Because the 2018 Porsche 911 is offered at nearly two dozen trim levels, its performance is extremely varied. Nonetheless, driving even the most relatively bare-bones Porsche 911 is an experience to remember.
Most 2018 Porsche 911 models are motivated by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine. In its base configuration it produces 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, though it is also available in two different states of tune that produce 420 horsepower and 368 lb-ft, and 450 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. The 911 Turbo engines get an extra 0.8 liters of displacement and are rated between 540 and 607 horsepower. The track-focused 911 GT2 RS also uses the 3.8-liter flat-six but cranks up the power to a whopping 700 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the 911 GT3 (the other track-focused variant) is the only remaining 911 with a naturally-aspirated engine: a 500-horsepower, 4.0-liter flat-six. All engines can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic, save for the 3.8-liter turbos, which only get the automatic.
Top speed and acceleration
Though Porsche production sport cars were once reputed for being slow in a straight line and fast in the corners, this is no longer true of the 2018 Porsche 911. The base Carrera accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds with the six-speed manual, and that’s about the slowest you’ll ever see a 911 go. Its PDK counterpart shaves 0.2 seconds off that time, and every subsequent model does the previous one better. The Carrera S does the zero to 60 mph time in 3.9 seconds, the Carrera GTS in 3.5 seconds, the 911 Turbo in 2.9 seconds, the Turbo S in 2.8 seconds and the 911 GT2 RS in a whopping 2.7 seconds. You might be surprised to discover that the GT3 is slower, but that’s only on account of the massive rear wing bolted on the back. Models equipped with the 3.0-liter engine get within a hair of the 200 mph mark for top speed, while those with the 3.8-liter exceed it comfortably.
Cornering and braking
Every 2018 Porsche 911 is equipped with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), a fancy term for adaptive dampers that can be adjusted by the driver. It never feels harsh in the baseline “Normal” mode, but as soon as you set it to “Sport” or “Sport Plus,” the whole car stiffens, becoming sharp and agile around corners. And as for the performance of the ceramic composite brakes, suffice it to say that short of running into a wall, you might find no faster way of slowing down a car than pressing down on the brake pedal of a 2018 Porsche 911.
No 2018 Porsche 911 exists that doesn’t deliver exceptional performance — and at the top of the 911’s range, that performance is dialed up so high that very few cars can even claim to compare.
This article is presented by Zimbrick European in Madison, WI.