Friday, July 3, 2009

2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S Manual

These days, one is the loneliest number when it comes to Porsche clutches. A revamped 997 911 Carrera was introduced for 2009, bringing with it a front-trunk-full (a frunkful?) of upgrades, including the company’s first dual-clutch automated manual in a production car. With most of the attention focused on the new seven-speeddoppelkupplungsgetriebe’s (PDK) techno-wizardry, we almost forgot how satisfying Porsche’s old-timey manuals are to flog. Almost.

Our 997 v2.0 three-pedal experience had been heretofore limited to time at the launches of the Carrera and Carrera 4 models last year, and it’s only now that we’ve had the chance to plug the test gear into a six-speedsingle-kupplungsgetriebe Carrera S. Guess what? It’s fast.

We’ll Trade a Clutch for a Pedal Any Day

A new engine for the S is mounted 0.4 inch lower in the tail section and is fed by direct fuel injection, providing 385 horses and 310 lb-ft of torque (increases of 30 and 15, respectively) from 3.8 liters of all-aluminum flat-six. The extra gusto made for a 3.9-second 0–60 run, which lopped 0.4 second off the time of the last manual Carrera S we tested. The quarter-mile was dispensed in 12.4 seconds at 114 mph. And all that comes without the PDK’s brains and optional launch-control setting. In short, it’s the quickest 911 Carrera we’ve tested to date.

It’s the most satisfying, too. The gearbox is carry-over, but we wouldn’t have wanted Porsche to change a thing, since it still has the perfectly weighted, well-matched pairing of clutch and shifter that we’ve come to expect from 911s. When the Sport button is pressed, the stiffening of the standard active suspension is noticeable, unlike in many other vehicles. It feels as though the tires are being forced down to the road, not the car being forced up in response to heaves and cracks. And the classic 911 shape—updated with LED lighting and revised front and rear styling—is still great to look at.

Keep Reading: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S Manual - Short Take Road Test


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