Porsche has deliberately evolved the 911 since its introduction in the 1960s to keep it true to its roots as the quintessential sports car. Instead of dramatically altering the car's styling, Porsche engineers have spent the past few decades perfecting every detail, making the 911 one of the most highly engineered automobiles available. Whether it be the sleek coupe, the sun-seeking convertible, or the striking Targa that is the best of both coupe and convertible worlds, the 911's range of powerful engines plays a distinct tune and quickly launch it to überlegal speeds. All-wheel drive is available for those wishing to drive their Porsche year-round in wintry climes. Best of all, this uncompromising sports car has razor-sharp handling and performance that stirs the soul.
Carrera S: $106,150
Targa 4: $111,350
Upgrading to the Carrera S nets 50 extra horsepower, 20-inch wheels, beefier brakes, and a limited-slip differential, and is worth the $14,000 upgrade versus the standard Carrera. We'd add the Sport Exhaust package, which includes either silver or black dual-exhaust outlets and provides a quiet exhaust setting—for times when being discreet is a necessity. We'd also spring for the Sport Chrono package. This 911 staple adds a dashtop clock that doubles as a lap timer, steering-wheel-mounted drive-mode selector, and two additional drive-mode settings (three with the automatic transmission). We'll skip over the unreasonable amount of customization options to retain our sanity and keep things simple. Our rear-wheel-drive, manually shifted 911 Carrera S is autobahn ready.
Engine, Transmission And Performance
The 911's twin-turbo flat-six offers thrilling acceleration in all of its potencies—370, 420, and 450 horsepower. The turbo engine is smooth, makes great noises, and has plenty of oomph available right off idle. It cranked out an impressive 3.4-second zero-to-60-mph time when equipped with the PDK dual-clutch automatic—a must for the quickest acceleration. Thanks to the added traction of all-wheel drive, the 4S is even more explosive out of the starting blocks. The standard seven-speed manual transmission is fun to work, while the optional PDK seven-speed dual-clutch automatic sets the standard for shift quickness and intelligent programming.
If anyone ever asks you how much car $100,000 can buy, tell them to look no further than the 2019 Porsche 911. Objectively a strong performer and subjectively a joy to drive, it's worth every last penny. The 911 corners with alacrity; the body stays flat and the tires deliver gobs of grip. All-wheel-drive models exit corners with particular ferocity, their four-wheel traction clawing out of bends like a cat being sprayed by a Super Soaker. The standard steering setup peerlessly blends maturity and eagerness. Unlike many modern power-steering systems, the 911's delivers a steady stream of road feel and intel to the driver's hands regarding the whereabouts and actions of the front tires. In every 911, the brake pedal operates with a short, reassuringly firm stroke befitting an athletic car.
Although fuel economy likely doesn't factor into purchase decisions for such high-performance sports cars, the 911 is among the most efficient in its class. Our featured test car, a Carrera 4S coupe with the PDK transmission, matched its EPA rating of 28 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test loop.
Do not mistake the 911's straightforward cabin for a stark environment. The materials that grace it are all top-notch. Buyers can dress up the interior via a multitude of optional leather coverings for everything from the dashboard to the non-mirrored parts of the rearview mirror. Everything fits together impeccably and elicits nary a squeak nor a rattle. There is ample space in front for two passengers, but you can ignore the Porsche's vestigial rear seats, as their existence isn't fully understood.
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