2019 911 New Car Test Drive
There are well over a dozen models of Porsche 911, including all-wheel drive and cabriolet versions. Among them: Carrera, Carrera S, Carrera T, GTS, Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, and GT2 RS.
New for 2018, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is said to be the fastest 911 ever for the road. There is also a GT3 version, and a Turbo S Exclusive option. The new GTS and Carrera T come stripped of comfort and convenience features to feel more like a wind-in-the-hair sports car. The Turbo S Exclusive has exclusive uber-power.
The engine in the Carrera is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged horizontally opposed six-cylinder making 370 horsepower. In the Carrera S, this engine is turbo-boosted to 420 horsepower, and in the Carrera GTS, 450 horsepower.
The 911 Turbo uses a 3.8-liter turbocharged flat-6 making 580 horsepower for breathtaking performance.
A standard 911 Carrera can accelerate from zero to sixty in a very quick 4.0 seconds, while the Carrera S does it three-tenths quicker. That's with Porsche's brilliant twin-clutch automatic manual transmission, called the PDK. Carrera 4 includes all-wheel drive, making for an outstanding high-speed sports commuter.
The Turbo and Turbo S are grand touring cars, able to blast from zero to sixty in less than three seconds, while being comfortable driving long distances.
The new Carrera GTS gets 450 horsepower from its turbocharged flat-six, with an active exhaust system and thin sound deadening, to give the flat-six some song. As sporty as it sounds, the Carrera GTS comes with a 7-speed manual gearbox.
The new Carrera T has the same idea: no rear seats and no radio (for more money). With 370 horsepower and the same manual transmission, it's about light weight and agility.
The GT3, GT3 RS, and GT2 RS are ready for the track, with their non-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six engines. At about $300,000, the GT2 RS is a steal, being as fast as million-dollar supercars. For about $200,000, the GT3 RS is the quintessential track day car, our favorite, along with the GT3.
The Carrera with manual transmission is rated by the EPA at 20/29/23 miles per gallon. The GTS with its more powerful engine gets the same 23 mpg Combined. The 911 Turbo and Turbo S models get 19/24/21 mpg. Without a turbo, the GT3 is thirstiest, at 16 miles per gallon.
The Porsche 911 Carrera ($91,100) is the base model, the traditional model, a coupe with rear-wheel drive. A convertible top is available for most variants, starting with the Carrera Cabriolet ($103,400). The 911 Targa 4 ($110,300) features the Targa top. Carrera 4 ($98,000) includes all-wheel drive. Upmarket is the 911 Turbo ($161,800). Sportiest is the Carrera GTS ($120,700). The hot track cars are the GT3 ($143,600), GT3 RS ($187,500), and GT2 RS ($293,200).
Standard features in the Carrera include a rearview camera, power seats, eight-speaker sound system, and Alcantara headliner.
Options go on forever, from heated seats to LED headlamps to leather-wrapped seatbelt buckles. If you want your key fob painted the same color as your car, you can get that goodie for $530. There's an option that raises the front axle to keep the nose of your Porsche from scraping driveways, not a bad idea, if you can remember to use it ($3490). If you want the most for track days, there are carbon-ceramic brakes ($9210).