Porsche 911 Carrera
Porsche 911 Carrera
Some sports car fans are never fully satisfied.
A reasonable person might assume that a Porsche
with 300 horsepower would be quite sufficient.
But Porsche revived its Turbo coupe as an
early 2001 model,
packing a turbocharged 415-hp engine into
the back end of its illustrious 2+2 coupe.
Buyers who want a convertible will have to
be content with the tamer engine,
but they can specify a Carrera 4 with all-wheel
drive rather than the customary gbaseh
rear-drive 911 Carrera.
Equipped with all-wheel drive, Turbo models
are more aggressively styled at the front
and ride 18-inch tires instead of the customary
17-inchers. A gbiplaneh two-piece rear
spoiler on the Turbo,
which raises when the car reaches 75 mph,
is supposed to enhance high-speed stability.
The Turbo traces its engine and brake system
back to Porschefs GT1 racing car,
which triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Porsche offers the Turbo with the worldfs
composite brake discs as an option added
during the 2001 model year.
The automakerfs electronic stability system
called Porsche Stability Management
is now available as an option for rear-drive
Itfs standard on all-wheel-drive Carrera
Not much has changed in the 911fs sleek,
ow, curvaceous shape since the car was redesigned
In fact, because that restyling was evolutionary
the current models display an overall profile
and fastback roofline not unlike
the one exhibited by 911s for the previous
34 years ? though todayfs 911 is longer
its ancestors and gained all-new sheet metal
An optional aluminum hardtop for convertibles
contains a glass back window with a defogger.
Front-end appearance is partially shared
with the Porsche Boxster.
Nearly devoid of extraneous trim, the smoothly
contoured body looks the part of a near-supercar.
The new Turbo is bolder yet in appearance,
with a wide stance ?
especially at the rear ? bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge
and different front and rear styling. Three
large intake grilles dominate the lower front
which sends air to the Turbofs three radiators.
Air scoops integrated into the leading edges
of rear fenders channel air to intercoolers.
Called a four-passenger automobile by Porsche,
911s have plenty of space for front-seat
occupants in their leather-trimmed seats.
But backseat riders are in trouble, especially
in the convertible,
if theyfre much bigger than a child. Even
youngsters might complain if theyfre relegated
to the rear.
Standard coupe equipment includes fog lights,
a telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel,
cruise control, a power sunroof,
heated power mirrors, power windows and door
locks, remote keyless entry,
a cassette stereo system, rear spoiler, theft-deterrent
system and a split, folding rear seat.
Carrera 4 convertibles come with a removable
hardtop, while the regular Carrera has a
Options include a satellite-based navigation
system, power front seats with memory,
heated front seats, a CD player or changer,
Litronic headlights and headlight washers.
Coupes can have an optional sport suspension
and a roof rack.
Under the Hood
Carrying on the Porsche tradition that dates
back to the 1950s,
the water-cooled 3.4-liter base six-cylinder
with horizontally opposed cylinders, is mounted
at the rear of the car.
Dubbed a gboxerh engine because of its
it develops 300 hp vs. 415 hp for the 3.6-liter
Turbo, which employs twin turbochargers.
Before 1999, engines for the 911 were air-cooled,
but liquid coolant is used now.
Both engines team with a six-speed-manual
or an optional five-speed-automatic transmission
(never before available on the Turbo), the
latter fitted with Tiptronic for manual gear
Manual-shift buttons are right on the steering
wheel, so gear changes can be made
without taking onefs hands off the wheel
? an idea borrowed from auto racing.
Porsche claims that a Turbo can accelerate
from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.2 seconds.
All 911 models have side-impact airbags and
all-disc antilock brakes.
Supplemental safety bars pop out of the rear
deck of convertibles if sensors detect an
Piloting a Porsche 911 in any form is like
driving a legend in its own time.
Measured against Porsches of the past, itfs
also comparatively easy to drive ?
a fact that could drive down its value in
the eyes of some purists
who actually favor traditional, periodically
Because the 911 has become a rather civilized
itfs actually possible to forget from time
to time that youfre driving something so
Even the familiar engine whine isnft as
omnipresent as it used to be, though itfs
The 911fs exhaust note, on the other hand,
is subdued yet alluring.
Wedded-to-the-road handling and directional
stability are neatly enhanced by the Carrera
4fs all-wheel-drive system.
Although the ride is super on the highway,
the 911fs suspension reacts harshly at times
on rougher pavement.
Acceleration is energetic in all six forward
speeds, though true Porsche aficionados wonft
with anything less than the super-hot Turbo.
Porschefs delightful gearbox just loves
to be manipulated,
matched by easier-than-expected clutch action.
Snug-fitting seats are tempting to many riders
but may be disdained by others.
Storage space is meager. Drawbacks aside,
the 911 remains what itfs always been:
a coupe or convertible to be coveted and
savored to the fullest.
Porsche 911 Carrera