2009 Porsche 911

Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6 man trans

2009 porsche 911 Reviews and News

0808 09 Pl+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+front Three Quarter View
0808 09 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+front Three Quarter View
Its looks haven't changed much over forty years, but it's the subtle improvements that make each new 911 so great. And if you still haven't driven one after all this time, you're probably one of those misguided souls who think the horizontally opposed, shoved-up-the-wazoo engine makes the 911 nothing more than an overhyped, overpriced VW Beetle derivative.
But you're wrong. Drive a 911, and you'll want to buy it. If you can't afford a new one, get a used one. It'll fit the bill just fine until this 2009 model comes down in price. Because this is the 911 you really want.
We were a little worried that Porsche would finally mess up its biggest success story. After all, pretty much everyone agrees that there wasn't anything wrong with the current 911. But just like they've done repeatedly over the last five decades, the Weissach wizards have made the 911 even better.
The updated 911 is still referred to internally as the 997, and outwardly, it's simply a midcycle face-lift. No modifications have been made to the steel body panels, just minor changes to the front and rear fascias. Updated bixenon headlights now can be ordered with the ability to swivel. A revised front bumper houses en vogue LED daytime running lights and provides significantly better cooling, eliminating the need for a center radiator. The taillights are now pointier at their edges and dip slightly into the bumper fascia, giving the car a somewhat drowsy look from behind. But that's only until they're illuminated, because the sixty LEDs in each taillight are retina-searingly bright.
0808 06 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+navigation Screen
Inside, the 5.8-inch LCD screen on the center console has been replaced by a new touch screen measuring 6.5 inches. This third generation of PCM (Porsche Communication Management) combines all audio and navigation functions and features full iPod integration, as well as a USB jack and auxiliary input. The system is far easier to use than the old dial-driven setup and has a simple and logical menu structure. Our test car also had an optional Bose stereo that sounds great, although its subwoofer occupies an unfortunate amount of space in the passenger footwell. To ensure that the 911 remains an everyday sports car even in extreme climates, seat coolers (in addition to steering wheel and seat heaters) are now offered. The coolers work quickly and effectively, although the fans do make more noise than those in other high-end vehicles.
0808 01 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+rear View
The bigger noise generator, however, is hidden beneath the little engine cover in back. The 2009 911 receives an all-new engine, not just a revision of the existing flat-six, whose basic architecture dates back ten years to the first water-cooled 911s. With a crankcase now made from two pieces instead of four, the new top-spec engine is not only dimensionally smaller (by 24 cubic centimeters), it's also stiffer, weighs a few pounds less, and has a lower center of gravity.
As before, two engines are available. Base Carrera models receive a 3.6-liter unit that produces 345 hp and 287 lb-ft of torque; increases of 20 hp and 14 lb-ft over last year's 3.6-liter. The Carrera S's 3.8-liter unit now crosses the magic 100-hp-per-liter mark, churning out 385 hp and 310 lb-ft, 30 hp and 15 lb-ft more than before.
The power bump comes courtesy of a higher compression ratio (12.5:1 for both engines), a reduction in friction (which also allows a higher, 7500-rpm redline), and direct fuel injection. A revised integral dry-sump system uses four scavenge pumps - one in each corner of the engine - and a new variable-volume oil pump. These changes also make the new 911 engines more fuel-efficient than their predecessors, despite the power increases. After all, what's the point of having all that muscle if you can't afford to use it?
0808 03 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+rear Three Quarter View
Porsche revised the 911's dampers, springs, and antiroll bars to deal with the extra power. All steel-rotor 911s now have 330-mm (13.0-inch) brake rotors straddled by four-piston calipers all around. The carbon-ceramic brake option bumps the rotor size to 350 mm (13.8 inches) and increases the front piston count to six per wheel.
The driving experience is, as you'd expect, similar to last year's cars: the 911 communicates constantly with its driver. Its thin-rimmed steering wheel performs an interpretive dance in your hands, sharing with you its fascination with changing road surfaces, cambers, and grip levels. Hard braking is drama-free even at speeds beyond 180 mph, accompanied by reassuring, rock-hard pedal feel and zero fade. The 911's PASM active suspension (optional on the base Carrera) delivers a ride that is all-day comfortable without ever allowing body motions to get out of hand. The shifter is light, and the clutch engages over what feels like the entire travel of the pedal. Combined with the visceral flat-six, which now responds to throttle inputs even more immediately than before, shifting is so easy that you wonder why anyone would ever want an automatic.
