The Porsche 911 has long been one of the most fuel efficient sports cars available at its performance level. The new 2009 911 with its direct injection and dual clutch gearbox is rated at 24 mpg (US) combined on the EU test cycle (19/27 on the EPA cycles). That's not an exceptional number around these parts. However, ex-racer and German TV presenter Klaus Niedzwiedz set out to prove again the influence that driving style can have on efficiency. At the wheel of a new 911 Carrera coupe, Niedzwiedz went 400 miles with a sealed gas tank. Over a mix of 19 miles of urban driving, 119 miles of country roads and 262 miles of autobahn Niedzwiedz averaged 52 mph and 35.1 mpg (US). The driving style used for this run is almost certainly not typical of 911 drivers but gentle driving can definitely eek more miles out of every gallon of fuel.
911 Carrera Saving Fuel all the Way: Just 6.7 Litres/100 Kilometres
Stuttgart. Porsche sports cars embark on record-breaking test drives time and again – but this time the purpose of the test was quite different: Driving a regular 345 bhp Porsche 911 Carrera with Porsche's PDK Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, the car tester, ex-racing driver and presenter of the n-tv Motor magazine Klaus Niedzwiedz covered 648 kilometres or exactly 400 miles on public roads, achieving extremely low average fuel consumption of just 6.7 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 42.2 mpg imp. In the process, he easily outperformed the combined fuel consumption specified under the Euro 5 standard which, at 9.8 litres/100 kilometres (28.8 mpg imp) already sets the absolute benchmark in this category of sports cars in terms of fuel economy.
The Porsche Carrera covered about 190 kilometres/118 miles of the total route on country roads and 30 kilometres/19 miles in city traffic, with the remaining distance on the Autobahn. The car's tank was filled up prior to and after the test drive by a certified inspector of the German DEKRA Car Inspection Authority, who also sealed the fuel tank and the engine compartment in the process. Under normal traffic conditions, with the headlights switched on, and with rain from time to time, the driver sought to keep the car's engine speed between 1,800 and 2,000 rpm, with a road speed between 90 and 130 km/h (56 – 81 mph). The average speed achieved in the process was 84 km/h or 52 mph.
In the words of test driver Klaus Niedzwiedz, "the result proves that with a lot of feeling and discipline you can even drive a 3.6-litre, 345-bhp sports car very economically."
The test drive confirms once again that Porsche is going the right way in its process of technological development. Within a very short time, all production versions of the Porsche 911 with a natural-aspiration power unit have been converted to brand-new engine technology featuring DFI Direct Fuel Injection, improving fuel economy by more than 12 per cent, and with a substantial increase in both torque and engine power.
The optional PDK transmission with seven gears likewise makes a significant contribution to the car's greater fuel economy, at the same time giving the six-cylinder models even more power and performance.
The report on Klaus Niedzwiedz's economy test will be broadcast on Saturday, 20 December, on the German TV channel n-tv Motor at 16:30 CET.