Porsche has been making 911s since 1963. So a new one is no big deal.

And outwardly, the 2017 is just last year’s model with a new paint job.

But inwardly, this is a dramatically different machine. The 911 has gone turbo.

For this 911 Carrera 4S, the German car company has replaced the traditional naturally aspirated flat six engine with a twin-turbo flat six.

That’s an upgrade. The new 3.0-liter turbo makes more horsepower and more torque than the old 3.4-liter engine – 420 horses and 368 pound feet of torque, up several percentage points over its predecessor. It also gets 12 percent better fuel economy, Porsche claims.

The car performs better, too. The new engine comes on strong, from quite low in the power band, and keeps coming on all the way to redline. It does that with none of the lag from which some early turbo engines suffered – and which turned a lot of traditionalists away from the newer, power-boosting technology.


And it does it without requiring much driver input to find or maintain the sweet spot. It’s all sweet spot.

In canyons, the new Carrera carved and cornered splendidly, proving it to be far more car than I am driver. Paired with Porsche’s justifiably celebrated PDK transmission, and wearing stock Pirelli P Zero tires, the new 911 stuck to every swerve.

The new car I tested also features chassis and suspension updates. The 2017 sits 10 millimeters lower than its most recent ancestor – 20 millimeters lower with the optional Sport Suspension package – and it features optional rear-wheel steering.

The turning circumference is very tight, and the steering and handling feel surgically precise, even with an amateur like me behind the wheel.

Porsche has added a driving mode. The four choices are now Normal, Sport, Sport+ and Individual, which allows the operator to choose specific levels of power distribution and suspension settings.

Even Normal is sporty, and Sport seemed super-sporty. Sport+ appears to unleash 100 percent of the Porsche’s power, all at once, in a 20-second burst that adds acceleration and a certain drama to lane changing and passing.


It’s not quite as freaky-fast as the Insane button on the Tesla Model S, but it’s very exciting.

Porsche says the 911 Carrera 4S coupe with the PDK transmission and Sport Chrono Package will go from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds – faster than the oh-so-slow 3.9 seconds it took last year’s comparable model.

Inside the cockpit, the new model springs some more surprises. In addition to the automatic and paddle-shift modes, the new transmission offers a manual stick shift feature.

There is also an upgrade to the keyless ignition. Just swipe your finger along the door handle upon exit or approach and the doors automatically lock or unlock.

As suits a car that insists upon keeping the driver connected to the driving, the creature comforts are kept to a minimum. The improved information and entertainment screen is barely 21st century. Though not sophisticated for a luxury car, the Connect Plus system does include Apple Car Play, Google Street View, Wi-Fi and real-time traffic information.

A parking assistance program, and a back-up camera, are standard. So are cup holders, which are hidden behind a panel in the dashboard and when activated don’t work terribly well.

This new 911 has a starting MSRP of $111,350, including the mandatory destination charges. That’s up from the 2016 version of the same car, for which the entrance fee was $106,680.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.