0808 05 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+pDK Shifter
And then you try the optional PDK, Porsche's brand-new dual-clutch transmission. PDK may be named unimaginatively (it stands for Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or "Porsche double-clutch gearbox" in English), but it's practically psychic in its operation, choosing both the gear and the shift speed that you'd pick yourself. Off-the-line clutch engagement is smooth and linear, and under most circumstances, you can't feel shifts even if you try. PDK is the best dual-clutch transmission yet; and that achievement is no surprise when you consider that Porsche developed it jointly with ZF, maker of the world's best automatic transmissions.
The seven-speed PDK, which replaces the ancient five-speed Tiptronic automatic, is geared similarly to the manual in first through sixth gears, reserving seventh as an ultralong, ultraefficient cruising gear. The drop between sixth and seventh is drastic - whereas the manual 911's engine turns almost 3200 rpm at 80 mph in top gear, the PDK's is loafing along at just 2200 rpm. The 911 has always been one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars, but the new 911's less thirsty engines and PDK's long top gear reduce fuel consumption by about fifteen percent.
The PDK is simple to use, too - a console-mounted shifter works just like that of an automatic transmission. It features the requisite manual control via either the shifter or push/pull paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The PDK's one fault is that Porsche, for reasons of tradition, kept the Tiptronic shifter's push-forward-for-upshifts pattern. This is the opposite of what you find in sequentially shifted racing cars, and it's a shame that Porsche didn't use this opportunity to change it. Thankfully, the transmission won't upshift at the rev limiter or automatically downshift while in manual mode unless you press the kickdown switch at the bottom of the gas pedal's travel. That switch is a great feature both for safety and performance: say you're cruising in seventh gear in manual mode at 50 mph and need speed quickly. Plant your foot in the carpet, and the transmission will instantly drop into second gear and upshift at redline as long as your foot remains on the floor.
0808 04 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera+interior View
Our test car was equipped with the Sport Chrono package, which gives the PDK two additional modes - Sport and Sport Plus. In Sport mode, the transmission shifts more quickly, with more positive clutch engagement. Sport Plus adds much quicker shifts at full throttle, and both modes use a more aggressive shift map in automatic mode. The Sport Chrono pack also includes a launch-control feature for the PDK, which dumps the clutch at 6500 rpm and then modulates throttle if necessary for optimal grip. It also knocks an additional 0.2 second off the rush to 60 mph (now accomplished in only 4.1 seconds for Carrera S models, 4.3 seconds for the base model).
The best part about PDK is how simple it is to use. Unlike BMW's M DCT Drivelogic, which offers a dizzying number of modes to choose from, the PDK has a total of three intuitive, well-thought-out settings. Unfortunately, PDK cars without the Sport Chrono option pack don't offer the extra sport-shift modes. In regular mode, upshifts occur early in the interest of fuel economy and seem slightly at odds with the 911's sporting nature. Of course, you can still shift manually if you're hustling, but we highly recommend the package.
Porsche has raised the 911's base price by between $2000 and $3000 for 2009, due to additional content as well as the weak dollar. Following the company's long-standing tradition of expensive options, the PDK adds a not-insubstantial $4080 premium. We think the price increase is reasonable, though, since this is the best 911 yet. Ferdinand Porsche's decree that the 911 should be an everyday sports car is true now more than ever - this Porsche can be fully enjoyed by those who can't (or won't) drive a manual transmission. And with a significant increase in fuel efficiency, it doesn't even have to look different to remain the perfect sports car for the times.
History: Porsche Double-Clutch Genealogy
by Marc Noordeloos
0808 08 Z+group C Porsche 956+front Three Quarter View
America had its first taste of a dual-clutch transmission in the 2004 Audi TT 3.2, but the innovative technology traces its roots back much further. French engineer Adolphe Kegresse developed the concept in the late 1930s but was unsuccessful in getting it to production. Porsche experimented with a dual-clutch gearbox in the 1960s, shelved it due to persistent problems with rough shifting, and then resurrected it in the 1970s for a German government project. Real progress had to wait until Porsche took it to the racetrack in the 1980s, although the company always hoped that the technology would trickle down to production cars.
