By KBB.com Editors
In the world of premium sports cars few names stand as strong as the Porsche 911. The rear-engine rear-drive icon has dazzled performance driving fans around the world since it was introduced in 1964. With so much of the Porsche mystique tied to the success of the 911 it is understandable that changes to the model tend to be subtle and deliberate. The current generation 911, internally dubbed the 997, was launched in 2005 and carries on for 2009 with light exterior revisions and more extensive mechanical improvements. Available in coupe, convertible or glass-roof Targa body styles the 911 carries on as one of the most recognizable aspirational performance cars currently sold.You'll Like This Car If...
You'll like the 2009 Porsche 911 if you want an iconic sports car that goes fast, looks good and will continue to do so years into the future.You May Not Like This Car If...
You may not like the 2009 Porsche 911 if edgy design or flashy technology lights your fire. The 911's evolutionary design may strike younger buyers as stodgy compared to competitors like the technology-focused and competitively price Nissan GT-R.What's New for 2009
Changes made to the Porsche 911 for 2009 include modest exterior alterations and new LED-running lights. The biggest changes occur under the boot where heavily revised engines and a new twin-clutch transmission help the 911 keep pace with the march of advancing technology.Driving It Driving Impressions
Part of the mystique surrounding the Porsche 911 is based on its reputation as a fast car with a tendency to catch inexperienced drivers off-guard. Whatever fickleness might have been exhibited by previous generations is absent in the current 911. On the race track, the Porsche 911 is a supremely controllable car that rewards more experienced drivers without intimidating those with less experience. Handling limits are high, there is excellent stability at high speeds and the brakes deliver arrester hook-like stopping power. Acceleration is strong in both Carrera and Carrera S trims, and the optional PDK transmission actually helps deliver faster acceleration than manual equipped cars. All-wheel drive Carrera 4 models provide improved traction in slippery conditions albeit at the cost of slightly slower acceleration. Despite its on-track excellence the 911 is actually quite livable on the streets, providing a reasonably plush ride during long stints on the highway.Favorite Features
The proper name for the 911's optional twin-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission is Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe. Simply called PDK here in America, it offers the direct feel and control of a manual but with quicker shifts than any driver could achieve. With all the best traits of an automatic and a manual transmission – without the need for a clutch pedal – we'd think twice about passing up PDK.
Touch-Screen Audio System
The Porsche 911's intuitive new touch-screen interface makes controlling the audio system or a connected MP3 player far easier than the confusing array of buttons found in previous models.
Interior appointments are acceptably luxurious given the 911's premium status with an overall cabin design carried over unchanged from the previous model year. The most notable interior updates include optional ventilated seats and a revised audio system with a simpler design and intuitive new touch-screen interface. The latest generation continues the 911's tradition of including four seats but only enough room to comfortably accommodate two passengers. The modest rear seats are best used to hold whatever luggage doesn't fit in the decent sized front trunk.Exterior
From its round headlights and inset hood to its long sloping roofline and pronounced rear fenders few cars possess as distinct a shape as the Porsche 911. To help retain the 911's timeless design changes from generation to generation tend to be subtle, with mid-cycle refreshes like those made for the '09 model often noticed by only the most dedicated Porschephiles. New details for 2009 include Bi-Xenon headlights, LED running lights, LED tail lights and larger front air intakes. Buyers can still choose between coupe, cabriolet and Targa body styles, the latter of which features an expansive retractable glass sunroof.Notable Standard Equipment
Among the Porsche 911's standard features are Bi-Xenon headlights with washers, 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, automatic climate control, cruise control, power accessories, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a nine-speaker audio system with 6.5-inch touch screen display. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability and traction controls, a tire pressure monitoring system and six airbags.Notable Optional Equipment
There are numerous options available to outfit the standard 2009 Porsche 911 including rear parking sensors, auto dimming mirrors, heated seats, ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, navigation, sport seats and an audio interface with auxiliary and USB inputs. Adding to the already impressive performance of the 911 are an optional limited-slip differential, PDK twin-clutch transmission, active suspension management, and an extremely pricey $8,840 ceramic composite brake system. Buyers looking to enhance the look of their car can choose from a host of wheel designs, exterior paint colors and interior leather and trim options.Under the Hood
For 2009, the engines in the 911 Carrera and Carrera S have been redesigned increasing horsepower by 20 and 30 respectively. Both models feature a standard six-speed manual transmission or Porsche's optional PDK twin-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. Zero to sixty acceleration times vary from 4.7 seconds in a manual transmission equipped Carrera to 4.3 seconds in the Carrera S with the PDK. Rear wheel drive is standard for the Porsche 911 while all-wheel drive is included on Carrera 4 and Targa models.
3.6-liter Horizontally Opposed-6
345 horsepower at 6500 rpm
288 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 manual, 19/27 PDK
3.8-liter Horizontally Opposed-6
385 horsepower at 6500 rpm
310 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 manual, 19/26 PDK
The least expensive 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera trim has a starting price of about $77,000. All-wheel drive costs an additional $6,200 while adding a convertible top or moving up to the Carrera S trim each adds $10,700 to the price. The glass roof Targa trim has an entry price of just over $91,000 and is offered exclusively with all-wheel drive in both Carrera and Carrera S versions. To compare the actual transaction prices for the Porsche 911, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price. Porsche's typically hold their value quite well over time and the latest 911 is no exception with projected residual values on par with the best in the business.