2014 Porsche 911

Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6 man trans

2014 porsche 911 Reviews and News

2015 Porsche 911 Targa Front Three Quarters In Motion 03
When the Porsche 911 Targa debuted as a 1967 model, it was an attempt to offer open-air driving in the face of what Porsche feared was a U.S. regulatory environment that would soon outlaw convertibles. The first Targa had a lift-off top and a zip-out plastic rear window. The plastic rear window was soon replaced with a wraparound piece of glass, and that Targa formula remained the same through the first three generations of 911. For a long time, the Targa was the only open-topped 911, and during that period it accounted for some 40 percent of 911 sales. It was so successful the word “targa” came to be used to describe any car with a lift-off top, although Porsche hates it when people do that.
A real 911 convertible finally arrived in 1982, and at that moment, the Targa’s reason for being largely evaporated, but Porsche continued with the model anyway. With the 993-chassis (1993) 911, the Targa’s roof concept evolved from a lift-off top panel to a glorified, oversized sunroof, and the take rate further declined. By the time of the recently departed, 997-generation cars, the Targa accounted for only seven percent of sales.

No Heavy Lifting

For Porsche, the solution was to go “back to the roots,” as they say in Germany, but in a high-tech way. After years of Targa styling that looked like a 911 coupe that was a little off, Porsche wanted to resurrect its classic design, but the company feared that owners would not want to get out of the car, lift off the roof panel, and stow it in the trunk. (One wonders what owners of the Corvette coupe, which has a standard targa—err, lift-off top panel, would think of that notion.) The other issue was, in the words of 911 product line director Dr. Erhard Mossle, “that the manual solution was a little bit old-fashioned.”
To get the old-school look without that old-fashioned work, the process is automated. The rear window and the body panel it sits on tilt up and rearward; meanwhile, the top, which like the Cabriolet’s consists of fabric-covered magnesium panels, moves backward over the brushed aluminum hoop, folds in on itself, and tucks into a tray at the base of the rear glass. The rear window and body panel then return to position. Unlike the Cabriolet, whose power top can be raised or lowered while on the move, the Targa must be stationary to perform its mechanical ballet. The whole operation takes nineteen seconds.

Targa 4 Or 4S

As with the 997, the Targa is available with four-wheel drive only, as buyers of an all-weather convertible evidently like the all-weather capability of four-wheel drive. That means that all Targas will have the wide-hipped body of all four-wheel-drive 911s. For the Targa, two engines are offered: the 350-hp 3.4-liter in the Targa 4 and the 400-hp 3.8-liter in the Targa 4 S. Each has a choice of seven-speed manual or seven-speed PDK (dual-clutch) gearboxes.
The Targa adds 88 pounds compared with the Cabriolet, or 242 pounds versus the coupe. 0-to-60-mph times are comparable to (within 0.1 second of) the former, ranging from 5.0 seconds (Targa 4, manual or PDK) to 4.2 seconds (Targa 4S, with PDK and Sport Chrono). Our time with the Targa in southern Italy was confined to the 4S. The 4S was an absolute monster passing the (much slower) local traffic on the region’s narrow two-lane roads. Driving with the top stowed, we loved the unfiltered sound of Porsche’s charismatic flat six, particularly with the optional sport exhaust engaged. We found that buffeting wasn’t bad—even approaching 100 mph. There is a pop-up wind deflector bar on the windshield header, which Porsche claims reduces buffeting between 60 and 90 kph (37 – 58 mph). We did spend some time at those lower speeds but felt no difference with the deflector deployed; it does, however, add noticeably to wind noise. With the roof in place, the Targa seemed as quiet as a coupe. The roof has a cloth headliner, and none of the mechanisms are visible.

The Sensualist's Choice

The Porsche 911 Targa S includes PASM, Porsche’s active suspension (which is optional on the base car). It rolls on twenty-inch wheels, versus the Targa 4’s nineteens. On these wide, low-profile tires, the ride is stiff on patched, lumpy pavement, but we never saw much in the way of cowl shake. As on other 911s, cornering is phenomenal and the steering is just about the best there is. Hardcore Porsche-philes may dismiss the Targa for its extra pounds or its fractions-of-a-second-slower 0-to-60-mph times, but sensualists will appreciate the way its open-air capability enhances the 911 experience.
Initially, we said that the Targa is more than a sunroof and less than a convertible. That’s true if you’re looking at sticker prices, and it’s also true if you’re quantifying the open space above your head. Once style enters the equation, however, the brushed-aluminum roll bar, the black canvas top, and the dramatic wraparound rear glass mean that, compared with either the coupe or the Cabriolet, this new Targa is actually more.