The company's racing engineers figured that no-lift shifts could help reduce turbo lag, and so they tested the gearbox, called PDK, in a retired Group C 956 in 1983. The setup was similar to a modern dual-clutch transmission, but there was a manual clutch pedal for pulling away from a stop. Early problems included oil leaks and clutch issues. A PDK was first used in public during practice at a Group C race at Kyalami in South Africa, but it was decided that the gearbox wasn't ready for prime time, and it wasn't used for the race.
Testing continued in 1984. The goal was to improve reliability and shift speed and to reduce the weight of the gearbox, which at the time added some ninety pounds to the back of the car. The system was used for the first time in a race that year at Imola, but it lasted only two laps before suffering hydraulic issues.
By 1985, Porsche regularly campaigned a car with PDK as its third entry in Group C races. Wins were elusive, but durability improved.
Porsche frequently raced cars with PDK in 1986, except during the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to dependability concerns. At that point, the transmission carried about a one percent advantage in lap times despite its weight penalty. The automaker finally got what it wanted - a PDK win - at Monza, helped by the fact that the race was only 365 kilometers (227 miles) instead of the usual 1000 kilometers (621 miles). Development of the gearbox continued, and the weight disadvantage eventually was reduced to less than fifty pounds. Reliability still affected results, however.
PDK was no longer a priority for Porsche after it withdrew from Group C in 1987. The far less sophisticated Tiptronic automatic debuted in the 1990 911 Carrera 2. Now, twenty-five years after Porsche got serious about dual-clutch technology, customers finally can enjoy what the company always hoped for - a PDK transmission in a road car.
Q&A: Derek Bell Former Porsche factory driver
0809 07 Z+derek Bell+former Porsche Factory Driver
Talk about your experiences with PDK in Group C racing.
Porsche was always developing something new, so you had to be prepared for that. I believe I first ran it at a test at Paul Ricard. The principle was brilliant; we picked up time, without a doubt. But it didn't often happen the way it was supposed to. It added a lot of extra weight. I have to say, it felt like you had a trailer on the back. A failure nearly cost me the world championship in 1986. But Porsche would stick to something, because that's what they had to do.
Are you surprised to see PDK on a road car today?
Nothing is a surprise with Porsche. They have such a good group of engineers who do things for good reasons. I'm sure it also doesn't add a ton of weight. Sure, it's twenty-some years down the road, but they haven't been sitting on their thumbs.
0808 01 Pl+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet+rear View
0808 01 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet+rear View
The Porsche 911 is a lot like a Coke bottle. (Follow me on this one, please.) Think about it: Both have shapely, wider-at-the-hips figures. Both have evolved over the years for purposes of weight savings and to stay fresh. And, when opened up, both provide a distinctive sensory experience.
That Coke-bottle shape is nowhere more evident than on the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S, the all-wheel-drive variants of Porsche's iconic sports car. We recently spent some time with both models in the middle of a heat wave in Germany. We cracked open multiple bottles of the sweet brown stuff to help keep cool. And, as luck would have it, Porsche handed us the keys to a convertible.
A timeless design.
0808 08 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe+front Three Quarter View
You won't mistake the newest 911 for anything but a rear-engine Porsche, but there have been some styling changes to help differentiate the revised 997-series 911 from the 2005-2007 models. Headlights are now bi-xenon units and are complemented by LED daytime running lights that sit below them in the front fascia. The taillights make use of LEDs as well and dip down further into the rear fascia. Carrera 4 and 4S cars also get a red reflective band that spans the gap between the taillights - this is supposed to highlight their 1.73-inch-wider rear and is the only way to quickly discern the new all-wheel-drive cars from the old, or from any other 911 on the road for that matter.
