2016 Porsche 911 Revealed, Carrera S Offers Supercar Performance, Starts at $103,400

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera S 12 photos
Photo: Porsche
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Now that Porsche has introduced the 2016 911 Carrera and Carrera S models one week ahead of their Frankfurt debut, there’s one question that needs to be answered - when does a sportscar become a supercar?
While it’s difficult to draw this line, the revised Carrera S does just that, as we can now call it a supercar. We’ll elaborate in a minute, but for now we want to discuss the technical details of the refresh.

A new engine in two output versions

For the first time in Zuffenhausen history, we get forced induction models outside the Turbo and the GT2, with the 2016 Carrera and Carrera S packing a new twin-turbo 3-liter flat-six.

In the Carrera, the engine develops 370 hp and 331 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque. For the Carrera S, the unit gets different compressor wheels, a bespoke exhaust system, as well as reworked ECU mapping.

As a result, the S model delivers 420 hp and 368 lb-ft (500 Nm) of twist, with the maximum torque (for both engines) being offered between 1,700 rpm and 5,000 rpm.

The new figures can be translated into an output premium of 20 hp and 44 lb-ft (60 Nm).

The main technical options (and a few standard features)

Porsche’s seven-speed manual is standard, with their PDK transmission being offered as an option.

Sport Chrono Pack models now bring a 918 Spyder-inspired switch on the steering wheel, which offers the possibility of choosing between four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual.

PDK-gifted models see this switch gaining a Sport Response button, with Porsche explaining this feature “pre-conditions the drivetrain for maximum acceleration.”

From now on, all 911 models get PASM active suspension as standard, and we’ll remind you this lowers the ride height by 0.4 inches (10 mm) compared to the passive suspension the 911 used to offer.

The shock absorbers are new and so are the standard wheels - the width of the rear rims has been increased by 0.5 inches to 11.5 inches on all models, while the Carrera S now features 305-section rear tires (instead of 295-section).

Just like the 911 GT3, the Carreras now offer an optional electro-hydraulic lift system, which can raise the car’s nose by 1.6 inches (40 mm) within 5 seconds.

Returning to the Carrera S

The S model can now be gifted with rear-axle steering, receiving ZF hardware like the Turbo and GT3 models.

So what makes the 2016 Carrera S a supercar? First of all, we have to explain this title applied to the models gifted with all the optional tech tricks mentioned above. The performance figures speak for themselves.

While the base Carrera deals with the 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in 4 seconds flat, the Carrera S brings that to 3.7 seconds. As for the top speed, this sits at 183 and 191 mph, respectively (295 and 307.5 km/h).

More importantly, the Nurburgring time for the Carrera S has dropped by a massive 10 seconds. This means the model can now lap the Green Hell in 7:30. This doesn’t just make it faster than the previous-generation Turbo S and GT2, but also brings it deliciously close to the 7.28.71 time of the Carrera GT.

The fuel efficiency gains

The 2016 models are 12 percent more fuel efficient compared to their predecessors. The downsized engine move is accompanied by other efficiency-boosting measures, such as reduced rolling resistance. Another such example comes from the adaptive cruise control, which can now take advantage of the PDK’s coasting function.

Infotainment and safety updates

There’s a new Porsche Communication Management infotainment system, whose 7-inch display supports multi-touch gesture and handwriting. Apple CarPlay, as well as Google Earth and Google Streetview, are also on the menu.

The 2016 911 Carrera and Carrera S models are scheduled to hit the US market in March next year.

Here are the MSRPs (probably not including the destination charge, which now sits at $995)
  • 911 Carrera $89,400
  • 911 Carrera S $103,400
  • 911 Carrera Cabriolet $101,700
  • 911 Carrera S Cabriolet $115,700

The new technologies have allowed Porsche to increase the price by between $4,500 and $5,000, depending on the model.

Over in Europe, the German launch of the model is slated for December 12th, with pricing starting at EUR96,605.

The turbo mistery

Despite Porsche revealing the model online, we still have some unanswered questions. And if we can wait for the curb weight list, we’re eager to dive deeper into the turbocharging details of the new engines.

As we reported, Porsche has patented a variable compression ratio system, which would allow an engine to offer superior performance both at low and high revs. And while the carmaker doesn’t mention anything about this for now, the ending paragraph of the press release below may be a clue for the presence of the system.

In the development of turbocharged six-cylinder flat engines Porsche can look back on more than 40 years of experience. For example, turbocharging with a bypass valve was first used in 1972 in the 917/10 racing car before entering series production in 1974 in the first 911 Turbo. In 1974, charge air cooling was also first introduced in the 917/10. In 1977, this technology then celebrated its premiere in the 911 Turbo 3.3. Further milestones in the development of turbo engines include sequential turbocharging with two consecutive chargers (for the first time in the 959), twin-turbo charging with two parallel chargers (for the first time in the 911 Turbo, type 993) and adjustable intake valves (for the first time in the 911 Turbo, type 996),” the press release reads.

It’s interesting how Porsche chose not to mention the 997-generation 911 Turbo. This was the world’s first gasoline-powered production car to feature variable-geometry turbochargers. As always with Porsche, the mystery is part of the overall package.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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