After 50 years and seven generations of the Porsche 911, the all-new 2012 911 Carrera is still the very definition of an uncompromising sports car.
Reflecting the obsessive attention to detail that has defined the brand, the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera is longer, lower and with a wider front track than previous 911 models. That small set of changes alone pays multiple dividends in ride, handling and comfort.
The changes run deep for the 2012 911 Carrera (MSRP $82,100). A 3.4-liter boxer six-cylinder uses less fuel and produces more torque than its larger-displacement predecessor. A new seven-speed manual gearbox, the world’s first in a production car, also plays a role in boosting both performance and efficiency. A new rear axle design and redesigned suspension work in concert with the four-inch wheelbase stretch for both enhanced high-speed stability and more precise handling. The suspension is fitted to a body structure that, despite its dimensional increases for 2012, is still the most compact body shell among premium sports cars.
The body of the 2012 911 Carrera is distinctively 911, gaining only 2.2 inches in overall length despite the significant wheelbase increase. That’s because the front and rear overhangs have been trimmed. The roofline is also lower, and you’ll find distinctive LED taillamps with a narrower design. The body is built from a mix of aluminum and steel, slicking about 100 pounds from the previous car’s structure. To keep the curb weight down, the hood, door skins, roof and engine lid are all aluminum. That aluminum roof is an example of uncompromising Porsche engineering. The roof could have been made of steel more easily, but using aluminum keeps the center of gravity lower, improving handling.
Aerodynamics are another key feature of the 2012 911 Carrera body design. Front and rear lift has dropped to nearly zero, and the overall coefficient of drag is a slick .29. A new adaptive rear spoiler can adjust its height and angle depending on the vehicle’s speed, and a new flow element on the leading edge finely trims the airflow over the spoiler’s blade. Exterior mirrors have been re-positioned to the upper edge of the door to reduce wind noise and optimize airflow, as well.
The 3.4-liter boxer six-cylinder in the 2012 911 Carrera is more powerful than the previous 3.6-liter, with 350 hp and 287 lb/ft of torque. New thermal management technology inside the engine and transmission bring them to operating temperature more quickly, and Auto Start Stop and a charging strategy that puts energy into the battery more aggressively during braking maximizes performance for times when drivers call for power. When paired with the PDK dual-clutch transmission, the 3.4-liter engine also provides a significant boost in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. The 2012 911 Carrera is the first Porsche sports car to attain the 200 gram per kilometer carbon dioxide (CO2
) target for Europe. Not only that, this engine hurtles the 911 Carrera to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds when fitted with the PDK and optional Sport Chrono Package. Manual transmission Carreras will reel in 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
The 2012 Carrera is the first Porsche to employ a precise and efficient electro-mechanical power steering system that draws power only when necessary. This system is lighter and more efficient than hydraulic systems, and it delivers superb feedback. Power Steering Plus is available, which allows customized settings for speeds below 31 mph.
Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is available on the 911 for the first time with the 2012 Carrera. PDCC controls hydraulic actuators acting on the body to counteract body lean. PDCC not only enhances cornering, it also improves the ride quality over traditional methods.
More groundbreaking Porsche technology controls the suspension of the 2012 911 Carrera. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) has been upgraded, and an additional height sensor at each wheel enhances control. PASM offers “Normal” and “Sport” drive modes, continually adjusting the dampers for comfort during cruising, and performance when being wrung-out. Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) keep the 911 on the intended track, first by channeling engine torque during cornering and then by priming the brakes and even applying individual calipers for stability control. Porsche Torque Vectoring is used for manual transmission Carreras, while PDK cars get PTV Plus, which is an electronically-controlled variable differential lock, versus the mechanical-only PTV.
Let’s not forget that all this mechanical wizardry must be stirred by a driver. The cabin of the 2012 Carrera takes its inspiration from the Carrera GT super car. It’s a completely new environment, but it’s instantly familiar to Porsche-philes. The familiar five-round-gauge instrument panel is there, along with a new center console and high-mounted shifter. There is also a seven-inch LCD screen in the center console that enhances control of the navigation, audio, and communications systems. Four-way power-adjustable front seats are a new design, and 14- or 18-way power front seats are also available. Other options include Bose® and Burmester® audio systems, plus a Light Design Package, Porsche Dynamic Lighting System and Park Assist, which aid drivers and enhance safety.
The list of 2012 911 Carrera talents is long, and so is the tally of features and options you can choose to outfit your Porsche in just the right way. Visit your dealer to experience the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera today.