It's got gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
0808 05 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet+rear Three Quarter View
The latest version of Porsche Communication Management loses some hard buttons in favor of a larger, touchscreen display. It adds all-important iPod connectivity and can also talk to USB devices or accept an analog signal through its auxiliary jack. The menu structure is logical and easy to use - there's no special new-generation interface and controller to learn as with systems from the other German manufacturers. We like having the ability to scroll quickly through a long list of albums or artists with the swipe of a finger instead of twirling a knob repeatedly to reach the end of the alphabet. Voice control allows the driver to speak commands for the stereo as well as the optional navigation system and phone modules.
A different kind of sound system.
0808 12 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4+audio System
But who needs a fancy audio system when there's such a nice sound coming from the rear of the car? The two new flat-six engines introduced recently in the rear-wheel-drive Carreras also find their way to the business ends of the 4 and 4S models. Their displacements - 3.6 liters for the 4, 3.8 liters for the 4S - are about all that stays the same from the last cars. Power and fuel economy are both increased thanks to the addition of direct fuel injection. The Carrera 4 engine now makes 20 hp more for a total of 345 hp, while the 4S puts down 385 hp, or 30 hp more than its predecessor. The thirstiest of the lot, the Carrera 4S cabriolet, still manages a combined 21 mpg. And the new powerplants sound as good as ever.
0808 14 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4+pDK
The newfound power can still be fed through a six-speed manual that has been strengthened for the engines' higher outputs. The big transmission news, however, is Porsche's Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (double-clutch gearbox) that replaces the old Tiptronic S automatic. PDK has two more forward ratios - seven versus the Tiptronic's five - and cuts 0-to-62-mph times by 0.8 second compared with Tiptronic-equipped Carrera 4 and 4S predecessors. It's available as a $4080 option.
In normal mode, shifts are heard and not felt. The transmission takes into account a variety of factors to ensure that the correct gear is selected - and the appropriate subsequent gear is pre-selected by the other clutch - at all times. Drivers can also change gears manually either by using the steering wheel-mounted paddles or the console shift lever. (Some feel that the push forward for upshift, pull backward for downshift layout is backward and counterintuitive. Porsche chose to keep things consistent with the Tiptronic's layout for historical reasons, and its engineers believe owners will easily learn the system.) Regardless of how you shift it, PDK is one of the best dual-clutch gearboxes we've experienced.
0808 09 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe+front Three Quarter View
Cars equipped with the Sport Chrono Package Plus allow drivers to choose three different shift aggressiveness levels - Normal, Sport, and Sportplus. Pressing the Sportplus button is the first step toward initiating the launch control sequence on PDK cars; standing on the brake and stabbing the throttle to the floor tells the engine to rev to 6500 rpm, and releasing the brake sends the message to the transmission and new all-wheel-drive system to let the right things slip and grip, allowing the quickest possible launch. When Launch Control is employed, 0.2 second is knocked off of 0-to-62-mph times across the board, with the Carrera 4S coupe leading the way with a time of 4.3 seconds.
All systems go.
0808 13 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4+brakes
We got the chance to experience the techno-wizardry that is Launch Control on a former Russian airstrip (now part of the Michelin Drive Center in Groß Dölln, Germany) where we reached a speed of 255.1 km/h (158.5 mph) over a distance of 1.7 km (1.1 miles) before hitting the brakes for a full emergency stop. The launch was impressive, to say the least, and we appreciated the simple launch procedure. We were also impressed that the same car went up and down the strip about ten times in a row without breaking a sweat.
Aiding Launch Control in its task of catapulting the 911 out of the gate is the new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Porsche Traction Management was taken directly from the 911 Turbo and replaces the viscous coupling that was in the previous Carrera 4 and 4S. The system can vary the torque split front-to-rear in any ratio within 0.1 second and is only limited by the front axle's 295-lb-ft maximum. It uses lots of signals - like steering angle, wheel slip, and lateral and longitudinal acceleration - and, as we discovered on a special low-mu track, does a superb job of shuttling power around to make any driver look like a hero, even on a slippery surface. As long as the driver stays in the throttle, the car will also avoid the need for the stability program to intervene by way of the brakes.
As stable as ever.
0808 11 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet+2009 Porsche 911 4 Coupe
Porsche continues to offer two suspensions on the 911, and both have been retuned for this update. A passive suspension is standard on the Carrera 4, while the Porsche Active Suspension Management system is included on Carrera 4S and optional on the base car. New for 2009 is a PASM sport suspension that offers stiffer springs and lowers ride height by 0.8 inch.
