991 Generation

2012-2019

Units Produced: 233,540

 

Unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show as the replacement for the 997. The 991 was an entirely new platform.

Longer, sleeker, and with more powertrain and drivetrain options than ever, the 991 generation Carrera is the seventh generation in the Porsche 911s history. It was larger and more refined than the outgoing 997 as well as being lighter and more powerful. The car continued to feature the same characteristic teardrop shape for which the 911 is immediately recognizable to just about any automotive enthusiast. However, two unique design principles were followed that helped refine the character of the car. First, the arch of the roofline was reduced and re-design to taper gradually to the rear of the car.  Second, the front wings (the assembly that includes the headlight and surrounding structure) were now placed higher than the lid. The interior and technology was a big upgrade over the 997 due largely to the increased competition in the segment and competing marques with luxurious interiors.

A new transaxle was developed so that the rear wheels could be moved 3 inches (76 millimeters) backward in relation to the position of the engine, which dramatically improved the car’s weight distribution and cornering performance. The 991 features a smaller, yet more powerful, 3.4-liter engine that has auto stop/start, PDK transmission and much better fuel economy. A completely new chassis with longer wheelbase, greater track width and beefier tires to improve high-speed stability. Redesigned suspension and new rear axle for enhanced ride and handling while electric power steering took some of the feel away that we were used to. Porsche Torque Vectoring was included too which helped tracking stability. The 991 range is available with either a seven-speed manual transmission (a first for the industry) or a PDK dual-clutch unit.

The midlife update was meaningful in that Porsche switched from naturally aspirated engine to turbocharging for most models. Called the 991.2 series, enthusiasts initially shuddered. Porsche however delivered a winner, with the 3.0 liter twin turbo flat six engine developed 370 horsepower in base Carrera trim. 

Porsche 911 991 (2011-2015)

The completely redesigned seventh-generation sports car icon sprang into the limelight with its sleek and stretched silhouette, exciting contours and precisely designed features. Yet from every angle it is unmistakably a 911. In engineering terms this 911 was all about Porsche Intelligent Performance: even lower fuel consumption and even more power and using a hybrid construction method (steel/aluminium), which led to a considerable reduction in weight. Therefore despite the 991 being larger than its predecessor 997, it was also lighter by 110 pounds, and more powerful.

The Carrera came equipped with a 3.4- litre boxer engine with direct fuel injection, 345 bhp at 7,400 rpm and 288 lb⋅ft at 5,600 rpm. The Carrera S received a 3.8 liter engine with 395 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 325 lb⋅ft at 5,600 rpm. The convertible model of the 991 was announced in both Carrera and Carrera S versions, at the LA Motor Show in November 2011. In September 2012 at the Paris Motor Show, all-wheel-drive variants – the Carrera 4 and 4S, were added to the line-up.

Introduced in November, 2014, at the LA Motor Show, the 991 Carrera GTS was developed as the mid-level model between the Carrera S and GT3 edition 911s. Base options included a 424 horsepower PowerKit, a Sport Chrono Package, a Sport Exhaust System, Dynamic Engine Mounts, 10mm lowered suspension, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTM) system, LED daytime running lights with Porsche Dynamic Lighting System (PDLS), Sport Design Front Spoiler, Sport Design Rear Mirrors, GTS badging, and 20″ Centerlock wheels. When optioned with PDK, 0–60 mph is achieved consistently at 3.8 seconds with the help of Launch Control.

At the Detroit Motor Show in January 2014, Porsche introduced the Targa 4 and Targa 4S models. These new derivatives came equipped with an all-new roof technology that still incorporated the original Ttarga design, now with an all-electric cabriolet roof along with the B-pillar and the glass ‘dome’ at the rear. On January 12, 2015, Porsche announced the 911 Targa GTS at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Similar in appearance to the existing Targa 4 and 4S models, the GTS added the 424 horsepower (316 kW) engine plus several otherwise optional features.