2014 Porsche 911 Targa

On sale: Summer 2014
Base Price: $102,595/$117,195 (Targa 4/Targa 4S)
Engines: 3.4-liter flat six, 350 hp @ 7400 rpm, 287 lb-ft @ 5600 rpm; 3.8-liter flat six, 400 hp @ 7400 rpm, 325 lb-ft @ 5600 rpm
Transmissions: 7-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drive: Four-wheel
Wheels F/R: 8.5 x 19 in, 11 x 19 in (Targa 4); 8.5 x 20 in, 11 x 20 in (Targa 4S)
Tires F/R: 235/40ZR19, 295/35ZR19 (Targa 4); 245/35ZR20, 305/30ZR20 (Targa 4S)
Curb Weight: 3395–3472 lb
EPA Mileage: N/A
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Front Right View
Bad Driburg, Germany -- Your first hour in the new Porsche 911 Turbo is on narrow lanes threading through villages, not exactly prime stuff for motoring, and you leave the car in sport mode. Your first thought? The Porsche is a bit cold, rather distant. Firing over a stretch of rolling hills between settlements, the instant-on speed is obvious, but there’s none of the flat-six rasp of a naturally aspirated Carrera -- and certainly none of attack-wasp fury of the GT3. Instead, the sound of the turbos blows through the cabin in a hushed wave.
Your hand touches the Sport Plus button and the car opens a sleepy eye. Now it’s awake, all systems fully cocked, as if to ask, “You serious about this?” No, actually. You’re heading to a racetrack, a far better place to prod the 520 horsepower to full attention.

Welcome to Blister Berg

You pull into the gates of the Blister Berg Drive Resort, a new facility upon the grounds of a former military ammunition depot. It was created with input from Walter Röhrl, WRC champion and Porsche advisor, who’s a mild-mannered Jekyll until he sets foot in a sports car, when the maniacal tire-shredding Hyde appears.
The first recce lap, playing lead-and-follow with a junior Porsche racecar driver and two other colleagues, tells you nothing about the Porsche. No, this is simply a game of memory, gauging the fast turns and blind drops (yes, you’re actually turning as you descend into a deep gulley). The back straight has a sizeable whoop-de-do as you reach critical speed (will there be air?). And the track has two off-camber, uphill blind corners. Each demand that you turn just as the car goes light and the pavement falls away. Spirit and car willing, you can actually go flat-out through both. Diabolical.

All the technology Porsche can muster

After four laps and you’ve got some sense of the track and you pit, making your way to Porsche’s technical presentation. You already know what makes the car tick: the twin-turbo, 3.8-liter flat six, good for 487 lb-ft of torque starting at 1950 rpm. Good god, but the Turbo S is also here, with another 40 hp (560 total, at 6500 rpm) and 516 lb-ft at 2100 rpm
The product managers talk about the NASA-worthy suite of systems engineered to keep the rear-engine rocket pointed straight. Just imagine that kind of power in an old-school 911 -- how easy it would be to come into a corner too hot with 500-plus hp pushing you and, panic-stricken, suddenly lifting off. It would not be a good scene.
So Porsche brings to bear all manner of technology. The latest all-wheel-drive system is now coupled with active rear-wheel steering, which can counter-steer the back tires up to 2.8 degrees for a shorter turning radius (a dandy 34.8 feet) or 1.5 degrees in sync with the front wheels at high speeds. There’s also an optional active anti-roll bar and dynamic engine mounts.
One of the neatest bits of engineering is an adaptive front spoiler made of resilient rubber. When the car is turned off, it hides under the nose. Engage sport and an air bladder pushes it partway out. In Sport Plus, and the spoiler fully deploys, redirecting air flow and lessening underbody lift. (A warning on the digital screen tells the driver that this also decreases front clearance.)

Guided by the numbers

The specs on both models are suitably supercar: 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and 2.9 in the Turbo S. Top speeds are 196 and 198 mph.
But this is the Turbo’s conundrum: It isn’t the driver’s 911. Few live in the wide-open spaces in which to exploit the power, and even fewer will ever track this car. With starting prices of $143,800 and $181,100, the Turbo and Turbo S attract those drawn to the top of the price pyramid, which isn’t necessarily where you find the ultimate 911.
Of course, from a style perspective, there’s no arguing that the Turbo has always looked the most badass of the 911s, with the everpresent wing and exaggerated dimensions. The latest generation is wider than ever; gaining more than an inch of breadth compared to a new Carrera 4. The rear of the body is 3.3 inches wider than the front. The wheelbase increases by 3.9 inches.

