2012 Porsche 911: First Look
- Competes with: Nissan GT-R, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Ferrari 458 Italia
- Looks like: The 911 will keep its timeless look
- Drivetrain: 350-hp, 3.4-liter flat-six engine or 400-hp, 3.8-liter flat six; seven-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
- Hits dealerships: February 2012
It may not look like it, but the 2012 Porsche 911 is totally new, including a new chassis, body, interior and more fuel-efficient powertrains.
We would say the appearance is updated, too, but only a die-hard Porsche enthusiast would tell the difference between the 2012 model and its predecessor. The biggest give-away is the rear end — featuring flatter vertical taillamps — that gives the new 911 a bit of an Aston Martin feel. The car looks more mature, mostly because the increased front track broadens the front-end face by pushing out the wheel arches, and the side mirrors are pushed farther back on the doors rather than on the A-pillars. Overall, this 911 looks less bug-eyed than the 2011 model.
Powering this more lightweight 911 is a pair of new horizontally opposed flat-six-cylinder engines. The base Carrera gets a 350-horsepower, 3.4-liter boxer engine mated to a first-of-its-kind seven-speed manual transmission. There’s also an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that was available on the 2011 model. The Carrera S gets a 400-hp, 3.8-liter boxer engine with the same transmission options. With the automatic transmission, the 3.4-liter can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (about a tenth of a second faster than 2011 equivalent), while the 3.8-liter Carrera S can do it in 4.3 seconds (0.2 seconds faster).
Both powertrains get new auto start/stop engine systems, thermal management and electrical recuperation systems that help increase fuel economy by 16% over the 2011 model. Porsche says the 3.4-liter powertrain with the automatic transmission should get 34 mpg. The current base powertrain gets 19/27 mpg city/highway.
More expensive materials and high-tech powertrains mean the 911 will get even more out of reach for the average car shopper when the model hits dealerships this February. The base Carrera will start at $82,100 (up $4,300) while the Carrera S will start at $96,400 (up $5,900), excluding destination fees.
Check out more detailed photos below: