Buying Guide

2015 Porsche 911

Fair Market Price $70,123 Carrera Cabriolet
Motor Trend Rating
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EPA MPG:

19 City / 27 Hwy

Horse Power:

350 @ 7400

Torque:

287 @ 5600

New for 2015

The Porsche 911 receives a number of changes, notably introducing the 911 Carrera GTS, which includes the Carrera GTS, Carrera GTS Cabriolet, Carrera 4 GTS, Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, and Targa 4 GTS models. The new GTS model line fits between the Carrera S (400 hp) and the GT3 (475 hp) with 430 hp and several other performance features, as well as a price that’s between the two previously established models.

Vehicle Overview

The Porsche 911 is an icon that continues to be the benchmark for premium sports cars while remaining one of the most communicative vehicles that manages to be accessible, even more so with the current 991 series of Carrera, Carrera S, and Carrera GTS. The 911 fits above the mid-engine Boxster and Cayman but below the 918 Spyder in the Porsche lineup.

Summary

The 2015 Porsche 911 is available in a dizzying array of combinations with 20 distinct models, most stemming from three core models: the Carrera, Carrera S, and Carrera GTS. Each base has a Cabriolet, all-wheel drive (designated by the digit “4” in the model name), AWD Cabriolet, and Targa (all are AWD) version. Turbo models keep the pattern but don’t have GTS variants, and all have AWD. The GT3 reigns supreme over the non-convertible, non-turbo models. Most models are still available with a seven-speed manual transmission, and all offer an optional seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) automatic; several come only with the PDK.

Model: Carrera, Carrera Cabriolet, Carrera 4, Carrera 4 Cabriolet, Targa 4

Engine and Transmission: 3.4-liter flat-6; 7-speed manual or 7-speed PDK

Power: 350 hp/287 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 18-19/26-27 mpg (manual); 19-21/26-28 mpg (PDK)

Model: Carrera S, Carrera S Cabriolet, Carrera 4S, Carrera 4S Cabriolet, Targa 4S

Engine and Transmission: 3.8-liter flat-6; 7-speed manual or 7-speed PDK

Power: 400 hp/325 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 18-19/26-27 mpg (manual); 18-20/25-28 mpg (PDK)

Model: Carrera GTS, Carrera GTS Cabriolet, Carrera 4 GTS, Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Targa 4 GTS

Engine and Transmission: 3.8-liter flat-6; 7-speed manual or 7-speed PDK

Power: 430 hp/325 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 18/25-26 mpg (manual); 18-19/25-26 mpg (PDK, excluding Targa 4 GTS)

Model: Turbo, Turbo Cabriolet

Engine and Transmission(s): twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-6; 7-speed PDK

Power: 520 hp/287 lb-ft (524 lb-ft with overboost)

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 17/24 mpg

Model: Turbo S, Turbo S Cabriolet

Engine and Transmission: twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-6; 7-speed PDK

Power: 560 hp/516 lb-ft (553 lb-ft with overboost)

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 17/24 mpg

Model: GT3

Engine and Transmission: 3.8-liter flat-6; 7-speed PDK

Power: 475 hp/325 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 15/20 mpg

Notable features on the Porsche 911 abound, as the myriad of distinct models each have some features to enhance their particular goals. Across the line, the PDK automatic is a gem, one that surpasses the manual in every quantifiable category, from lightning quick gear changes to the gas-savings by coasting and decoupling the engine and transmission to the “paddle neutral” feature that allows quick launches and burnouts on GT3 models. Interior features include a 7-inch infotainment screen, optional Burmester or Bose premium audio systems, Porsche Communication Management software (includes a speed limit indicator that displays the speed limit detected on the gauge cluster), optional heated steering wheels, heated/ventilated seats (Sports bucket seats cannot be ventilated), a slide/tilt sunroof (coupe models), and an adaptive cruise control system. Notable performance-related features include the Sport Chrono package (stopwatch mounted on the dashboard, dynamic engine mounts, revised PDK functions, and launch control), active suspension management, torque vectoring plus, dynamic chassis control, and on the GT3, rear-wheel steering and an electronic differential.

The 2015 Porsche 911 has not been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.

What We Think

The 2015 Porsche 911 is an incredibly dynamic and impressive sports car, one that becomes even easier to drive in the latest iteration. Gone are the days when danger lurked on every freeway cloverleaf for drivers foolish enough to lift off the accelerator mid-turn in a 911. The 2015 Porsche 911 range has a flavor for any type of owner with three distinct power levels (Carrera, Carrera S, and Carrera GTS) that define the non-turbo ranks, the turbo models for the truly power hungry, the GT3 for track-day enthusiasts, and combinations of body styles and drivetrains to fill out the middle. Want a Cabriolet but live somewhere with serious weather? The Targa comes with AWD, looks great, and can give you an open-top experience in about 14 seconds (only while stopped, unfortunately).

Track-day aficionados who are looking at the GT3 will be best served by selecting the PCCB carbon-ceramic brakes, the front lift system (don’t want to leave the front splitter on the driveway), and the larger no-cost fuel tank (23.8 gallon over the standard 16.9 gallon). In our Second Drive Review of a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, we wrote in detail about the recommended extras but also addressed the PDK-only issue. “Yes, the PDK is an amazing gearbox and makes the new car faster, but we miss the heavy, positive clutch and the firm shift action that made the six-speed manual so brilliant in older GT3s,” we wrote. “We also miss the fact that previous GT3 models felt truly special at all speeds, not just when pushed.” We also raised the same question when we compared a 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet to a 2014 Audi R8 Spyder and a 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S, asking whether the new dynamic capabilities didn’t raise the performance index into the stratosphere, making the latest car rather pale unless pushed. Technology makes street cars more capable than yesterday’s track-only specials, but it also engineers out the things that challenged us. Despite all this, it’s impossible to say the 911 is anything but excellent.

“If the 991 is the only 911 you’ve ever driven, you’ll probably think it’s the best Porsche ever — and in many ways we agree,” we said. “If, on the other hand, you reveled in the old 911’s endless feedback; if you relished the thrill of taming a car that didn’t really want to be tamed; if you loved the 911 precisely because it wasn’t perfect; and, certainly, if you thought that the Porsche 911 was an icon that couldn’t be improved and shouldn’t be changed, then the 2012 Porsche 911 might not feel like that much of an icon to you.”

You’ll Like

  • PDK burnouts in the GT3 with the paddle neutral function
  • Targa for all-weather sporting fun
  • Fastest production 911 yet

You Won’t Like

  • Tiny rear seats
  • 911 feels pale unless pushed
  • The Boxster/Cayman are so good the extra money for a 911 seems questionable

Key Competitors

  • Jaguar F-Type
  • BMW M4
  • Audi R8
  • Nissan GT-R
  • Audi TT RS
  • Porsche Boxster and Cayman

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