Launching and learning

Before heading back onto the track, you’re pointed toward a parking-lot autocross to test out the brakes and launch control. With Sports Plus engaged, it’s an easy process. Bring up the revs, a launch-control light flashes on and then release the brake. And….phew. The speed is alarming, Veyron-esque. If, in fact, if the Turbo is a one-trick pony, the Usain-Bolt blast is almost worth the outlay of cash.
The track finally reopens. You rush out and… your first laps go poorly. You’re trying to drive the Turbo like a regular 911, on the traditional racing line, but you’re too aggressive on the gas, getting the car out of shape. The 911 pushes wide and you’re missing apexes. You snap onto the gas to catch up to the car in front of you and the process repeats itself. Damn those turbos.
Streaking onto the front straight in anger, you’re riding hard on the back of a Turbo S, which comes standard with carbon-ceramic brakes. Your more-mortal stoppers (14.96-inch rotors front and back) are simply not commensurate. The S driver brakes hard and you change your line, quickly, to avoid a bad situation.
A foreign journalist goes off the track in your rear-view, spitting up dust, and the Porsche instructor pulls into the pits. What a mess.

Putting it all together

You shamelessly steal someone else’s Turbo S model -- you want those carbon-ceramics -- and jump right back into the lineup. This time you’ll concentrate on only one thing: Judicious use of the throttle.
Things start going right. The tricks of the track become more clear, as do the Turbo’s idiosyncrasies. It likes to move around, four-wheel slides at speed, and as you get comfortable with it, trust in the car, you use it to your advantage. Get it turned early, already threading in the gas as you apex. You’re at full blast by the time the steering wheel is straight.
Hell, you’re actually sliding at triple digit speeds and feeling confident about it. Not that you’re just that good, but that all those systems are working for you, engineered not to shut you down, but to keep the car screaming along.
Last laps of the day, and you’re running with a crew of like-minded colleagues. These final laps are serious. A cavalcade of Turbos and Turbo S’s blinding down the Blister Berg, a concert of fast.
The Turbo isn’t the best 911 to drive, either on windy roads or the track. But it is a 911 for god’s sake, and the spirit is definitely willing.