Big, fade-free brakes are still part of the package as well. Brake discs on both the 4 and 4S now measure 13 inches in diameter at all four corners, while the optional carbon-ceramic discs measure 13.8 inches across. The carbon ceramics weigh about half as much as their metal counterparts and wear less, which helps reduce brake dust. And their four- and six-piston calipers are painted mustard yellow. Our best test of the brakes came when it was time to haul a Carrera 4S coupe from 158 mph to zero after the aforementioned Launch Control run.
0808 15 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4+slippery Slalom
Porsche Stability Management communicates with some of the other P-acronyms, including PTM and PASM, to help keep the 911 going down the road. We saw this partnership in action on a wet slalom where we first went through with everything on, then again with PSM turned off (not recommended unless you've got plenty of room to spin). PSM certainly did its job, letting us get through the slippery slalom with confidence and decent speed.
Can't beat the real thing.
Accept no imitators. The 911, in its latest iteration, is the real thing. If all-wheel-drive performance is what you want, there aren't too many options this side of an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Gallardo. And that's like replacing a Coke with a Red Bull or an espresso; the 4 and 4S are just much more livable. We'd rather have a 911 and a smile.
2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet
Base Price (coupe/cabriolet): $82,650/$93,250
Engine: 3.6-liter DOHC 24-valve flat-six
Horsepower: 345 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 287 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automated manual
Drive: All-wheel
L x W x H: 174.6/72.9/51.6 in
Cargo capacity: 3.7 cu ft
Curb Weight (coupe/cabriolet): 3241/3418 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 19/28 mpg (est.)
2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet
Base Price (coupe/cabriolet): $93,250/$103,850
Engine: 3.8-liter DOHC 24-valve flat-six
Horsepower: 385 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automated manual
Drive: All-wheel
L x W x H: 174.6/72.9/51.6 in
Cargo capacity: 3.7 cu ft
Curb Weight (coupe.cabriolet): 3263/3450 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 18/27 mpg (est.)
0806 01 Pl+2009 Porsche 911+front Three Quarter View
0806 01 Z+2009 Porsche 911+front Three Quarter View
First of all, you should know that the changes to the 2009 Porsche 911 aren't just skin deep. In addition to the obvious changes (revised front and rear fascias and lighting), Porsche is debuting a brand-new family of engines, a first-ever dual-clutch transmission, updated brakes and suspension, and a new touch-screen infotainment system.
The face-lift consists of new wheels (eighteen-inch wheels are now standard for the base 911 Carrera, while the Carrera S gets nineteens), side mirrors, and fascias. The revised front bumper houses six-LED daytime running lights, and the headlights (now standard HID, or high-intensity discharge) swivel in corners. Each of the new, pointier taillights illuminates brightly thanks to the help of 60 LEDs and one standard filament bulb (for the reverse light). New, larger side-view mirrors conform to forthcoming regulations.
0806 01 Z+2009 Porsche 911+communication Management System
Inside the 2009 Porsche is the third generation of Porsche Communication Management, which combines audio and navigation functions. The enlarged screen now is touch-sensitive, and a revised menu structure vastly reduces the complexity of use. The system also features an auxiliary input jack, a USB input jack, and an iPod jack. The iPod integration works better than most, allowing quick searches through the familiar Artist, Album, or Track parameters.
Also available for the first time are seat coolers, which blow cool air through perforations in the leather seat covers. The system works almost immediately and cools far better than any other system we've tried - but it also makes more noise than any other. And in addition to the requisite heated seats (the 911 seems very concerned with the temperature of your butt), a heated steering wheel is also available.
But enough about the toys - the most important changes to the 911 are in the driveline. Base 911s receive, as before, a 3.6-liter flat-six. The all-new boxer is part of a new family of engines that is lighter and smaller than the old engines, with a lower center of gravity and featuring a host of changes to improve power and efficiency, chiefly direct injection. The 3.6-liter produces 20 hp more than last year's 3.6, for a total of 345 hp and 287 lb-ft of torque.
