Normally, mid-model facelifts are just that, an aesthetic nip n' tuck to keep the car looking fresh. However, the 2009 Porsche 911 is going to get much more than just a facelift - it's going in for open heart surgery.
Of course, styling has been tweaked to include a cleaner, more minimalist exterior that features a revised front bumper, LED combination lights and LED taillights, but the new 997 also benefits from a host of mechanical changes under the skin too.
Both the 3.6 and 3.8-litre engines of the Carrera and Carrera S now have a direct injection fuel system, boosting power while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 13%. The Carrera gains 20hp, bringing the total output to 345hp, while the Carrera S's 3.8-litre unit boasts an extra 30hp, taking its total to 385hp.
The engines and styling aren't the only things different for 2009 either. Porsche's newly-developed seven-speed PDK double clutch gearbox replaces the previous (and awkward to use) tiptronic auto, and also brings with it a distinct performance advantage over the six-speed manual.
If this is all sounding a bit familiar, that's probably because it is. We covered a lot of this stuff back in April when much of this information was leaked, but what wasn't leaked were the exact metrics on what the PDK 'box can do for the humble 911.
When equipped with the PDK gearbox, the 0-98kph sprint is dispatched in a rapid 4.5 seconds for the Carrera while the Carrera S can do it in just 4.3 seconds - 0.2 seconds faster than the manual.
Acceleration is even more swift when coupled with the Sport Chrono pack, which includes a launch control system that drops the 0-98kph time for the Carrera S to 4.1 seconds. Impressive stuff, but I'm really hanging to see is what the PDK gearbox can do to the 911 Turbo's performance figures. Will the PDK enable it to take the fight to Nissan's GT-R? We'll find out in '09.
Porsche today disclosed photos and details for the next generation 911 model series. Four new 911 models go on sale in September in North America - the 911 Carrera Coupe, 911 Carrera Cabriolet, 911 Carrera S Coupe, and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. All offer a higher level of performance thanks to their all-new flat-six engines displacing 3.6 and 3.8 liters respectively. And for the first time in a Porsche sports car, engines utilize direct fuel injection (DFI) and can be coupled with the new optional 7-speed double-clutch gearbox Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), racing inspired technology and a Porsche first. The result of these new technologies allows Porsche to once again boost performance of the 911, yet improve fuel efficiency by up to 13 percent as measured in the European driving cycle.
Maximum output of the 911 Carrera with its 3.6-liter engine is up by 20 horsepower to 345. The 911 Carrera S with its 3.8-liter engine is equally impressive, up by 30 horsepower to 385. With this extra power, the Carrera S now offers a top speed of 188 mph.The new generation 911 is available for the first time with the new Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), Porsche's double-clutch gearbox.
The seven speed gearbox combines the driving comfort of an automatic transmission with the gearshift capacity of a sequential gearbox used in race cars. Since Porsche's double-clutch also boasts an automatic gearshift function, it replaces the former Porsche Tiptronic S automatic transmission on both the Carrera and Carrera S. PDK improves acceleration while reducing fuel consumption over the previous generation of Tiptronic S equipped 911s through optimized and adaptive gearshifts.
Porsche developed this gearshift principle for racing no less than 25 years ago. It features two parallel clutches to eliminate any interruption in power delivery and eliminates even the slightest break between gears. Porsche factory drivers benefiting from this technology were able to accelerate faster than their competitors and keep both hands on the wheel while shifting gears, thus avoiding even the slightest distraction. This pioneering achievement from Porsche's racing efforts now gives the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S even better performance.
The Carrera equipped with PDK covers 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and the Carrera S reaches the same speed in 4.3 which is 0.2 seconds faster than with a manual six-speed gearbox. The customer in search of optimum driving dynamics even has the option to combine PDK with Porsche's optional Sport Chrono Plus including Launch Control. The result is high-speed acceleration free of wheel spin from a standstill and a racing shift pattern to further boost performance. The Carrera equipped with the Sport Chrono Plus accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds while the Carrera S sprints to 60 mph in an outstanding 4.1.
Exterior enhancements of the new 911 stand out clearly through innovations in design and technology. The refined front bumper has larger air intakes which signal an increase in power and the newly designed dual-arm exterior mirrors give a larger field of vision to the rear of the car. LED daytime driving lights and bi-xenon headlights will be standard on all new models, as well as LED tail and brake lights. This gives the 911 an even more distinctive style and a truly unique look from the front and rear. As a further option, Porsche now also offers Dynamic Cornering Lights on all models. In Porsche fashion, these new refinements do not change the drag coefficient of the 911 as it stays at a remarkable 0.29.
The latest Porsche Communication Management system, PCM 3.0, which includes a new touchscreen feature, will be standard on all new 911s. Along with this upgraded system, options such as a hard disk drive navigation system, XM radio with XM NavTraffic capability, Bluetooth?? connectivity, iPOD?? port, USB port, and aux jack will be available.
2009 911 U.S. pricing starts at $75,600 for the Carrera Coupe, $86,200 for the Carrera Cabriolet and the Carrera S Coupe, and the Carrera S Cabriolet is $96,800.