This is the new, turbocharged Porsche 911 Carrera | Top Gear
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This is the new, turbocharged Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche gives its 911 Carrera and Carrera S a little facelift and some forced induction

Published: 04 Sep 2015

If you’re one of those Porsche 911 purists that flew into a rage when the Cayenne, Panamera and Macan appeared, you might want to look away now. This is the refreshed 911 Carrera and Carrera S – complete with an all-new 3.0-litre flat six in place of the old 3.4 and 3.8-litre units. Oh, and there’s a pair of turbos strapped on.

Now, before you despair for the future of mankind, let’s keep things in perspective. This is a company that introduced its first turbocharged road car – the ‘930’ 911 Turbo – back in 1974 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. So it’s got form.

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The engine itself is part of a new 500cc-per-cylinder modular family that will include 2.0-litre turbo flat-fours for the Boxster and Cayman before long. In the Carrera it produces 365bhp and 332lb ft of torque, swelling to 414bhp and 369lb ft for the S courtesy of more boost, a specific exhaust and a tickled ECU. In both cases that’s a 20bhp boost resulting in 0-62mph times trimmed by 0.2 seconds to 4.2 and 3.9 seconds respectively with the PDK ‘box and Sport Chrono Pack fitted. Top speeds nudge up to 183mph and 191mph.

Fuel economy – the point of this downsizing exercise after all – is improved by around 12 per cent across the board, so a PDK-equipped Carrera now posts figures of 38.2mpg and emissions of 169g/km. If you achieve that figure we'll eat our lederhosen, but you can’t fault Porsche for its efforts to appease the legislators.

Telling it apart from the old one could prove tricky – new four-point LED lights in the headlights, a redesigned engine lid with vertical louvres and two central exhaust pipes when you order the optional sports exhausts are your best bet. Alternatively take a look inside and you’ll find a new-generation, flush-fitting touchscreen, seven-inches corner to corner and stuffed with all the computing power and smart phone connectivity the VW Group could muster.

The changes we care about though are applied to the steering wheel, where a new ‘Sport Response Button’ switches the powertrain to maximum attack for 20 second bursts – presumably for ill-advised banzai overtaking manoeuvres. Order the Sport Chono pack and a ‘mode switch’ lets you toggle through a quartet of driving profiles – Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual.

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A wider operating band for the now-standard PASM adaptive dampers should make your commute more soothing and track days more thrilling, while rear wheel steering is now optional on the ‘S’, reducing your turning circle by 0.5m at low speeds and boosting stability above 31mph.

Now for the bad news. You’ll have to fork out roughly £3,000 more across the board for this new model, so a boggo Carrera now starts at £76,412, or £85,857 for the S. Want the roof chopped off? That’s £85,253 for the Carrera Cabriolet or £94,695 for the S, and that's before you dive into the notoriously long and seductive options list.

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