0806 03 Z+2009 Porsche 911+family
Carrera S models come with a 3.8-liter flat-six, also from the new engine family. It produces 30 more horsepower than last year's 3.8: 385 in total, with 310 lb-ft of torque. The 3.8-liter now surpasses the magic 100hp/liter mark, making it one of the highest specific-output normally aspirated engines on sale today.
Both engines now rev to 7500 (instead of their predecessors' 7300-rpm redline), and they weigh 12 pounds less. The compression ratio has been raised to 12.5:1.
Both engines are available with either a six-speed manual transmission or the all-new, seven-speed PDK. PDK stands for Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or Porsche Double Clutch Transmission. Developed jointly with the German supplier ZF, the transmission replaces the ancient five-speed Tiptronic transmission, and boy does it ever. Combined with the additional power from the new engines, PDK-equipped cars will accelerate to 62 mph a full second faster than last year's Tiptronic-equipped models. And when you're talking about a drop from 5.3 seconds to 4.3 seconds (Carrera S with Sports Chrono Plus package), that's a huge difference.
0806 02 Z+2009 Porsche 911+front Three Quarter View
The PDK is the best double-clutch transmission in the business. Someone has finally eclipsed Volkswagen's DSG in terms of off-the-line clutch takeup, shift smoothness, and versatility. The PDK does a commendable job of mimicking a torque converter automatic's gentle creeping off the line and yet engages smoothly and positively on aggressive launches-with minimal clutch slip. And cars equipped with the Sports Chrono Plus package have a launch-control program that dumps the clutch automatically from 6500 rpm, ensuring that even your grandmother can perform the perfect hole shot.
The PDK can be used either in automatic or manual mode. In either case, the driver can request a gear change using paddles on the steering wheel (push forward for upshift or pull back for downshift) or the center console shifter. In either mode, shifts are so smooth they're barely perceptible. On cars equipped with the Sports Chrono Plus package, the PDK offers two additional modes, Sport and Sport Plus. The Sport mode firms up shifts (and raises shift points in automatic mode), and the handoff from one clutch to the other is much more quick, but is also much less smooth. Shifts are never jarring, however, and occur lightning fast in response to a manual request. In Sport Plus mode, which locks out seventh gear, shifts are similar to the Sport mode at moderate revs and throttle openings, but much harder at full load. They're not as quite as brutal as the BMW M3's M-DCT in its most aggressive mode, which helps keep the 911's tail planted should the driver need to change gears in a corner.
0806 04 Z+2009 Porsche 911+pDK Shifter
In all manual modes, the PDK will hold revs until the redline and won't downshift unnecessarily (unless the engine speed is too low). However, this logic is overridden by a discreet Kick-Down switch at the bottom of the accelerator pedal travel. Activate the switch, and the PDK will not only downshift immediately to the lowest possible gear, it will upshift at redline as long as you hold it down. This is an important safety feature, as it allows for instantaneous maximum acceleration whenever the driver needs it.
Not only is PDK quicker than the old Tiptronic torque-converter automatic, it's quicker even than the new car equipped with the six-speed manual transmission: 0.2 second quicker to 62 mph for non-Sports Chrono cars and 0.4 second faster with the Sports Chrono option.
If you're reading this thinking that the new 911's performance sounds great, but gasoline is suddenly too expensive to enjoy it, take solace in the fact that the new engine is almost eight percent more efficient than the old one, and the PDK itself provides a thirteen percent fuel economy benefit over the old Tiptronic. That means that while the 911's 0-to-60-mph times have dropped by twenty percent, its fuel economy has increased almost twenty percent as well.
0806 03 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet+rear Three Quarter View
That's having your cake, taking a big bite of it, and smearing the leftovers on the windshield of a Toyota Prius you're flying past. Highway cruising is especially efficient, as the PDK is geared to deliver top speed in sixth gear and to use seventh as a long overdrive. A big drop in gear ratio between sixth and seventh gives the 911 long interstate legs: At 80 mph, the PDK-equipped 911's engine is turning only 2250 rpm - compared with 3150 in the Tiptronic's top gear. Revised brakes feature rotors that now measure fifteen inches (380 mm) all around, and Porsche revised the dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars for all of the new 911s.
