Porsche adds direct injection and dual clutch gearbox to 911

While Porsche has made it abundantly clear that they have no concerns about trying to meet new corporate average fuel economy standards in the U.S. in the coming decade, that doesn't mean that aren't doing anything to improve the fuel consumption of their cars. Relative to their performance, Porsche cars have always comparatively efficient anyway, with the current 2008 Carrera 2 coupe be being rated at 18mpg city/26mpg hwy. That's a lot better than most SUVs. That's actually better than a V6 Saturn Vue at 16/23mpg.

Nonetheless, in the quest for ever-increasing performance, Porsche has evolved the 911 once again for 2009. This year the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chambers instead of into the intake ports. As with other similar arrangements at other manufacturers, the benefit is both increased output while using less fuel to do it. Output of the 3.6 and 3.8L engines is now up 20 and 30 percent horsepower respectively. In combination with the the new 7 speed dual clutch gearbox, the fuel consumption of these updated drivetrains is reduced by 13 percent. Interestingly, Porsche first developed the dual clutch gearbox in the 1980s for the 962 race car but has never used it in a production model while numerous other manufacturers are now using that setup. Now if Porsche had instead cut the displacement and maintained the current power levels, the efficiency improvement likely would have topped 20 percent. After all, does cutting a couple of tenths of a second off the 0-60 time when you're already in the mid-4 second range really make any difference in the real world where most people driving these cars are posers anyway?

[Source: Porsche]

New Generation 911s Combine Increased Performance with Better Fuel Efficiency

Porsche today disclosed photos and details for the next generation 911 model series. Four new 911 models go on sale in September in North America – the 911 Carrera Coupe, 911 Carrera Cabriolet, 911 Carrera S Coupe, and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. All offer a higher level of performance thanks to their all-new flat-six engines displacing 3.6 and 3.8 liters respectively. And for the first time in a Porsche sports car, engines utilize direct fuel injection (DFI) and can be coupled with the new optional 7-speed double-clutch gearbox Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), racing inspired technology and a Porsche first. The result of these new technologies allows Porsche to once again boost performance of the 911, yet improve fuel efficiency by up to 13 percent as measured in the European driving cycle.

Maximum output of the 911 Carrera with its 3.6-liter engine is up by 20 horsepower to 345. The 911 Carrera S with its 3.8-liter engine is equally impressive, up by 30 horsepower to 385. With this extra power, the Carrera S now offers a top speed of 188 mph.

The new generation 911 is available for the first time with the new Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), Porsche's double-clutch gearbox. The seven speed gearbox combines the driving comfort of an automatic transmission with the gearshift capacity of a sequential gearbox used in race cars. Since Porsche's double-clutch also boasts an automatic gearshift function, it replaces the former Porsche Tiptronic S automatic transmission on both the Carrera and Carrera S. PDK improves acceleration while reducing fuel consumption over the previous generation of Tiptronic S equipped 911s through optimized and adaptive gearshifts.

Porsche developed this gearshift principle for racing no less than 25 years ago. It features two parallel clutches to eliminate any interruption in power delivery and eliminates even the slightest break between gears. Porsche factory drivers benefiting from this technology were able to accelerate faster than their competitors and keep both hands on the wheel while shifting gears, thus avoiding even the slightest distraction. This pioneering achievement from Porsche's racing efforts now gives the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S even better performance. The Carrera equipped with PDK covers 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and the Carrera S reaches the same speed in 4.3 which is 0.2 seconds faster than with a manual six-speed gearbox. The customer in search of optimum driving dynamics even has the option to combine PDK with Porsche's optional Sport Chrono Plus including Launch Control. The result is high-speed acceleration free of wheel spin from a standstill and a racing shift pattern to further boost performance. The Carrera equipped with the Sport Chrono Plus accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds while the Carrera S sprints to 60 mph in an outstanding 4.1.

Exterior enhancements of the new 911 stand out clearly through innovations in design and technology. The refined front bumper has larger air intakes which signal an increase in power and the newly designed dual-arm exterior mirrors give a larger field of vision to the rear of the car. LED daytime driving lights and bi-xenon headlights will be standard on all new models, as well as LED tail and brake lights. This gives the 911 an even more distinctive style and a truly unique look from the front and rear. As a further option, Porsche now also offers Dynamic Cornering Lights on all models. In Porsche fashion, these new refinements do not change the drag coefficient of the 911 as it stays at a remarkable 0.29.

The latest Porsche Communication Management system, PCM 3.0, which includes a new touchscreen feature, will be standard on all new 911s. Along with this upgraded system, options such as a hard disk drive navigation system, XM radio with XM NavTraffic capability, Bluetooth® connectivity, iPOD® port, USB port, and aux jack will be available.

2009 911 Canadian pricing starts at $94,800 for the Carrera Coupe, $107,600 for the Carrera Cabriolet and the Carrera S Coupe, and the Carrera S Cabriolet is $120,400. The Canadian price increase for the 2009 911 models is 1.2 percent below the U.S. increase in response to exchange rate changes over recent months.

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