A Porsche 911 facelift is somewhat of a contradiction in terms. An ancient motoring cliché it may be, but the fundamental engineering and styling of the world’s best-selling sports car has remained unaltered for decades, enduring the ravages of time with barely a wrinkle to show for it. A true magic formula if ever there was one.
911 fanatics everywhere (they literally are everywhere) will no doubt be thrilled to discover that the updated 2016 Carrera, unveiled by Porsche ahead of the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, is one for the traditionalists. Of course that’s not to say the new 911 has escaped the surgeon’s knife entirely; however, the 2016 edition has undergone more of an organ transplant than any extensive cosmetic surgery.
The familiar rear-mounted 3.0-litre flat-six engine is once again the beating heart of the old warrior, but the 2016 911 series receives an extra shot of adrenaline in the form of twin-turbochargers which boost overall power output to 370bhp on the Carrera and 420bhp on the Carrera S. Torque is also up on both variants, to 332lb/ft and 369lb/ft respectively. The enhanced figures translate into superior performance. The new 911 Carrera will shoot from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds, that’s two tenths faster than its predecessor, whilst its racier S sibling will cover the same ground in just 3.9 seconds. Significantly, that makes it the first ever Carrera to smash the 4.0 second barrier. At full tilt, the revamped 911s will hit 183 mph 191 mph respectively.
Scratch further under the surface and you’ll find that the turbocharged new engines are not the only significant upgrades in store for the 2016 spec 911. Porsche 911 Turbo and GT3 tech filters down the bloodline, giving the Carrera S the option of harnessing rear-axle steering and a revised chassis sees ride height lowered by 10mm for optimum stability in fast corners.
A set of new headlights, tail lights and DRLs is pretty much the extent of the external ‘freshen up’ besides a subtly redesigned engine lid, but that’s how it should be with this, the most well-wearing and iconic sports car design in the business.
Inside, a new Porsche infotainment system with an enhanced touch-screen display promises a considerably wider and more simplified range of functions. Another interesting Porsche supercar derivative is the steering wheel-mounted mode switch button derived from the 918 Spyder’s hybrid mode toggle. As well as the usual ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ settings, an additional ‘Sport Response’ switch primes the engine for maximum acceleration for 20 seconds whilst selecting the optimum gear for rapid overtakes.
The new fleet of Porsche 911 Carreras will debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. All four models will go on sale in December with prices ranging from £76,412 for the 911 Carrera Coupe to £94,698 for the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet.