Driven - January 2016

The low-down on the new Porsche 911

What’s changed with the new Porsche 911?

When you hear the three digits 9-1-1, a few things may come to mind. Sadly it’s the date of one of the worst terrorist attacks the world has ever seen. It’s also a popular emergency services number. For some though, the numbers mean something good, something exciting.

The best thing that I personally relate these three digits to, is the Porsche 911. Interestingly Porsche had originally named the first vehicle the “901” but Peugeot complained because of their numbering system which had a 0 in the middle, so Porsche replaced the 0 with a 1 and a legend was born.

My earliest memories of a Porsche 911 was my father squeezing me into the front boot space and closing the lid to show our neighbour that it could actually hold some kind of capacity. From a young age the 911 was my favourite, I even named my first pet rabbit “Porsche” but sadly it escaped and then got eaten by a fox.

I digress, the 911 have been produced since 1963 and the 911 Turbo since 1975. It is agreed that this range of sports cars is up there as one of the greatest of all time.  Since the start, the core of  the “911” has never changed, a rear engine setup with 6 cylinders. There was a time in history where I lost a little love for the 911, I felt like they could not get the design of the front end right, I didn’t like it. In recent years though, with the return of the classic round headlights, the design stole my heart again.  Now in 2016 Porsche have updated its current 911 range and the changes are as follows:

What’s new?

The new Porsche 911 is as beautiful as ever, and the rear end has an even sharper and more aggressive look. From a design point of view, these vehicles haven’t really changed much over time. They’ve evolved in small ways but as always the 6 cylinder horizontal engine is stuck right in the back where the boot normally is. Besides subtle design changes, the engines are where the biggest changes lie with turbochargers adding extra boost to the car. Many enthusiasts have been in two minds about this move since many loved the razor sharp nature of the normally aspirated car.

Options have not changed with two variants being available in the Carrera range. The normal Carrera is the baby and the S is the upgrade. The standard 911 Carrera will push 272 kW (380 Bhp) and the Carrera S supplies 309 kW (420BHP).  Another change has to do with the drive-train options available in the new 911. A client has the option between rear wheel drive and a four-wheel drive setup. All these updates will definitely change the way the new car handles on the road and more importantly, how the car put’s its power down.

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Wait, there’s more.

Another new option is the Sports Exhaust System which apart from allowing the twin turbo motor to shout a little louder, the two twin tail pipes are replaced by two single pipes located in the centre of the vehicle with a small space in between. One more noteworthy point is that the Porsche Active Suspension Management, (an electronic damping control system called “PASM”) is now fitted as standard on all models. It’s evolved a little, but definitely for the better.

How much will it cost?

A 911 Carrera will set you back at least R1.2 Bar, whereas the Carrera 4S Cab will start to hurt you at a minimum of R1,6 Million. You can double that figure for the top dog 911 Turbo S. It may sound like a lot, but it’s all relative. Some may even say it’s a small price to pay for one of the most iconic sports cars ever built. Long live the Porsche 911.

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