The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

New Car Review

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)



SEE ALSO:Porsche Buyer's Guide

It has been 31 years since the first Porsche 911 debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It is a true sports car that has become a classic in its own time.

The Porsche 911 is also a traditional car. It has been in production for more than 30 years, and yet the newest 911 is still recognizably a Porsche 911. Viewing next to one of its elders can be surprising: everything is basically the same, and yet everything is somewhat different. Over the years many of the 911's components have been revised. Yet its exterior styling is smoother, its engine is more powerful, the manual transmission now has six speeds, and the real attention grabber is that its price is $ 5,000 less than the 1994 model.

While Porsche sales have never been large in terms of world-wide numbers, many of its engineering and styling developments have had a significant impact on the automotive industry in passenger as well as race cars. Porsche steadily inspires a group of very loyal owners in this country through the PCA (Porsche Club of America). This is more than a social club. Some chapters have training classes for owners to learn to properly and safely drive their car on the road and in club competitions. Almost all chapters have rallies and other competitive events. A Porsche owner can easily become a participant or an observer in a lot of sports car related activities. Buying a Porsche can be more than just buying a car.

APPEARANCE: The latest 911 is subtly different from its ancestors due to a smoother, seamless and civilized look. It retains the slant-nose front design with new wraparound projector beam headlamps. The cabin preserves its traditional shape, including a metal sunroof. It is slightly larger and more rounded with near-flush glass, and a spoiler that automatically raises and lowers for efficient engine cooling. Wide front and rear flared fenders plus 5-spoke alloy wheels shod with high-performance Z- rated 16-inch Continental tires brazenly point at subdued aggression that is totally Porsche.

COMFORT: The early 911's were narrow-purpose sports cars that were created to go fast. Comfort was secondary to performance and handling. Over the years this sports car has become refined and the latest 911 Carrera is an elegant GT coupe with all of the comforts of a traditional German luxury car. The front seats are among the best, while the rear ones are better suited for small folks. All seating surfaces are leather, and the windows, side mirrors, seats and locks are powered. The ignition switch remains on the left side as a reminder of the old Le Mans running starts. The cockpit contains a full analog instrument panel, and all controls are well at hand. A filtered climate-control system maintains a comfortable cabin temperature, while the AM/FM/cassette unit delivers clear crisp sound.

SAFETY: Dual airbags and side guard door beams along with safety cage construction and front and rear crumple zones provide basic safety. To insure a safe environment in all kinds of weather the 911 has heated side mirrors, windshield washer nozzles and rear window. For quick safe stopping the anti- lock disc brakes are large, cross-drilled and vented. New wipers clean 80 percent of the windshield, while the body is galvanized on both sides.

ROADABILITY: The 911 is a car with excellent handling characteristics that are equally at home on the interstate or race track. A new rear suspension allows it to handle more predictably. The wide high-performance tires provide great road traction, which is further assisted by the optional limited slip differential with low-speed traction control. Make no mistake, the ride is firm, but what the suspension doesn't absorb the seats do, with comfort for all day driving.

PERFORMANCE: Through precision engineering refinements Porsche manages to squeeze 270 horsepower out of its 3.6 liter engine. This horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine is normally aspirated, i.e. it is fuel-injected without a turbo- or supercharger. Without changing its displacement it now develops significantly more power and torque, is more fuel efficient, and requires less servicing. The new six-speed transmission is engineered to shift easily and quietly and provide performance potential in every gear. Cruising the highway in sixth is both quiet and economical, and most grades can be conquered in fifth. Performance driving is best done in second and third gears.

CONCLUSION: Porsche builds cars that are meant to be driven whether on the highway or the race track. To really appreciate this car join the PCA and participate in their competitive events.


	   Base Price              $ 59,900**
	   Price As Tested         $ 62,285** 
	   Engine Type             H-6, sohc -12-v, mpfi, air-cooled
	   Engine Size             3.6 liter/220 cid   
	   Horsepower              270 @ 6100
	   Torque (ft/lbs)         243 @ 5000
	   Wheelbase/Length        89"/168"
	   Transmission            6-speed manual w/od
	   Curb Weight             3070
	   Pounds per Horsepower   11
	   Fuel Capacity           19
	   Fuel Requirement        Unleaded premium (91 octane)
	   Tire                    Continental CZ 91 NO
				         front - 205/55ZR 16
				         rear  - 245/45ZR 16
	   Brake                   anti-lock standard  vented disc/vented disc
	   Drive Train             rear engine, rear drive
	   ** plus 10% luxury tax for price over $32,000
	   EPA Economy - miles per gallon,        
	     city/highway/observed      17/25/19.4     
	   0 to 60 mph                  5.4 sec
	   1/4 mi (E.T.)                13.8 sec           
	   Coefficient of drag (cd)     .33