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 323 km/h, making it faster than the 911 Turbo. Only 991 will be made, and will be available for a price of $211,000.
With all this added gear, the standard 911 Carrera coupe breaches the $100,000 mark with a starting price of $102,200. The most expensive variant, the Turbo S Cabriolet, sells for $228,800.