2014 Porsche Turbo and Turbo S

Base Price: $143,800 and $181,100
As Tested: $170,080, $188,730
Engine: Twin-turbo, 3.8-liter six-cylinder
Horsepower: 520 hp @ 6000 rpm, 560 hp @ 6500
Torque: 487 lb-ft @ 1950-5000 rpm, 516 lb-ft @ 2100
Transmission: 7-speed PDK double-clutch
Drive: All-wheel-drive
L x W x H: 177.4 X 77.9 (with mirrors) X 51 in.
Curb Weight: 3516 lb, 3538 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 17/24 mpg
Porsche 911 GT3 Front Left View 7
"The real question will be whether the new GT3 feels alive like the old one, and whether it has the same kind of driver involvement. If the new car allows me to drive harder in the corners, I'll love that. But if it's too distilled unless you're at 10/10s, maybe not." That's what a Porsche collector named Darren told us as we drove his 2011 911 GT3 RS 4.0 shortly before heading to Germany for the launch of the new GT3.
Darren is a Porsche guy. He's owned several iterations of the 911 GT3 and also has a Carrera GT that he purchased new. He regularly runs his Porsches hard at track days. Darren is always looking for what's coming next from Porsche. He's the type of buyer that Porsche thinks about when they develop a new 911 GT3.
It's safe to say that his questions about the new GT3 are widely shared. The latest, 991-based 911 GT3 is sea change for this model, and Porsche forums went berserk as technical details trickled out earlier this year. A dual-clutch PDK gearbox, rear-wheel steering, and electric power steering on a GT3? How dare they? Andreas Preuninger, head of the GT3 program, kept telling those who questioned the logic of these new features: "Shut up and drive the car."
He was right. Exploring the 9000-rpm redline and pushing the GT3 through the high-speed corners in the mountains outside Stuttgart was all it took to realize that the GT3 is one of the most impressive cars on the planet when pushed hard. The direct-injection, 3.8-liter flat six is visceral, flexible, and extremely rewarding in the upper reaches of the tachometer. The sound is addicting and the performance is truly staggering. Porsche quotes a 0-60 mph time of only 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph. On the twisting and damp mountain roads, we saw an effortless 160 mph. There is no doubt that Darren would really like this car.
Ironically, much of this brilliance is due to Porsche's impressive integration of the technologies that lit up the forums. The GT3-specifc PDK is without a doubt the best dual-clutch gearbox on the market. The closely stacked gear ratios and shorter final drive perfectly match the 475-hp engine. The shift speeds are insanely quick and the gearbox gives you tons of feedback when driving fast. It doesn't matter if you are using the unique paddle-neutral setup -- pulling both paddles to select neutral and then releasing for instant, glorious burnouts -- or banging off an upshift while crossed-up in a lovely drift. The gearbox always does what you want, when you want. It's that good.
The GT3 also sets a new benchmark for electric power steering systems. The rear-wheel steering helps to give the GT3 incredible nimbleness at low speeds, while adding stability at higher speeds. You don't actually feel the rear-wheel steering doing its job -- it just works. The resulting balance is truly astounding. The biggest specific change in the handling dynamics compared to the earlier GT3s is the insane amount of front-end grip. In the older cars, you had to really mind the front tires and be patient getting back on the power exiting a corner. That's no longer the case with the new GT3. Plant the throttle early and the car just tucks and rockets out of the corners.
The new electronic rear differential is also a key part to this cornering attitude. For example, the computer clamps down the differential under braking for increased stability then progressively unlocks the diff as you wind on more steering lock, minimizing understeer and helping the GT3 turn through the corner. Powering out of a bend, torque is instantly juggled between the rear wheels. A perfectly programmed stability control system assists in this torque dance, especially in low-traction situations. The systems all work brilliantly together, especially in the damp conditions we met in Germany.
So what's not to like? That's the big question. While extremely good overall, the new electric steering system filters out that last bit of feedback at lower speeds compared to the old hydraulic system. A bigger issue is the PDK gearbox, at least for the purist. 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 also miss the fact that previous GT3 models felt truly special at all speeds, not just when pushed. And the unfortunate truth is that you can't drive the GT3 on the roads in America as hard as we drove it on the roads in Germany.
Still, there is no doubt that Porsche hit the nail on the head in nearly all areas with the latest GT3. The impressive integration of the new technology, though, has changed where the car fits in the market. Previously, the GT3 was a niche, focused 911 for the hardcore Porsche nuts; it's now a Ferrari 458 or McLaren MP4-12C killer -- it's that good. And at $131,350, it's about half the price of the Italian and the Brit. It's also not that much more than a 911 Carrera S, which now starts at $99,850.
While we still pine for a manual gearbox and that last bit of purity in the new GT3, there is no doubt that this is an absolutely fantastic automobile. Darren now has a big decision to make.
Optioning the 911 GT3
A little help negotiating the order book.
As with any Porsche, the options list for the 911 GT3 is extensive, and it pays to study it all in detail before ordering. Here are our recommendations for spec based upon our experience with the car, studying the options list, and speaking with multiple Porsche engineers in Germany:
Andreas Preuninger, head of the GT3 program at Porsche, told us that the PCCB carbon ceramic brake setup is the most important option to add to the car. These brakes bump the front rotor size from 380 mm to 410 mm -- and the parts are shared with the 918 Spyder. The increased steering precision and damper control due to the near-40 pounds savings in unsprung weight easily justifies the $9210 cost, in the opinion of Preuninger. Additionally, the PCCB setup has excellent wear characteristics on the road. Still, PCCB components wear at about the same rate as the standard steel setup during heavy track use. The high cost of PCCB pad and rotor replacement is a matter of consideration for a small number of Porsche owners. Due to this, Porsche offers a unique steel rotor and a brake pad setup for PCCB-optioned cars, available through the parts department at Porsche dealerships. Owners can then fit this steel setup to their GT3 for track days, helping keep the costs of wear items in check. Again, this setup is for owners who drive their cars very hard at the track and on a regular basis. Most owners do not need to bother with this setup but the option is there for the few that do. It's impressive that Porsche thinks about details like this.
