After an unplanned leak last week, the first official photos and specs of the 2012 Porsche 911 have finally been released. As Porsche-philes and enthusiasts alike should know by now, as has been the case with the six generations prior, the 991 series 911 represents modest improvements to a constantly evolving 911 formula.
As we expected, the base 911 Carrera loses .2-liters of displacement, but gets a minor horsepower boost in the process. The new 3.4-liter produces 350-hp (up 5 horsepower). When fitted with Porsche's PDK dual-clutch transmission, the Carrera will hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, according to Porsche. Buyers who opt for the Sport Chrono Package can use the included launch control to send the Carrera onto 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. By comparison, the 997 911 took 4.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a stop. The 2012 Carrera will top out at 179 mph.
The 2012 911 Carrera S makes due with the 3.8-liter. That doesn’t mean Porsche hasn’t massaged it. Power is up for 2012 by 15-hp, meaning the boxer six now produces a healthy 400-hp. Porsche says the PDK-equipped Carrera S will hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. As with the Carrera, using the launch control included in the Sport Chrono Pack results in a faster 0-60 time; in this case, 3.9 seconds. Top speed is unchanged at 188 mph.
Porsche says fuel efficiency has also improved over the 997. While EPA fuel economy ratings have yet to be released, Porsche has revealed the car's New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) ratings. On the NEDC cycle, PDK-equipped 2012 911 Carreras will achieve 8.2 l/100 km, while the PDK-equipped Carrera S will achieve 8.7 l/100 km. In U.S. measurements, that translates roughly to 28 and 27 mpg highway, respectively. Porsche hasn’t released fuel economy ratings for the seven-speed manual yet.
Even with a 3.9-inch gain in its wheelbase and increase in its front track, the new 991 was able to improve both its fuel economy and acceleration times by losing weight. The 2012 911 is roughly 100 pounds lighter than the outgoing car thanks to the use of magnesium, among other weight saving measures. Porsche was also able to improve fuel economy through the inclusion of stop/start technology, and through the PDK’s “sail” mode.
The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S arrive at U.S. Porsche dealers beginning in February. Prices for the Carrera start at $82,100, and $96,400 for the Carrera S. The official unveiling of the 911 is set for next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.