At First Glance: All-New 2012 Porsche 911

23 Aug

By Matt McCarron

2012 Porsche 911: Courtesy Porsche North America

After months of partially disguised “spy” photos and unofficial press photos, it’s finally here. Today Porsche officially released the first details and photos of the their most revered vehicle, the 911. After nearly five decades of production the rear-engined Porsche 911 has become one of the most iconic and recognizable automobiles in the world.

Despite having subtle changes over the years the tradition of the 911 has remained largely unchanged. The 2012 911, designated the 991 internally, has stayed true to those roots. Although Porsche says the vehicle is “all-new”, many non-enthusiasts might claim the 991 looks nearly identical to its predecessor the 997. However, a closer look at the new 911 reveals many changes.

2012 Porsche 911: Courtesy Porsche North America

The wheelbase has increased by 3.9 inches, along with a lower height giving the 2012 911 a more aggressive overall appearance. The weight of the body has decreased by roughly 100 pounds thanks to lightweight aluminum-steel composite materials. The new 911 also has a wider front track, new rear axle and electro-mechanical power steering, resulting in greater driving agility, response and dynamics. On top of these features, the new Carrera S also offers Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC).

Another hallmark of the Porsche 911 is the high level of technology incorporated into each generation of the vehicle. The seventh generation is no different. According to Porsche the 991’s fuel consumption is up to 16 percent less than that of the 997. This improvement is made possible via a host of engine management systems, such as a start/stop function and electrical system recuperation. The seven-speed Porsche double-clutch (PDK) transmission also aids in the increased economy by letting the 911 “coast”. In addition to the PDK the 2012 911 will feature the worlds first seven-speed manual transmission.

Rear View: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera: Courtesy Porsche North America

In terms of performance the new 911 offers more horsepower from a smaller displacement engine. The 2012 911 Carrera is powered by a 3.4-liter flat-six engine, compared with the 3.6-liter in the outgoing model. Regardless of this reduction the horsepower remains unaffected. The Carrera S model still has a 3.8-liter with 15 more horsepower, boosting peak output figures from 385 to 400 hp. These changes enable the 911 Carrera to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds (with PDK transmission). Meanwhile the Carrera S does the same sprint with the PDK in 4.1 seconds.

The 2012 Porsche 911 will make its world premiere at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. beginning in February 2012.

Interior: 2012 911 with PDK transmission: Courtesy Porsche North America

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