-The GT3 come standard with center-lock 20-inch forged aluminum wheels (20" x 9" front and 20" x 12" rear). While there is only one wheel design offered, they are available in three colors. Standard is a gorgeous titanium grey, which was fitted to nearly all the press cars in Germany. Buyers can opt for traditional silver-painted wheels ($325), which are also very nice. The optional $685 black wheels are, unfortunately, a high-gloss setup and in our (and a few Porsche engineers') opinion, not a good cosmetic fit for the GT3.
-While you can't specify what tires are fitted to the GT3 from the factory, we learned some details about each of the two offerings from Porsche. This info will help owners with tire decisions when it comes time to fit new rubber. As far as sizes, the front tire is a 245/35YR-20 and the rear is a 305/30YR-20. The Michelin offering is the new Pilot Sport Cup 2 (which is also fitted to the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series). It's the newest iteration of Michelin's most focused road tire and it offers loads of dry-weather grip, combined with far better wet-weather characteristics than the old Pilot Sport Cup tire, which was used on the 997-generation 911 GT3. Porsche said that around 80% of cars will be fitted with the Michelin tire from the factory. The other tire offered on the GT3 is the Dunlop Sport Maxx Race (seen also on the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series models equipped with the track package). This tire trades a very small amount of ultimate grip and endurance at the track for slightly better wet weather handling. Porsche assures us that the differences are very minor. Our test car in Germany was fitted with the Michelin tire. The feedback and dry grip were astonishing. The tire also performed flawlessly in damp conditions. The only time where you sensed the limitations of such a focused, ultra-high performance tire was when dealing with deep, standing water. There just isn't enough tread-depth to deal with large puddles. It's a perfectly acceptable tradeoff given the grip offered at all other times.
-At launch, U.S. cars are offering two seats and the Europeans can choose from three different seats. The optional carbon fiber sport bucket seats that graced the majority of cars on the German press event are not available in the USA. They are aggressive and very similar to the seats that were offered in the USA in the later 997-generation cars like the 911 GT2 and GT3 4.0. This newest iteration of that seat unfortunately doesn't meet U.S. safety regulations, due to the design of the side airbags. Luckily, purists looking for a hardcore seat aren't left out in the cold. Porsche is developing a new sport seat for worldwide sales. Look for those to be added to the U.S. options list within the next six months. The seat will be offered in both the GT3 and the new 911 Turbo. It does not have a folding backrest like the outgoing seat -- nice for access to the rear storage area -- but it will offer power height adjustment. When we questioned Porsche regarding the weight of the power mechanism, they told us that the setup is as light or lighter than a manual setup due to the advancements in brushless electric motors. Keep in mind that these optional seats have a fixed backrest and offer far less adjustability compared to the standard sport seats plus or the optional $2635 adaptive sport seats plus. Figure the upcoming sport bucket seats will cost around $4000.
Exterior Colors:
-White and silver always look great on a 911 GT3. The new Rhodium Silver Metallic is a light silver, with a small hint of blue. It's very nice and costs only $710 above the solid (non-metallic) black, red, white or yellow. Another excellent hue is the classic GT Silver Metallic, but it costs $3140. If you're feeling more extroverted, try one of Porsche's paint to sample colors. Mexico Blue or Riviera Blue both look great on the GT3. Paint to sample is $5500 and can delay the build time of the car. Then again, the upcoming GT3 RS may be a better candidate for a funky, fun color setup -- it's coming next year, is confirmed to be PDK only, and may also feature a carbon fiber roof panel.
Other Options:
-Front Lift System: If you live have a steep driveway, don't forget to order the front lift system. It isn't cheap at $3490 but the system only adds around 13 pounds and saves the cost of replacing front splitters.
-Optional Fuel Tank: Porsche offers a no-cost larger fuel tank, 23.8 gallons versus the standard 16.9 gallons. Adding this option is a no-brainer. The GT3 is a thirsty car when driven hard and the added range of the larger fuel tank is handy. The weight difference is minimal. Porsche engineers told us that if you are concerned about this, just don't fill the tank to the brim at the track. Why offer two fuel tanks? The reason is that right-hand drive cars must use the small fuel tank due to packaging constraints. As they had two fuel tanks in the parts bin, Porsche decided that they might as well offer both tanks sizes in left-hand drive markets. The larger fuel tank also takes up no additional front luggage space.
-Delete Model Designation: The badging on the back of the GT3 is far less busy than a standard 911 -- which reads a bit like a novel. Still, it's still nice to have the option to tick the box to have the rear of your GT3 simply say: Porsche. That is, unless your ego needs more than a large rear wing to tell the world that you indeed bought a 911 GT3 and not a regular 911.
-Other Miscellaneous Options: There are tons of items you can add to the GT3, essentials and frivolities such as: LED headlights ($3110), voice control ($595), leather-covered rear view mirror ($675), keys painted to match your car ($335), yellow seat belts ($340), the smoker's package (no charge!), and personalized and illuminated door sill guards in carbon fiber ($1610). At least the optional smoking package is no-charge. Even so, Porsche doesn't offer the GT3 with items like a sunroof or keyless entry/starting (Porsche Entry and Drive). If this news bothers you, the upcoming 911 Turbo may be a better fit.
Porsche 911 GT3 Rear Left View
With disbelief, we check out the white numerals on the black face of the tachometer and see that the red zone begins at 9000 rpm. Clearly, the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 is not the kind of Porsche 911 that we have come to expect since the latest 991 iteration was first revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. This new GT3 engine not only puts out 475 hp, but it also screams like a racing engine while doing it.
The chrome-trimmed buttons on the center console invite us to explore this 911’s new vocabulary. At the top left, we find PDK Sport for the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and below it lies the control for calibrating the action of the adaptive dampers. Stab the ESC OFF button, and the stability control relaxes enough to permit small gestures of tail-out motoring as you accelerate out of slow corners. Engage ESC+TC OFF and you’ll be permitted full-speed wide-screen slides. There’s a switch to let the engine sing louder through the exhaust for more street music and another one that raises the ride height of the front suspension so you can clear curbs, speed bumps, and the odd groundhog carcass.
