The facelifted Porsche 911 will take the fight back to rivals including the Mercedes-AMG GT when it goes on sale this December. It will receive its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show later this month.
The most notable updates to the long-running sports car are a new turbocharged flat six engine and changes to the specification. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system is now standard, while inside there’s a new generation of Porsche’s multimedia setup. Its 7.0in touchscreen interface supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and satellite navigation is standard.
The 911’s exterior has also been upgraded, with new front and rear lights and active air ducts that open and close to channel airflow. Also new at the rear is a redesigned air vent that channels cooling air to the engine, intercoolers and turbochargers.
Powering the updated 911 is a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat six petrol engine, which in the Carrera develops 365bhp at 6500rpm and 332lb ft from 1700-5000rpm. In the Carrera S, those outputs rise to 414bhp and 369lb ft.
Transmission options remain as before, with a seven-speed manual gearbox offered alongside a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. The added power means the Carrera now sprints to 62mph from rest in 4.2sec when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono package. In the Carrera S, that time drops to 3.9sec, making both models 0.2sec faster than their outgoing equivalents.
The top speed of both the Carrera and Carrera S have also increased, to 183mph and 191mph respectively. Those figures make the updated 911 well matched against the Mercedes-AMG GT, which reaches 62mph in 4.0sec and has a top speed of 189mph in standard guise (3.8sec/193mph in GT S form).
As well as providing tunable settings for the dampers and throttle mapping, the Sport Chrono package now includes a steering wheel-mounted driving mode switch that allows the driver to choose between Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual driving modes.
On models with the Sport Chrono pack and PDK, an additional Sport Response button is fitted. Once pushed, the system provides maximum acceleration for 20 seconds by selecting the optimum gear.
Porsche says the facelifted 911 has already lapped the Nürburgring in 7min 34sec — more than six seconds faster than the outgoing car. The adoption of turbos has resulted in significant fuel economy gains. Porsche says its new engines are up to 12% more efficient than the units they replace.
The Carrera returns 38.1mpg in PDK guise, while the Carrera S achieves 36.7mpg. The equivalent outgoing models managed 34.4mpg and 32.5mpg respectively. A new option on the 911 Carrera is a four-wheel steer system, similar to that used by the 911 Turbo and GT3.
Porsche says the system increases agility and reduces the turning circle by 0.4m. Another option offered for the first time is a hydraulic lifting function that can raise the ride height by 40mm within five seconds.
Post-collision braking is now standard, too. Prices for the facelifted 911 range start at £76,412 for the Carrera, rising to £85,857 for the Carrera S. Cabriolet versions - which go on sale at the same time as the coupés - cost £85,253 and £94,698 respectively.
Q&A with Erhard Mossle, 911 product line director
What was behind the decision to switch to turbocharged engines?
“Our normally aspirated engine is famous, but we have the challenge of regulations on fuel consumption and also challenges from competitors. It’s getting harder to get close to them with a normally aspirated engine.”
Will buyers be happy with turbo engines?
“There will be some discussion over the next six months as customers try the car. It’s similar to when we changed from the 993 to the 996, from air-cooled to water-cooled. Customers always look for the faster car, but we are satisfied with this package.”
Is there more power to come from this engine?
“There is more power we can get; it is easier to get more power from a turbocharged engine than a normally aspirated engine. In the 911 GT3 RS, we had to go to 4.0 litres to get more power.”
Is there a place for the new four-cylinder engine family within the 911 range?
“I can’t imagine a four-cylinder in the 911.”
all the Pictures of the new AMG GT Fighter are here.
2015 Porsche 911 facelift revealed - exclusive studio pictures | Autocar