Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera

Vehicle Overview
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 gbaseh rear-drive 911 Carrera.

Equipped with all-wheel drive, Turbo models are more aggressively styled at the front and rear
and ride 18-inch tires instead of the customary 17-inchers. A gbiplaneh 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 Porschefs GT1 racing car,
which triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998.
Porsche offers the Turbo with the worldfs first ceramic
composite brake discs as an option added during the 2001 model year.

The automakerfs electronic stability system called Porsche Stability Management
is now available as an option for rear-drive Carreras.
Itfs standard on all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 models.


Not much has changed in the 911fs sleek, l
ow, curvaceous shape since the car was redesigned for 1999.
In fact, because that restyling was evolutionary in nature,
the current models display an overall profile and fastback roofline not unlike
the one exhibited by 911s for the previous 34 years ? though todayfs 911 is longer than
its ancestors and gained all-new sheet metal in 1999.
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 headlight clusters,
and different front and rear styling. Three large intake grilles dominate the lower front fascia,
which sends air to the Turbofs 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 theyfre much bigger than a child. Even youngsters might complain if theyfre relegated to the rear.

Standard coupe equipment includes fog lights, air conditioning,
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 fabric top.
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 engine,
with horizontally opposed cylinders, is mounted at the rear of the car.
Dubbed a gboxerh engine because of its cylinder layout,
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 selection.
Manual-shift buttons are right on the steering wheel, so gear changes can be made
without taking onefs 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 impending rollover.

Driving Impressions

Piloting a Porsche 911 in any form is like driving a legend in its own time.
Measured against Porsches of the past, itfs also comparatively easy to drive ?
a fact that could drive down its value in the eyes of some purists
who actually favor traditional, periodically skittery behavior.
Because the 911 has become a rather civilized road machine,
itfs actually possible to forget from time to time that youfre driving something so special.
Even the familiar engine whine isnft as omnipresent as it used to be, though itfs definitely noticeable.
The 911fs exhaust note, on the other hand, is subdued yet alluring.

Wedded-to-the-road handling and directional stability are neatly enhanced by the Carrera 4fs all-wheel-drive system.
Although the ride is super on the highway, the 911fs suspension reacts harshly at times on rougher pavement.
Acceleration is energetic in all six forward speeds, though true Porsche aficionados wonft be satisfied
with anything less than the super-hot Turbo.
Porschefs 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 itfs always been:
a coupe or convertible to be coveted and savored to the fullest.

Porsche 911 Carrera