2009 Porsche 911 Carrera Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Significant mechanical upgrades for 2009

  • Increased horsepower in both models

  • Next-generation all-wheel drive

  • New double-clutch transmission

  • Freshened front and rear fascias

  • Upgraded infotainment system

Introduction

The 911 Carrera is the most celebrated Porsche model in history, tracing its lineage back to the mid-1960s. Bred on the racetrack, the Porsche 911 has participated in, and won, the majority of the world's most esteemed races, rallies and hill climbs. An all-new model in 2004, Porsche has upgraded the 911 for the 2009 model year with more potent engines, a new double-clutch transmission, and a next-generation all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Freshened front and rear fascias distinguish the updated bodywork, while an upgraded infotainment system makes its debut across the lineup.

Model Lineup

The Porsche 911 lineup is comprised of more than a dozen different models. While the basic chassis remains the same, the engine, transmission, driveline, body style and equipment are all modified to build the various models. The standard "Carrera" models offer 345 hp, while the "Carrera S" models offer a larger engine with 385 hp and several performance upgrades. The "Carrera 4" adds AWD, and the "Cabriolet" badge is reserved for convertible models. All "Targa" models are built with a power-operated, full-length sliding open roof with a fixed B-pillar. By mixing and matching these features, the enthusiast can build more than 10 different models. Standard equipment includes power windows, power moonroof, and partial leather seats, and many other custom options and accessories are available.

The 911 Turbo is Porsche's grand-touring, 480-hp, AWD twin-turbo model. Loaded with an extensive list of standard equipment, it was joined by a Cabriolet version in 2008. The 911 GT3 and higher-performance 911 GT3 RS are 415-hp, street-legal track-ready racecars, both only offered with light options, rear-wheel drive (RWD), and manual transmissions. The range-topping GT2 is a limited-edition, twin-turbo performance model.

Hardware

Upgraded for 2009, the standard Porsche 911 models are equipped with 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engines, now rated at 345 hp and 288 lb.-ft. of toque. All "S" models benefit from a larger-displacement, 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine with a power increase to 385 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are fitted with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or an all-new dual-clutch transmission (PDK). The 2009 Porsche 911 Turbo features an entirely different race-bred, dry-sump, twin-turbo 3.6-liter engine rated at 480 hp and 505 lb.-ft. of torque (with the optional Sport Chrono Turbo package). The race-bred GT3, GT3 RS and range-topping GT2 feature even higher levels of performance with their special shared dry-sump 3.6-liter engine based on the engine found in the previous GT3 model. It is rated at 415 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. The GT3 and GT3 RS are only available with a 6-speed manual transmission. The GT2 is powered by a tuned version of the 911 Turbo powerplant, rated at 530 hp and 505 lb.-ft. of torque. With standard RWD and a 6-speed manual transmission, Porsche says the powerplant is strong enough to push the GT2 past 200 mph on a test track.

Safety

Porsche equips all 911 models with driver and passenger front air bags and the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POISP) system. The innovative POISP system includes two side air bags: one located inside the door panel, the second located in the side of the seat. When deployed, the air bags are designed to protect the torso, head and thorax region of the passenger. In addition to the air bags, all 911 models receive standard anti-lock brakes, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

Technology

The 2009 Porsche 911 is available for the first time with a new double-clutch gearbox. Named the Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), the 7-speed transmission with an automatic mode replaces Porsche's Tiptronic S automatic on both the Carrera and Carrera S models. Based on racing technology pioneered by Porsche more than two decades ago, the PDK transmission features two parallel clutches designed to seamlessly switch between gears without any interruption of power delivery. Porsche claims the PDK transmission can help the 911 accelerate from 0 to 60 mph faster than a professional driver with a 6-speed manual transmission-and that the new transmission is more fuel-efficient than the transmission it replaces.