Porsche 911 Review

I know several people that drive a Porsche 911, and they are all equally passionate about their car. This in itself says a lot about the Porsche. It is clearly one of the more popular sports cars in the Bay Area where I live. The Porsche 911 seems as common on the roads as your typical sedan. In many ways, the Porsche 911 has become the definitive sports car. For those that can afford it, the 911 is the ultimate status symbol. Here in Silicon Valley, you can usually tell when someone gets promoted to Vice-President, President or CEO of a company because they show up at work with a Porsche 911. Considering adding one to your stable, or just interested in learning more about the iconic sports car, read on …

Model Highlights

If you are interested in a Porsche, you have no shortage of models to choose from. Seventeen different models to be exact. The basic variations are the base 911 coupe, sport model 911S, Cabriolet convertible, the Turbo Coupe and Turbo Cabriolet, the Targa Coupe and RS with retractable roof panels, the GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS of the GT1 race car lineage. The Coupe, Cabriolet, and Targa models are available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Targa comes in all-wheel drive while the GT series come in rear-wheel drive. At the top end are the The “S” model adds some additional horsepower to the base Coupe model. The Cabriolet is the convertible variation of the model. The Targa provides a retractable roof panel for those that can’t decide between the Coupe and Cabriolet. And then there is the GT line in their full built-to-race glory. They range from 345 hp to 620 hp as you work your way up the models, so you can find anything from your daily commuter vehicle to track day specials.

I’m not going to try to discuss all of the different variations. You can see the differences by going to the Porsche 911 web site.

Performance Highlights

From the early days of Porsche racing creed, the 911 carries decades of design evolution and tradition. Although most 911s never see a track, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t built with one in mind.

Even the basic Coupe provides 345 hp, and is capable of 0-60 in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. If that isn’t enough for you, you have the GT2 RS with 620 hp, capable of 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph. However, where the 911 shines is not just straight line acceleration. Its refined handling make it one of the best, and most fun, sports car for those twisty roads as well. And, if a stock 911 doesn’t live up to your expectations, Porsche has one of the largest groups of 3rd-party, performance parts and tuning specialists in the industry.

Advanced Technology

In 2009, Porsche introduced two new features significantly improving the 911 performance. These are the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-transmission system, and Direct Fuel Injection.

PDK is a transmission with two gearboxes that provides a connection between the two gearboxes and the engine by means of two separate input shafts. The engine power is transmitted through one
gearbox and clutch at a time, while the next gear is preselected in the second gearbox. During a gear change, one clutch simply opens and the other closes at the same time. Gear changes take place in hundredths of a second. This makes for fast and smooth gear shifts with no interruption in the flow of power. It operates in either manual or automatic mode via paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.

The new Direct Fuel Injection system differs from traditional fuel injection systems in that the fuel and air mixture takes place within the combustion chamber. The new DFI system provides improved horsepower and torque, and does this with better fuel efficiency and decreased emissions.

Is the Porsche 911 for you?

Whether the Porsche 911 is for you depends on a number of factors, mostly having nothing to do with the car’s driving performance. First and foremost, the price ranging from $77,800 to $245,000 can be the first barrier. However, if you are determined to have one, there is a large used car market for the 911, and you can probably find one in your price range, whatever it is. The next big questions is whether the 911 is a status symbol, or just one of many 911s in your neighborhood. In some areas, the 911 is becoming so common that it is losing its status as a head-turner. If you are looking to be unique, and turn a few heads, you may want to try something like the Audi R8. All that being said, you definitely won’t be disappointed owning or driving a Porsche 911.

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