Porsche increased the prices: the base 2009 911 Carrera coupe now retails for $75,600; the Carrera S for $86,200. PDK is a $4080 option, and convertible models add $7000 to the Carrera's price and $10,600 to the Carrera S's sticker. Those are substantial price increases over the 2008 models, but what looks like a mild face-lift hides a host of improvements that makes the 2009 Porsche 911 the best 911 ever. And Porsche has a habit of doing that - it's the continual incremental improvements to its rear-engined 911 that has made it one of the best sports cars in the world.
0909 07 Pl+2010 Porsche 911 Turbo+front And Rear View
0909 07 Z+2010 Porsche 911 Turbo+front And Rear View
0908 01 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+profile View
Well, this is about as good as it gets. I recently wrote quite a bit about the time I spent in a Porsche 911 C4S, and I'm tempted to repeat it all here. The biggest difference between this Carrera S and the Carrera 4S (other than all-wheel-drive, obviously) is the quaint six-speed manual transmission that routes power to the rear wheels.
0908 01 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+profile View
God, I love the smell of a new Porsche! I drove the 911 back from Detroit Metro airport, exclusively on I-94, but I still can't resist writing a few words about this glorious automobile. I've driven several 911s before, but each new experience is a memorable and reaffirming occasion. And as Phil suggests, this car is particularly fetching, with its deep red paint, gorgeous tan interior, slick six-speed manual, burbling S-spec flat six, and new-for-2010 LED front running lights.
0908 07 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+front Interior
I have been driving 911s for 29 years now, and every one is a thrill. As we wrote last year, each iteration of a 911 is an All-Star, a celebration unbridled of driving joy. I even did the One Lap of America event in a 911, with longtime Porsche racer Hurley Haywood as my copilot. When I look at the little scooped vestigial backseats of a 911, I still think that's where your helmets go. I don't know why I have yet to own one, but it better be soon. They aren't getting any less expensive.
0908 12 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+front Three Quarter View
This was my first time behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 as I missed the chance at the 4S PDK we had a few weeks earlier. Judging by my fellow staffers comments, it sounds like I chose the right one to drive.
0908 05 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+rear Three Quarter View
I hate to be predictable, but I don't have any complaints about this 911. It is a delight get behind the wheel of a car that performs so well and has such a rich personality. The howling engine begs you to take it to redline in every gear. The reasonable side of my brain was in a constant fight with the emotional half to keep my speed in check. Yes, the throws of the six-speed transmission are a bit long, but the effort and feel in each shift is perfect. The ride is perfectly tuned to improve handling, but is never harsh.
0908 08 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+side View
This rear-wheel-drive 911 definitely has more character than the PDK-equipped 4S we sampled a few weeks ago. Take away the computer controlled clutches and differential, and it suddenly becomes much easier to appreciate the 911 for what it is: a painstakingly updated classic car. The tan leather interior on this Carrera S oozes with old world charm, and the ruby red metallic paint draws stares without seeming like it's trying to draw stares. Yes, this is a car I would not mind being seen in all the time.
0908 02 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+front Three Quarter View
2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S
0908 10 Z+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+front Three Quarter View
0906 05 Pl+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+front Three Quarters View
0906 05 Z+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+front Three Quarters View
0906 19 Z+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+rear Three Quarters View
0906 10 Z+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+front Passenger Interior
0906 13 Z+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+emblem
0906 08 Z+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+rear View
0906 21 Z+2009 Porsche Carrera 4S+side View
Switzer Performance, an Ohio-based tuning company, has come up with a kit that cranks 800 hp out of a 2009 Porsche 911 GT2 (997) on 93 octane pump gas.
Porsche’s 2009 911 GT2 is a monster, but for those of you who think 530-hp isn’t enough, Wimmer Renssporttechnik introduced a modified 911 GT2 with 680 hp.

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2009 Porsche 911
2009 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6
18 MPG City | 25 MPG Hwy
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18 MPG City | 25 MPG Hwy
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15 MPG City | 22 MPG Hwy
2009 Porsche 911
2009 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6
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2009 Porsche 911
2009 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
2009 Porsche 911
2009 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6

2009 Porsche 911 Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.6L H6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
25 MPG
345 hp @ 6500rpm
288 ft lb of torque @ 4400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 120 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Tested
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash

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