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2018 Porsche 911 KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.0 / 10
This Car - 2018 Porsche 911
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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

As the unique and premier sports car in the world, the 2018 Porsche 911 is an automotive and cultural icon. Just as it has since the mid-1960s, it remains the German automaker’s flagship, its showcase for style, technology and ultimate performance. Today the new Porsche 911 is available in three body styles and eight distinct models, some with all-wheel drive and powerful turbocharged 6-cylinder engines, which are mounted in the rear. While most sports cars only seat two, the Porsche 911 has a small back seat that is surprisingly useful, as well as a sizable front trunk or “frunk.” Prices start around $92,000 for a 911 Carrera Coupe with 370 horsepower and top out at almost $295,000 for the 700-horsepower 911 GT2 RS. The 911 competes with the Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type, Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-AMG GT, as well as supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for an exotic sports car that makes a statement and always says the right thing, you’ll like the 2018 Porsche 911. With a unique blend of speed, technology, refinement, timeless style, exceptional build quality and daily practicality, many feel the Porsche 911 is the best all-around sports car in the world.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for the absolute most speed for the money, the Porsche 911 doesn’t deliver. Chevy’s Corvette, which has been the 911’s rival for over 50 years, delivers similar performance as the Porsche at a radical discount. The new Corvette ZR1 even packs 755 horsepower, which dwarfs the 911’s max output.

What's New for 2018

Porsche significantly updated the 911 for the 2017 model year, so little changed for 2018 in terms of equipment and options other than a new (optional) Powerkit that bumps Carrera S and 4S models from 420 horsepower to 450 horsepower — matching the power output of the GTS. All 2018 Porsche 911 models now come with free scheduled maintenance for the first year, which should cover the first oil change. In other news, the automaker expanded the 911 range with three new models: The new 911 Carrera T targets enthusiasts with a lightened chassis and several performance upgrades. The GT3 Touring is a wingless, and manual-transmission-only, version of the track-ready GT3. Lastly, the 911 GT2 RS debuts as a 700-horsepower flagship.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 2018 Porsche 911 is fast enough to get you arrested anywhere in the world, but comfortable enough to be driven every single day. Last year Porsche replaced its naturally aspirated engines with twin-turbo versions that deliver even greater thrust and improved fuel efficiency. Sure the purist porschefisti protested, but the benefits are undeniable and the engines sound as sexy as they should. A 7-speed manual transmission is available in most models, but the 7-speed PDK twin-clutch automatic is equally enjoyable, thanks to its lightning-quick shifts and easy drivability. The standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system uses active dampers to both smooth out the ride and tackle corners, without compromising its famous precision. Optional rear-wheel steering helps to both increase maneuverability in parking lots while improving stability at high speeds. And the Sport Chrono package includes a Drive Mode Selector on the steering wheel to select different performance settings.

The new-for-2018 911 Carrera T boasts thin glass, reduced acoustic insulation, and minimalist lightweight racing pull straps (instead of traditional door handles) to save weight. The diet sheds about 40 pounds, but dynamically it drives nearly identical to the standard Carrera. Some may note a more vocal engine soundtrack, which is credited to standard Sport Exhaust. Expert drivers will be able to wring more performance out of the Carrera T, thanks to more aggressive transmission gearing (with the manual gearbox) and a limited-slip differential.

The new-for-2018 GT3 Touring is a street-legal racecar with a high-revving 500-horsepower non-turbocharged engine -- the only naturally aspirated engine in Porsche’s model range. Mated to a standard 6-speed manual gearbox (standard Carrera models have a 7-speed manual, but Porsche drops the overdrive ratio on the GT3), the powerplant is an absolute turbine-like jewel. With rear-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension, aggressive tires, and oversized brakes, the GT3 Touring delivers impressive levels of performance without sacrificing too much in terms of ride quality. Unlike the standard GT3, which boasts a massive rear wing that blocks much of the view to the rear, the Touring model accomplishes similar aerodynamic tricks with discreet appendage tweaks and an active rear spoiler that drops out of sight when not needed. The GT3 Touring is a high-performance sports car for those who like to travel in stealth mode.

Lastly, the new 911 GT2 RS is one of the quickest street vehicles the automaker has ever built -- it laps the famed Nürburgring racetrack quicker than Porsche’s 918 supercar. With 700 horsepower, it accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds -- validating its nearly $300,000 asking price. Limited production numbers and a lofty window sticker make the GT2 RS one very rare sports car.

Favorite Features

Although the Porsche 911 is less prone to scraping over driveways and speed bumps than other cars in this class, it’s still a low-slung sports car. This optional hydraulic system, which costs $2,590, raises the front axle 1.5 inches at the push of a button to increase ground clearance at speeds up to 37 mph.

The power of Porsche brakes is legendary, but this optional system is the ultimate and it’s one of the 911’s most expensive options at $8,520. It’s worth it. Porsche replaces the 911’s cast-iron brake rotors with larger cross-drilled and vented carbon-fiber-reinforced units, which are almost impossible to overheat, even on the racetrack.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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