As expected Porsche released several special edition cars during the 991 cycle. The GT3 came first, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013. The 991 GT3 got a new 3.8 litre direct fuel injection flat-six engine developing 475 hp at 8,250 rpm and for the first time no manual gearbox, instead it had a PDK dual clutch unit as well as rear-wheel steering. Performance was awesome with the GT3 going from standstill to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, hitting the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds and lapped Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 25 seconds. The 991.1 GT3 RS was next up in 2015 and as expected was an even more focused track day machine. Louvers above the wheels and the rear fenders now include Turbo-like intakes, rather than an intake below the rear wing and the roof was made from magnesium. The 3.8-litre unit found in the 911 GT3 was replaced with a 4.0-litre unit with 500 hp and 339 lb ft of torque. The transmission is PDK only. It was enough to help the GT3 RS do the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

Porsche finished off the 991.1 series by building the the amazing 911 R. Think of it as a manual GT3 RS and you’re pretty close. The limited edition (991 units were made) is the perfect Porsche on paper with its 500 hp 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine, 6-speed manual transmission, exotic lightweight materials and lots of cool Porsche motorsports tech like rear-axle steering, dynamic engine mounts, PASM, PSM and Porsche Torque Vectoring all standard. 

Porsche 911 991.2 (2015-2018)

2015 marked a new milestone in Porsche’s history with development of a turbocharged flat engine that gave the world’s best-selling sports car a significant boost in power as well as considerably lower fuel consumption. Porsche gave the Carrera and Carrera S models these flat six turbo engines which were previously sold as normally aspirated only. There was initial pushback from enthusiasts that seems to have now dissipated.

On the outside there weren’t many changes for the 991.2 range. Slightly different bumpers with larger air intakes, new rims and different rear hood vents, with the slits now being placed vertically and different rear lights. The interior stays pretty much the same, but it does get a new touchscreen infotainment system also compatible with Apple CarPlay. Mechanically, apart from the extra power and better fuel economy provided by the two little turbos, the 911 Carrera gets wider wheels, new shock absorbers and standard PASM active suspension.

The new 3.0-litre twin turbocharged six-cylinder flat engine developed 370 hp in the 911 Carrera and 420 hp in the 911 Carrera S, up 20 hp over the prior versus the 991.1. Other improvements in the 991.2 range included not just more power, but updated Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) chassis and optional rear axle steering improved the best time of the 911 on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife to 7.30 minutes. Ten seconds faster than its predecessor and with an even greater lead over the competition.

All the same models from the 991.1 series were still available (24+ models) with the addition of an entirely new variant called the Carrera T. This is a first-order driver’s car, a basic 911 equipped with purposefully selected, road-annihilating hardware. The point of the T (for Touring) is to be a spartan model equipped with only the necessities that a dedicated driver might want. It has the same 370hp as the base 911 mated to the (good) seven-speed manual transaxle. Add shorter gearing and a limited-slip differential and this is a tasty package.  The Carrera T also gets two-mode PASM sport suspension and a custom Sport Chrono package. There are other weight saving measures that add up to 44 pounds in less weight than a standard Carrera. Shorter gears, LSD, thinner glass, no rear seats plus a preselected mix of the base 911’s best hardware.

In terms of special models, they all received upgrades, but the move to turbocharging for the broader range makes them seem less special on paper. For example, with the PDK and the launch control system activated, the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 gets to 62mph in 3.4 seconds. With the manual gearbox, a similar sprint takes 3.9 seconds. Fast, loud, firm, precise and no body roll, these cars deliver full sensory overload at slow speeds around town and an almost religious experience at speed on track. There is nothing better. Well, maybe there is because in the 991.2 Porsche decided to bring back the manual gearbox in the GT3. Called the Touring and it is the exec’s GT3. There’s the deletion of the regular GT3’s fixed wing replaced with a classic pop-up rear deck, albeit embellished with a ‘GT3 Touring’ badge and a unique lip spoiler on the trailing edge. It only comes with a six-speed manual and inside the trim is kept classic – all-leather and cloth, no Alcantara. Other than that, it’s as per the GT3, with all the same options (ceramic brakes, nose lift, LED headlights, Chrono Package, audio upgrades), which is great news. A subtle-looking GT3, maybe I need to rethink the earlier daily driver comment.

The 991.2 GT2 RS is powered by a 3.8 L twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine that produces a maximum power of 700 PS (515 kW; 690 hp) at 7,000 rpm and 750 N⋅m (550 lb⋅ft) of torque, making it the most powerful 911 ever built. Unlike the previous GT2 versions, this car is fitted with a 7-speed PDK transmission to handle the excessive torque produced from the engine. Porsche claims that this car will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, and has a top speed of 340 km/h (210 mph). It is by far the most expensive and extreme 911 available and is really only useful on track.