We are ready for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, are we not? The Porsche engineers tell us that a lap of less than seven minutes and thirty seconds is possible. Instead, we decide to take this white whale to the mountainous highlands south of the Porsche facility in Stuttgart. Then it’s on to the Black Forest, where there is probably only one Swabian policeman to patrol the roads in the whole region.
When we open the lightweight door of the GT3 and squash into the undersize seat, we reflexively aim our left foot down at the empty hole where the clutch pedal would be and reach for the stubby shift lever that is no longer there. The seven-speed dual-clutch PDK -- for Porsche Doppelkupplung -- transmission has reached the hard-core 911 GT3. True, it was a manly achievement to master the previous six-speed manual gearbox, but the old three-pedal layout is a less efficient means of progress. The PDK is not only quicker than the manual, but it could also be argued that it is better.
The first thing you notice when you pull a cast-aluminum shift paddle toward the steering wheel is that it goes click, not clliiicck, because its travel is shorter than in other 911s. Switch to sport mode and brace yourself for an even more aggressive shift pattern that proves every bit as quick, hard, and spine-tingling as what you’d find in any Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing car.
Sheer, quick-shifting power delivery alone might not be enough for some, so Porsche has engineered Paddle Neutral, a manually activated de-clutch mode triggered by pulling both shift paddles at the same time. The instant you release the paddles, power and torque are back at full strength. It’s very much a Formula 1–style technology.
Such a sudden release of power can lead to some frustration with stability control active. When you disable it entirely, though, the effect of the sudden clutch engagement is positively explosive. It’s a little bit like dipping the clutch to kick the rear of the car sideways, either during acceleration or while braking toward the apex of a corner. Paddle Neutral also allows for smokey burnouts when traction control is turned off.
We spend an hour playing with the new functions, but that’s not nearly enough to get the timing right for stunts with Paddle Neutral. The softest shift mode is just fine for everyday use, and this mode’s appeal is further enhanced by the fact that the GT3 leaves the factory with close-ratio gears and a numerically higher final-drive ratio than the regular Carrera’s. This means the car gets to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and reaches its top speed of 195 mph in seventh gear, not sixth. Fact is, by the time our day with the GT3 is half over, we just let the adaptive automatic shift program do all the work, since it seems telepathic. It triggers shifts when you would do so, willingly changes down into first gear through slow esses, and stages a quick third-fourth-third sequence where conditions permit it. This transmission is pure magic.
The innovative rear-wheel steering that is standard on the new GT3 (and on the 2014 Turbo and Turbo S) makes one wonder how we could ever wax lyrical about stability and maneuverability until now. The days are over when you would have to fight the Porsche’s front end in slow corners and its rear end in fast corners as a flame of anxiety burned inside you. Thanks to four-wheel steering, the latest 911 GT3 is more confidence inspiring by a factor of 20/10 on our personal blood-pressure scale.
Below 31 mph, the GT3’s rear wheels move in the opposite direction of the front wheels, effectively making this 911 respond like a microcar. Porsche calculates that it’s like cutting 5.9 inches off the wheelbase (in fact, this GT3’s wheelbase is 4.0 inches longer than the 997 model’s). Above 50 mph, the rear wheels move in sync with the front wheels; the car responds like it has a wheelbase that’s 20 inches longer and can change lanes at 190 mph. That’s rather useful on German roads. At all velocities, the 911’s handling is now less nervous, less twitchy, and less dependent on keeping up the torque flow to the rear wheels. Message to GT3 hard-liners: don’t worry -- all the entertainment values are still there, proud and tall.
But it is fair to say that the 3153-pound GT3 has mellowed a bit. Some 14,145 GT3s of various 911 models have been built since 1999, and the GT3 has changed during that time to become more of a street car. Ironically, the very technology that makes the 2014 GT3 faster also makes it easier and better to drive. The adaptive suspension gives you a track setting, yet it has a more compliant sport setting than ever before. Torque vectoring sedates the bumblebees in the car’s rear end by supplementing the electronically controlled, mechanical limited-slip differential with electronic brake actuation, providing smoother and more predictable power delivery whether you drive fast or slow. Dynamic engine mounts permit a powerful, free-revving engine without buzzing the fillings in your teeth.
Consider a GT3 track-day special with a ride height 1.2 inches lower than before, specially calibrated electrically assisted steering, 15.0-inch brake rotors front and rear (carbon-ceramics are optional), stronger hubs, and forged-aluminum twenty-inch wheels that wear 245/35YR-20 front and 305/30YR-20 rear Dunlop Sport Maxx Race tires. Yet this precise, sure-footed track car is compliant and benign when driven at a leisurely pace.
Now we come to the engine, which dominates this car just as it should in a 911 GT3. This isn’t the old Hans Mezger–designed Porsche Motorsports engine; instead it’s the new Porsche Motorsports engine, based on the standard 991-type flat-six but with a bushel of new parts, including a special crankshaft, titanium connecting rods, forged pistons, special valve rockers, special valves, and even different direct injection. This normally aspirated 3.8-liter unit is a vocal, ferociously resolute powerplant that makes 475 hp at 8250 rpm and 324 lb-ft of torque at 6250 rpm.
Low-end torque is not one of the GT3 engine’s strengths, and it doesn’t run as smoothly as the 911 Carrera’s 9A1 engine. But the superfast throttle response hits you right at that place in your stomach where you can sense courage, respect, and determination. The engine has a different character at each step up the rev ladder to its 9000-rpm redline, and it simply loves to hurtle up and down that steep staircase. In fact, you keep bumping into the fuel cutoff at the redline because of the engine’s willingness to show off its explosive low-friction, free-revving energy.
After a long day, we begin to get a feel for the 911 GT3’s behavior at its limits. The higher-effort steering calibration is reassuring, and although it now turns into bends ludicrously quickly, cornering is no longer followed by that feeling of fluttering coattails at the rear of the car. This newly discovered run-on-rails cornering attitude comes in part from the wider track and the longer wheelbase that all 991-platform Porsche 911s enjoy, as well as the trick four-wheel steering.
While the winged wonder from Weissach might have lost some of its rough edges, it has acquired important new qualities, such as a supreme sense of balance, a higher level of tactility, and creamier behavior at the limit of adhesion. It might be heresy to say this of a Porsche 911 GT3, but it is easier to drive -- and we welcome that.

