KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/21/2013
Few cars wear the mantle of automotive icon as righteously as the Porsche 911. Every modern 911 variant embodies the distinguished charms of its forebears while offering significantly improved performance and refinement. With this year's debut of the range-topping Turbo and Turbo S models, the Porsche 911 lineup at last concludes its slow-yet-steady migration to the newest 991-generation platform, which builds upon the 911's signature rear-engine layout by incorporating lightweight materials, a longer wheelbase and increased structural rigidity. Because prices range between $85,000 and $190,000, the 911's competitive set spans from the comparatively affordable Lotus Evora and Jaguar XK to the upper-crust Audi R8 and Aston Martin Vantage. While all are exceptional alternatives, it's tough to bet against the most celebrated sports car in history: the Porsche 911.
You'll Like This Car If...
If your automotive ambitions include owning one of the world's best all-around sports cars, a Porsche 911 of any stripe is sure to fit the bill. Steeped in racing heritage, this wholly modern version of Porsche's seminal offering delivers a near-perfect combination of power, handling and everyday civility.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Getting your hands on a legend among sports cars comes at a price. In other words, driving enthusiasts looking for a more compelling performance-per-dollar ratio should consider the Nissan GT-R, Jaguar XKR or the Audi TT-RS.
What's New for 2014
Now in their seventh generation, the all-new 911 Turbo and Turbo S variants join the roster for 2014. With some big shoes to fill, the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S aim to reaffirm their benchmark status among the world's finest sub-exotic sports cars.
Hanging the engine out over the rear axle creates a weight-and-balance reality no designer would choose today. The rock-on-a-string effect has always let rear-wheel-drive (RWD) 911s change direction eagerly but at the risk of spinning off the road if ham-handled. With each new platform, Porsche has sought to retain the benefits but further control the liabilities of the unique layout. In the 2014 Porsche 911, the result is a quick, responsive and communicative car, but one that is also stable and confidence-inspiring. It's even comfortable and accommodating on long trips. The car runs plenty strong with the "base" Carrera engine's 350 horsepower, but for even more, you can choose 400 (Carrera S), 520 (Turbo), or 560 (Turbo S). The 911's industry-first 7-speed manual gearbox (not available on Turbo models) works beautifully but we prefer Porsche's spectacular twin-clutch PDK automatic transmission, which bangs off gear changes with a press of wheel-mounted rocker switches.
Standard on the 911 Turbo, Turbo S and GT3, Porsche's active rear-axle steering system turns the rear wheels opposite the fronts below 31 mph and with the fronts above 50 mph for greatly improved agility.
PDK TWIN-CLUTCH TRANSMISSION
Porsche's delightful 7-speed PDK transmission can operate automatically or be shifted manually using either the shift lever or steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. This is simply the model of sporting, manually shifted automatics, changing ratios more cleanly and quickly than a human-operated stick and pedal.
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