If you close your eyes and picture a Porsche, it’s likely that the 911 renders first in your imagination. This rear-engined fastback is a legend—and for good reason. Make that many reasons. For decades it has been a benchmark for performance and handling and feel, inspiring rivals such as the Aston Martin Vantagetea Audi R8and the Maserati MC20to name a few. The “standard” 911 sticks to its roots with a set of twin-turbo flat-six engines that have been tuned for up to 473 horsepower. High performance turbo and GT3 models are available—this is Porsche, of course—but we review those cars separately. Most 911 models have rear wheel drive but all-wheel drive is available. Coupe, convertible, and Targa body styles are offered, and they have a cabin that is comfortable for two adults whether it’s been decked out in luxuries or left bone stock. The 911’s superiority stems not only from its lofty performance capabilities but also the fact that it’s comfortable enough to live with on a daily basis.
What’s New for 2023?
To celebrate the brand’s 70th year selling cars in North America, Porsche has added a range-topping America Edition GTS convertible to the 911 lineup. Only 100 are earmarked for sale in the United States (with 15 more going to Canada) and all come with a seven-speed manual transmission, Azure Blue 356 exterior paint, tri-finish wheels (with white, silver, and red detailing), and special bodyside graphics. The black leather interior is punctuated with red detailing throughout and illuminated door sill plates pay homage to the brand’s North American history. Interested buyers should contact their Porsche dealer quickly, as the limited edition is likely to sell out even at a price of $186,370.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Based on our experience with myriad 911 models, we can confidently recommend the Carrera S. It boasts 64 horses more than the standard Carrera. Though we love manual transmissions, Porsche’s dual-clutch automatic is possibly the best self-shifting gearbox in the world, so we wouldn’t dissuade anyone from opting for it. Those who want to enjoy their 911 year-round but have to deal with slippery winter conditions can add all-wheel drive for $7300 if you feel four winter tires aren’t enough. We love the classic coupe body style, especially since the convertible costs almost $13,000 more. We’d also opt for the Sport Chrono package that adds launch control, additional drive modes, and more. The Sport Seats Plus option provides more supportive front buckets, and the Sport package adds a lowered suspension and a snarltastic exhaust system. Our selection of upgrades would conclude with ventilated front-seat cushions, passive entry, a heated multifunction GT steering wheel, and Porsche’s Dynamic Light System Plus that features automatic high-beams and headlights that swivel in the direction the front tires are pointed. That’s just a sprinkling of the customization options Porsche offers on this car, which add substantially to the price. But warning: they’re hard to resist.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Mounted in the rear of the 911 is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six-cylinder engine. The base Carrera has 379 horsepower, the S pumps out 443 ponies, and the GTS generates 473 horses. While every model comes standard with a ridiculously quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, a sweet seven-speed manual is offered but you’ll have to shell out for an S or GTS to get it. The coupe and convertible have standard rear-wheel drive, but they can be fitted with all-wheel drive for four-season, high-performance driving. The Targa is all-wheel-drive only. We’ve tested the base Carrera as well as several variations of the more powerful Carrera S, which proved its progress at the racetrack and its incredible traction in adverse weather conditions. No matter the application, every 911 has astonishing acceleration, especially when the gleefully good launch control is utilized. Porsche’s optional sport exhaust system also helps enhance the experience by providing a fuller engine note. Best of all, the 911 is as comfortable as ever and also better to drive. Its steering is communicative and brilliantly direct, and the coupe and convertible have increased cornering grip and stability. The ride quality is surprisingly supple, too, despite the 911’s amazing body control, which allow drivers to seamlessly switch between relaxed and spirited romps.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With EPA ratings of 18 mpg city and 25 highway, the Carrera S with the manual transmission is the most fuel-efficient 911. However, other 911 models’ fuel-economy estimates don’t drop much farther from those figures. We our 75-mph highway routea Carrera and Carrera S (both equipped with automatics) earned impressive results of 33 and 30 mpg, respectively. For more information about the 911’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The 911’s interior continues to look sophisticated rather than complicated, with a mix of buttons, knobs and touch-screen controls and—for the first time ever—a large center cupholder. The gauge cluster also deviates from history, ditching the mainly analog instruments for mostly digital ones. While these screens have some user-experience issues and can be blocked by the steering wheel, the central tachometer still uses a physical needle that follows the engine’s revs towards its heavenly 7400-rpm redline. The 911’s low-slung driving position and supportive front seats are fantastic, and the steering wheel has a wide range of adjustment. We only wish Porsche used less piano-black trim on the center console, provided more interior cubby storage, and gave this icon of a car a grander shifter than the stubby flipper that comes on automatic-equipped models. Although the 911 continues to offer seating for up to four in theory, the tiny back seats remain as hostile to adults as they were when 911s first hit the road in the mid-1960s.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every 911 is outfitted with a 10.9-inch touchscreen integrated into the middle of the dashboard. In addition to voice commands and buttons on the steering wheel, the center screen also features rotary push-button controls on the console. The infotainment system supports a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless Apple CarPlay, and wired Android Auto. Porsche does provide two high-end surround-sound systems that include a 12-speaker Bose unit and a 13-speaker Burmester stereo.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 911 is available with myriad driver-assistance technologiesincluding desirable options such as automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, and even night vision. For more information about the 911’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Porsche’s warranty coverage is standard for the segment, with the first maintenance visit covered free of charge. However, rivals such as the Jaguar F-type offer more value by covering maintenance for up to five years.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles
2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
Vehicle Type: rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe
Base/As Tested: $138,050/$162,940
Options: Carbon-ceramic brakes with yellow calipers, $8970; full bucket seats with rear seat delete, $5900; black leather and Race-Tex interior, $4530; Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, $3170; rear-axle steering, $2090; 23.7-gallon extended range fuel tank, $230
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 182 in32981cm3
Power: 473 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft @ 2300 rpm
8-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 16.1-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc/15.6-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4
F: 245/35ZR-20 (91Y) NA1
A: 305/30ZR-21 (100Y) NA1
Wheel base: 96.5 in
Length: 178.5 in
Width: 72.9 in
Height: 50.9 in
Passenger Volume: 49 ft3
Cargo Volume: 14ft3
Curb Weight: 3399 lbs.
CD TEST RESULTS
1/4-Mile: 10.9 sec @ 128 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 3.9 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.7 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 193 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 143 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 288 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.06g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (CD IS)
Combined/City/Highway: 20/18/23 mpg
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