Blink and you’ll miss it. The Porsche 911 ‘991.2’ is faster, more economical, and more high tech than before. Headlining the big changes is whats under the bonnet, or erm, under the boot. This generation marks the biggest change to the 911 family since the transition from the 993 to the 996 generation. Yes, the time has come for the 911 range to become turbocharged.
Next year’s Carrera and Carrera S models will forgo their naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre and 3.8-litre flat six engines for a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat six. In the standard Carrera this new engines develops 365bhp/274kW and 450NM of torque. That’s an increase from the outgoing model’s 350bhp/257kW and 390NM. The more powerful Carrera S ups the output to 414bhp/304kW and 500NM of torque, up from 400bhp/294kW and 440NM .
These new engines will still be mated to either a 7-speed manual or a 7-speed PDK. 0-100 km/h times are 0.2 seconds quicker across the board; 4.2 seconds for the Carrera and 3.9 seconds for the Carrera S. Top speed has increased too, to 293 km/h and 305 km/h respectively. Porsche have said this new turbocharged 911 has lapped the Nurburgring 6 seconds faster than its predecessor, 7:34 to be exact.
While being faster, the new turbo engines are also 12% more efficient than the outgoing engines. Every bit helps I suppose. In addition, the 991.2 gets optional four-wheel steer like that on the GT3. A new feature called Sport Response “provides maximum acceleration for 20 seconds by selecting the optimum gear” is fitted to cars with the Sport Chrono Pack and PDK.
In true Porsche tradition, the styling changes are minimal. Up front there are new four-point daytime running lights, LED headlights, and a redesigned from bumper with active air ducts. At the rear there’s updated taillights, a redesigned air vent with vertical grilles (the 991 had horizontal slats), and a new rear-bumper with more grilles.
Inside the changes have been minimal. There’s now a new 7-inch touchscreen which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Post-Collision braking will also be standard fit. Also new is a hydraulic lifting function, to make the car more useable in everyday situations.
991.2 is expected to land in NZ around the first quarter of 2016 with prices a smidgen higher than they currently are. What are your thoughts on this new turbocharged generation of 911? Is now the time to buy a naturally aspirated Carrera? Don’t worry, the high-performance Turbo and Turbo S will still be called as such. And for the purists out there, there’ll still be one 911 variant to be naturally aspirated; the GT3.