2014 Porsche 911 GT3

Base Price: $131,350
Engine: 3.8-liter DOHC 24-valve flat-six
Horsepower: 475 @ 8,250 rpm
Torque: 324 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
L x W x H: 178.9 x 72.9 x 50.0 in
Curb weight: 3,153 lb
2014 Porsche 911
2014 Porsche 911

New For 2014

Porsche has followed its traditional staggered rollout for the 991-generation Carrera. For 2014, the latest GT3 and Turbo join the lineup. The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 comes to market with a radical, some would say heretical, change -- an automatic transmission. Don’t accuse the 475-hp track-ready 911 of going soft. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: Porsche wanted a faster GT3 and saw the old clutch pedal as an impediment to that pursuit. What remains to be seen is whether the new GT3 feels as special as its predecessor in more mundane conditions, such as loping along an American highway.

The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo continues its decades-long evolution, which is to say it’s even faster (0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds) and easier to drive fast -- just stomp on the gas and let the computers figure out the rest.

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 Porsche 911 is as timeless and as well engineered as a Rolex watch. After five decades of excellence, it is the benchmark for premium sports cars. The 911 underwent a significant redesign for 2013 and is now more refined and more powerful than ever.


The 2014 Porsche 911 looks to be frozen in time. Even after its latest redesign, it essentially looks like the same car that debuted in 1963. Looks, however, can be deceiving, for the 911 is a model of progress. Porsche has continuously polished the sports car to the point that it is very nearly perfect.

The most famous element of the 911 is its engine layout, inherited from the Volkswagen Beetle and the Porsche 356. The engine still sits in back, but Porsche engineers have completely tuned out the malicious rear-biased handling characteristics of old. The 911 now corners predictably at its limit and, should you run out of talent, features a host of electronic aids to keep you pointed in the right direction. The engines themselves are more efficient than ever. The base 3.4-liter flat-six -- downsized from 3.6 liters -- produces 350 hp and gets 28 mpg on the highway. The 400-hp, 3.8-liter flat-six in the Carrera S is nearly as efficient. Each can be paired with either a seven-speed automatic or a seven-speed manual. Whatever you choose will get you to 60 mph in well under five seconds.

