2018 Porsche 911 Reviews and Ratings

Carrera 4S Coupe

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2018 Porsche 911
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Introduction

There are well over a dozen models of Porsche 911, including all-wheel drive and cabriolet versions. Among them: Carrera, Carrera S, Carrera T, GTS, Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, and GT2 RS.

New for 2018, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is said to be the fastest 911 ever for the road. There is also a GT3 version, and a Turbo S Exclusive option. The new GTS and Carrera T come stripped of comfort and convenience features to feel more like a wind-in-the-hair sports car. The Turbo S Exclusive has exclusive uber-power.

The engine in the Carrera is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged horizontally opposed six-cylinder making 370 horsepower. In the Carrera S, this engine is turbo-boosted to 420 horsepower, and in the Carrera GTS, 450 horsepower.

The 911 Turbo uses a 3.8-liter turbocharged flat-6 making 580 horsepower for breathtaking performance.

A standard 911 Carrera can accelerate from zero to sixty in a very quick 4.0 seconds, while the Carrera S does it three-tenths quicker. That’s with Porsche’s brilliant twin-clutch automatic manual transmission, called the PDK. Carrera 4 includes all-wheel drive, making for an outstanding high-speed sports commuter.

The Turbo and Turbo S are grand touring cars, able to blast from zero to sixty in less than three seconds, while being comfortable driving long distances.

The new Carrera GTS gets 450 horsepower from its turbocharged flat-six, with an active exhaust system and thin sound deadening, to give the flat-six some song. As sporty as it sounds, the Carrera GTS comes with a 7-speed manual gearbox.

The new Carrera T has the same idea: no rear seats and no radio (for more money). With 370 horsepower and the same manual transmission, it’s about light weight and agility.

The GT3, GT3 RS, and GT2 RS are ready for the track, with their non-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six engines. At about $300,000, the GT2 RS is a steal, being as fast as million-dollar supercars. For about $200,000, the GT3 RS is the quintessential track day car, our favorite, along with the GT3.

The Carrera with manual transmission is rated by the EPA at 20/29/23 miles per gallon. The GTS with its more powerful engine gets the same 23 mpg Combined. The 911 Turbo and Turbo S models get 19/24/21 mpg. Without a turbo, the GT3 is thirstiest, at 16 miles per gallon.

Model Lineup

The Porsche 911 Carrera ($91,100) is the base model, the traditional model, a coupe with rear-wheel drive. A convertible top is available for most variants, starting with the Carrera Cabriolet ($103,400). The 911 Targa 4 ($110,300) features the Targa top. Carrera 4 ($98,000) includes all-wheel drive. Upmarket is the 911 Turbo ($161,800). Sportiest is the Carrera GTS ($120,700). The hot track cars are the GT3 ($143,600), GT3 RS ($187,500), and GT2 RS ($293,200).

Standard features in the Carrera include a rearview camera, power seats, eight-speaker sound system, and Alcantara headliner.

Options go on forever, from heated seats to LED headlamps to leather-wrapped seatbelt buckles. If you want your key fob painted the same color as your car, you can get that goodie for $530. There’s an option that raises the front axle to keep the nose of your Porsche from scraping driveways, not a bad idea, if you can remember to use it ($3490). If you want the most for track days, there are carbon-ceramic brakes ($9210).

Walkaround

For 2017, the 911 got a couple tweaks in the styling, air intakes and taillamps, but otherwise it’s been the same for well, some might say 60 years. It’s been a beautiful evolution of the upside-down-bathtub shape. The Porsche can’t hold a candle to the sensuous shapes of the British Jaguar and Aston Martin, or Italian Maserati, but it’s the most iconic.

Interior

The instrument panel in the cabin of the Carrera is classic Porsche in the way it is dominated by the tachometer. Not so classic is the modernization of the instrumentation, by a 4.6-inch multi-function display, that is bright and informative. Stretching farther from classic, there’s a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and navigation. Carbon-fiber and brushed aluminum can be swathed over the instrument panel for a price. Along with tons of other options.

Fit and finish are excellent.

The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and provide good legroom. The 911 is technically a 2+2, so there are rear seats, sort of, but there is zero legroom, so the space is best used for bags and parcels. We consider it a two-seater.

There is very little storage, with small door pockets and not much room in the center console bin. The trunk in front is surprisingly roomy, but still only suited for soft luggage like duffels.

It’s relatively quiet in the cabin, although the 3.8-liter engine makes more noise than the 3.0-liter.

Driving Impressions

The base twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter flat six that makes 370 horsepower also brings 331 pound-feet of torque, from 1700 rpm to 5500 rpm, an exceptional range. This flexibility makes it easy to drive around town. The Carrera S makes 420 hp and brings 368 lb-ft. There is no turbo lag, thanks to a system that keeps the turbos spinning with a small amount of pressure, no more than 2 psi.

The 580-horsepower Turbo S blasts away from a start so fast it’s scary. The steering is nicely weighted and natural, as the ratio varies with speed. It stays flat in the corners thanks to active anti-roll bars, as it reaches fantastically high lateral loads without breaking loose on its 20-inch Pirelli P Zero tires. Thank heavens for its good stability control.

The 911 offers excellent stopping ability, and the standard steel rotors provide a good feel. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes offer so much stopping power that the braking points for corners is deep beyond belief. The carbon-ceramic brakes reduce fade, also, so you can run consecutive laps without overheating them.

Another option that’s great on the track is the Sport Chrono package. For about $2000 it adds dynamic engine mounts, launch control in the PDK or rev-matching downshifts in the manual, special stability software, and driving modes that come from the 918 Spyder.

Summary

The Porsche 911 is a wonderful sports car. The base Carrera offers the best value. A Carrera 4 would make a luxurious high-speed commuter. A Turbo is the legendary Autobahn car. The GTS and Carrera T are the sportiest. Track day cars don’t get better than a GT3.

Sam Moses contributed to this report, with Mitch McCullough reporting from New Jersey.


J.D. Power Rating
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