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 revised both visually and mechanically in 2009 and carries on for 2010 with no changes. Available in coupe, convertible or glass-roof Targa body styles, the 911 carries on as one of the most recognizable desireable performance cars currently sold.You'll Like This Car If...
You'll like the Porsche 911 if you want an iconic sports car that is 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 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-priced Nissan GT-R.What's New for 2010
No major changes to the Porsche 911 for 2010.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 drivable 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 the 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 last year often noticed by only the most dedicated Porsche-philes. The 2010 911 features bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, LED tail lights and large 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, tire pressure monitoring and six airbags.Notable Optional Equipment
There are numerous options available to outfit the Porsche 911 including rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, heated/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 $8,150 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
Last year's engines in the 911 Carrera and Carrera S were 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.
345 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
288 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 manual, 19/27 PDK
385 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
310 lb.-ft. of torque a@ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 manual, 19/26 PDK
The base 911 Carrera has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $79,000. All-wheel drive costs an additional $6,100 while the base convertible starts around $90,000. The glass-roof Targa trim has an entry price starting around $93,000 and is offered exclusively with all-wheel drive in both Carrera and Carrera S versions. The most expensive model is the Turbo Cabriolet, which starts around $145,000. 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.