Look through the 2009 Carrera S's familiar skin, and you'll find the biggest redesign in years. The change starts with a dual-clutch transmission, taken straight from Porsche's racecars, that shifts gears in milliseconds. It's bolted to a redesigned six-cylinder engine that uses direct fuel injection (a first for Porsche) to churn out higher horsepower while actually getting more miles per gallon.
In the cockpit, the company has finally added modern gadgetry such as Bluetooth, an iPod cable, and XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic updates. What hasn't changed? The 911 is still one of the most powerful cars on the planet.
LEDs around the headlamps and tail lamps act as daytime running lights.
Select "Sport" mode, and the shocks compress, bringing the car nearly an inch closer to the ground to provide more stability during high-speed turns.
Like other double-clutch systems, Porsche's seven-speed gearbox essentially uses one transmission for the odd-numbered gears and one for the even-numbered. While one is in first gear, the other is already waiting in second. Switch from automatic to manual mode, and choose gears with either the shifter or the buttons on the steering wheel. On the track, we pulled off brutal shifts -- say, from sixth gear down to second at 60 mph -- instantaneously.
Direct fuel injection sends gasoline straight into the cylinders, increasing compression ratio and efficiency. That translates to a 0-to-60 time of 4.5 seconds, a top speed of 178 mph and a 15 percent cut in carbon-dioxide emissions.
When I was in college, I drooled over the Porsches of the day. Times have changed, but the Porsches-- as well as many other automobiles, sports cars or no-- have changed not nearly enough. For proof, this Porsche article was published more than two weeks ago, and yet the comment I am just now making is the first one the story has received. By contrast, check the articles on electric vehicles, and you see dozens of spirited responses.
Porsche needs to wake up and take BMW's lead with its Mini-E Mini Cooper, a fully electric (non-hybrid), high-performance sports car just now being offered for beta testing lease in the Los Angeles area. Outfitted by AC Propulsion of San Dimas, CA., it is a close relative of the GM EV-1 of a dozen years ago: Alan Cocconi, AC Propulsion's founder, was also the brains behind the performance of GM's EV-1.
A small, talent-rich outfit in Long Beach, CA., is in the process of producing electric powerplants for a number of vehicle makers as well as for conversions of gasoline-powered cars. Their prototype motors have several innovative features, resulting in extremely small, powerful, high-rpm packages that I expect will raise the bar in EV performance.
If Porsche wants to generate real excitement with their sports cars, they need to stop trying to do it with tech that is old, inefficient, dirty and unsustainable: the public has lost interest.
Porsche is the only supercar reliable enough to be a daily driver. Why, oh why, Billdale won't you pay attention. Normal Americans don't want electric cars. The irrefutable proof of that is that they elected Barack Obama. Obama has "vowed" to bankrupt the coal industry in the USA and make eletricity prices skyrocket. Don't "you people" listen to the words coming out of his mouth? "Hope and change", baby "hope and change"
So this is just something I noticed... The picture is not of a 911 Carrera S. Has nobody noticed the driveshaft to the front wheels or the model name on the back of the car in the larger version of the pix? This is a Carrera 4S.