The worst-kept secret in the automotive world has gone public – Porsche has made the switch to smaller-capacity turbocharged engines for its 911 Carrera and Carrera S models.The celebrated German company has done what pretty much every other top-end European carmaker has had to do – go to boosted induction to cut fuel use and meet ever-tightening C02 exhaust emission laws. The new 911s will land in New Zealand next March, joining a car park of 830-odd 911s sold here since 2000. Porsche NZ’s best year for 911 sales was 2007 when 97 were registered. So far this year it has sold 46. Both will use a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine, cleaner burning and a claimed 12 per cent more fuel-efficient than the naturally aspirated 3.4- and 3.8-litre six-cylinder units in the current Carrera twins. Apart from the 911 Turbo, it is the first time Porsche has used boosted engines in any of its two-door coupes since the 911 first appeared in 1963. The new engine is heavier but 15kW more powerful, delivering 272kW in the entry-level Carrera and tweaking the boost in the Carrera S to generate 309kW. The main gain is torque, up 60Nm in each case – 450Nm in the Carrera and 500Nm in the Carrera S – and generated between 1700-5000rpm to aid driveability. Add Porsche’s optional Sport Chrono package – a sharper-shifting dual-clutch PDK gearbox and adjustable suspension – and the result of the extra oomph is a faster 0-100km/h sprint time and top speed – 4.2 seconds and 295km/h for the Carrera and 3.9 seconds and 325km/h for the Carrera S. Despite the change to boosted units and a 7500rpm rev limit, Porsche says the character of the traditional flat-six hasn’t been lost. What else is new about the facelifted 991-series:
- At the front, new headlamps with four-point LED daytime running lights and reshaped air intakes. Redesigned rear lights and a new rear engine cover.
- Inside is the updated Porsche Communication Management (PCM) touchscreen infotainment system, now with Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay.
- Cars with Sport Chrono get a new four-mode rotary switch on the steering wheel that allows drivers to adjust suspension and transmission settings.
- A ‘Sport Response’ button prepares the drivetrain for 20 seconds of maximum acceleration, by selecting the
optimum gear and adjusting the engine management system.
- An adaptive cruise control with a coasting function, that can also brake when going downhill to keep you at your pre-set speed.
- The four-wheel-steering system from the GT3 and Turbo variants to the Carrera twins. The rear springs and anti-roll bar have been stiffened to cope with the extra 40kg of engine weight.
- The Carrera uses a mechanical limited-slip diff on the rear axle, the Carrera S an electronic version.
- Both models are fitted with nose-lift kits, which raise the front of the cars by 40mm to improve access to steep driveways.