Since its debut in 1963, the celebrated Porsche 911 has consistently pushed against the boundaries of the sports-car universe. This is despite the fact that the car’s shape, rear-engine arrangement, and styling have evolved and advanced very deliberately through the years. Instead of dramatically altering the car’s styling, Porsche engineers have spent the past few decades perfecting every detail, making the 911 one of the most highly engineered road vehicles available. Its flat-six engine sings a siren’s song while quickly launching the 911 to illegal speeds. For sun seekers, both convertible and targa body styles are offered in addition to the coupe, and all-wheel drive is available for those wishing to drive their Porsche year-round in wintry climes. When it comes to sports cars, the industry has been targeting the Porsche 911 for good reason: it’s one of the best.
What’s New for 2018?
A number of upgrades are in store for the legendary 911 for 2018, but the one we’re most enthused about is the introduction of the Carrera T model. It’s based on the base Carrera coupe, and, according to Porsche, the T stands for Touring. It has been lowered, lightened, and simplified for a purer driving experience, and although it lacks some of the luxuries of the other Carrera models, it still provides the same thrills. The rest of the lineup sees minor changes for 2018.
An optional 3.0 S Powerkit is now available on Carrera S and 4S models; it pushes horsepower up by 30 to 450 and costs a princely $12,350 extra. All 911 models come with a better, carbon-based cabin filter, and the instrument cluster now has a readout that displays air circulation. A new color—called Chalk—joins the palette, and the roll hoop on Targa models can be ordered in black, as can the tailpipes of the optional sport exhaust system. A number of two-tone seat styling themes are now available—including a classy brown and beige motif—and two new interior packages offer more customization with contrasting stitching. Even more customization is offered through Porsche’s Exclusive program. All 911s—and all 2018 Porsche models—now come with a year of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
What Was New for 2017?
Aside from new headlights and taillights, the 2017 911 looked essentially the same as it did when it was introduced for 2012. That sameness belied a major change hiding in the engine bay, where 2016’s naturally aspirated 3.4-liter (Carrera) and 3.8-liter (Carrera S) flat-six engines were replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six offered in two strengths. Carreras made 370 horsepower, while S models boasted 420 horsepower; both iterations were 20 horsepower stronger than their predecessors. On a less exciting note, every 911 had an improved infotainment touchscreen.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
Upgrading to the Carrera S nets 50 extra horsepower, 20-inch wheels, beefier brakes, and a limited-slip differential and is worth the $14,000 upgrade versus the standard Carrera. We’d add the Sport Exhaust package ($2950), which includes either silver or black dual exhaust outlets and provides a quiet setting—for times when being discreet is a necessity. We’d also spring for the $2090 Sport Chrono package. This 911 staple adds:
• Dashtop clock that doubles as a lap timer
• Steering-wheel-mounted drive-mode selector
• Two additional drive-mode settings (three with automatic transmission)
We’ll skip over the unreasonable amount of customization options to retain our sanity and keep things simple. Our rear-wheel-drive, manually shifted 911 Carrera S is autobahn ready at $111,190.