The 2012 911 marks the arrival of a completely redesigned version of Porsche’s iconic sports car, and possibly the best yet.
The new car, which is currently available in either coupe or convertible bodystyles and either regular Carrera or sportier Carrera S trims, improves on the model it replaces in almost every way. This is all the more impressive when you consider how good the last one was!
After 48 years of production, the 911 is now in its seventh generation. This 2012 model, or 991 as it’s known to fans, comes with more space on the inside, a wider track to improve handling, and drivetrains that not only gain power but also efficiency.
The base model, which represents great value considering the cachet of the Porsche brand and the bespoke nature of the car, is priced from a very reasonable $82,100 before destination. It gets a 3.4-liter flat-six engine with 350 horsepower on tap and a seven-speed manual--yes, a manual with six forward gears and reverse.
However, unless you’re a sports car die-hard, we recommend the brilliant seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. It guarantees 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.4 seconds; 4.2 when you using the optional Sport Chrono Package’s Launch Control function. Top speed is 179 mph.
Opt for the $96,400 Carrera S and you get a 3.8-liter flat-six engine with 400 horsepower. This model will sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, or 3.9 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package. Top speed for the Carrera S is a claimed 188 mph.
The 911, in a nutshell, is an agile, relatively light, powerful, and easily-placed sports car. Handling and feedback, on the whole, is very good--for electromechanical steering. Compared to a typical electric solution, the 2012 911's steering is in an entirely different class, which is one of the reasons we voted the car the best in our 2012 Best Car To Buy comparo.
And when you’re away from the track or your favorite mountain road, the rest of the 2012 911 is also a benchmark of quality, fit and finish, and material selection. Note, despite the extra four-inches added to the overall length of the 991 Porsche 911, the rear seats, as seat-like as they appear to be, are still best left to very small children, as even moderate-height adults up front will reduce rear leg room to near zero.
Safety remains a strong suit as the car is equipped with a wide array of safety equipment, including a full complement of airbags, traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, and Porsche's proprietary Torque Vectoring Control and Dynamic Chassis Control.
For a more detailed look at the 2012 Porsche 911, check out our comprehensive first drive report.