The 911’s interior, always very nice, is now even nicer. Porsche stubbornly continues to rely on buttons. No surprise, there are lots of them, which can be intimidating at first. But with time, they prove easier to interact with than trendy multi-controllers. You’ll certainly want to memorize the location of the button that controls the optional sport exhaust so that you can turn up the volume of the flat-six’s wicked, raspy exhaust.

Progress doesn’t always connote improvement. The 911’s appeal for some purists lay in its intractability. Now Porsche has polished the car such that nearly anyone can drive it quickly. Neither does it offer quite as tactile of a driving experience as its predecessors, which transmitted steering sensations even at parking-lot speeds. Mind you, few 911 drivers will ever notice what they’ve lost. For the traditionalists, we can only say that there are many used 911s.

You'll like:

  • Fantastic engines, excellent handling
  • Good fuel economy for a sports car
  • Luxury-car refinement

You won't like:

  • Somewhat remote compared to old 911s
  • Gets pricey fast
  • No stick shift in the GT3

Key Competitors

  • Audi R8
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Jaguar F-type
  • Mercedes-Benz SL-class
2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Front Three Quarters View
The 991 generation of the Porsche 911 is expected to receive a comprehensive refresh in 2015, according to a report from Autocar. This rumored facelift would involve tweaked styling front and rear, updates for the 3.6- and 3.8-liter six-cylinder engines, and a possible 911 GTS model.
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Rear Right Side View 2
We’re not even halfway through 2014, and the latest news from Motor Trend has us rushing to mark our calendars for 2017. Senior features editor Jonny Lieberman reports that in three years’ time there will be 700-plus-hp plug-in hybrid versions of the 911 Turbo S and Panamera Turbo S, not to mention a high-powered Cayman GT4 with a Boxster GT4 twin dubbed the RS Spyder.
1988 Porsche 911 Turbo With 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo
Joe Montana or Tom Brady? Madonna or Lady Gaga? The first love or the new flame? It’s in our nature to look in the rearview mirror, to measure the brightness of the present against the best of the past. It’s no different with car enthusiasts. For all the areas in which automobiles have improved—safety, performance, efficiency, reliability—they still live in the shadow of the past. The great thing about cars, though, is that we don’t have to rely solely on our memories. We’ll never know how twenty-eight-year-old Michael Jordan would have fared against twenty-eight-year-old LeBron James, but we can find well-kept classic cars—the icons that enthusiasts worship—and pit them against their modern equivalents. That’s just what we did with these seven matchups. It’s throttle cables versus direct injection. AM radios versus infotainment screens. Old-car patina versus new-car smell. So, was it really better then? Come back next Thursday for the next entry in this series.
2014 Porsche 911 Targa Spied Rear Three Quarter
Porsche announced today that a new 2014 Porsche 911 Targa will debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show next week. This model, with its removable roof panel, will continue the Targa tradition as a sort of in-between model bridging the gap between the standard 911 Carrera hardtop and the 911 Cabriolet.

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2014 Porsche 911
2014 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6
19 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
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2014 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6
19 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
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Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6
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2014 Porsche 911
Carrera RWD 2-Dr Coupe H6

2014 Porsche 911 Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.4L H6Engine
Fuel economy City:
19 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
27 MPG
350 hp @ 7400rpm
287 ft lb of torque @ 5600rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • 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
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 120 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Recall Date
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (Porsche) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Porsche 911, Boxster, and Cayman vehicles manufactured May 7, 2014, to September 23, 2014. The front hood upper lock components were not manufactured to specification and may fail to securely latch the vehicle's hood during operation.
A failure of the hood latching mechanism may cause the hood to suddenly open during vehicle operation and will severely impede the driver's ability to see out the front windshield, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Porsche will notify owners, and dealers will replace the lock on the front hood, free of charge. The recall began December 12, 2014. Owners may contact Porsche customer service at 1-800-767-7243. Porsche's number for this recall is AE04.
Potential Units Affected
Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

Recall Date
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (Porsche) is recalling certain model year 2014 911 GT3 vehicles manufactured October 19, 2013, through January 16, 2014. In the affected vehicles, a piston connecting rod may come loose and damage the engine crankcase.
A damaged crankcase may allow engine oil to leak onto hot components in the engine bay which may result in a fire.
Porsche will notify owners, and dealers will install a new engine with improved piston connecting rod connections, free of charge. The recall began on June 6, 2014. Owners may contact Porsche at 1-800-545-8039. Porsche's number for this recall is AE01. Note: Owners are advised not to drive their vehicles until the engine has been replaced.
Potential Units Affected
Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2014 Porsche 911

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $72,805 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent