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Porsche 911 Carrera S Powerkit Specs Suspension Top Speed Rebates and Review

Monday, March 21, 2011

Latest power upgrade from Porsche adds more go to the ever-popular 911.

Porsche 911 Carrera S Powerkit review
 
Remember Porsche 911 Sport Classic from a few months back? It was a retro-throwback to 911s of old, a 1973 RS for the modern day complete with ducktail spoiler, flared wheel arches and Fuchs-style alloy wheels.
Just like the recently announced 911 Speedster, under the Sport Classic's skin lay a sports chassis and power upgrade for the 3.8-litre engine, all designed to enable this limited edition, £140,000 car to outperform the £74,606 Carrera S upon which it was based.
Naturally, all 250 sold out before you could say "limited edition Porsche", but for those of us not lucky enough to jump on the Sport Classic bandwagon there is some benefit to be gained from its brief existence (aside from an entertaining slot on Top Gear) because its Powerkit engine upgrade is now available for the standard 911 Carrera S. The best bit about all this is that you get all of the Sport Classic's performance for £8,241 on top of the Carrera S's £74,606 base price.
The engine work, available only on the latest 3.8-litre, direct injection version of the water-cooled boxer unit, involves a reprogramming of the car's ECU brain, tweaks to the engine's intake and a new sports exhaust system.
The result is that power swells from 385bhp to 408bhp, while torque is quoted at an unchanged 310lb ft. On the road, this translates into a car that is bleedin' fast. Foot to the floor, the 911 gets properly into its stride as the needle slides past 3,000rpm, from which point noise and forward motion increase at dizzying rates. By the time you reach the power peak at 6,500rpm the engine upgrade really makes itself felt over the standard unit.
A quoted 0-62mph of 4.6secs actually sounds a bit conservative such is the traction generated off the line by the 911's unique rear engine layout. In the past having all that mass so far back in the car did earn the 911 a reputation of being somewhat unforgiving should you need to lift-off the throttle halfway through a corner. No such problems exist nowadays, thanks primarily to developments in suspension over the years, and also, if you're trying to bend the laws of physics, Porsche's stability control systems, which are the best in the business.
In fact, best in the business is a term you can apply to most of the modern 911's repertoire. Its steering is crisp, well-weighted and communicative, its brakes powerful and tireless and for a car that can do 188mph and wouldn't look out of place among Ferraris and Aston Martins, it's amazingly practical. Fancy going camping for a weekend? Take the 911. Doing the school run? Put the kids in the back seats. It genuinely is a sports/supercar you could use every day.
Of its faults, road noise is the biggest. Few modern cars transmit tyre roar into their cabins like a 911 can, which is a shame because the suspension is supple enough to give the Porsche genuine GT credentials. At motorway speeds it makes listening to music with any kind of subtlety to it a bit pointless, unless you really fancy an argument with your passenger about Elliott Smith's vocal range, in which case it's extremely effective.
What the Powerkit upgrade on this 911 best demonstrates is the choices you're faced with when you go into your Porsche showroom these days. Even if you've decided on a 911 rather than a Boxster, a Cayman, a Cayenne or a Panamera then you're still only very close to the start of the buying process.
Is that a 911 GT3? Or a 911 Turbo? Or perhaps a 911 Carrera? A Carrera 4S? A GT2? Or a GT2 RS? And so it goes on.
For the modern Porsche buyer the options really are endless. As long as you don't want a Sport Classic.
 
THE FACTS
Porsche 911 Carrera S with Powerkit upgrade
Tested: 3.8-litre, flat-six, petrol, Powerkit upgrade, six-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive
Price/on sale: £82,847 (£87,703 as tested)/ Now
Power/torque: 408bhp @ 6,500rpm/ 310lb ft @ 4,400rpm
Top speed: 188mph
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 4.6secs
Fuel economy: 26.6mpg (Combined), 17.8mpg (Urban)
CO2 emissions: 250g/km
VED band: L (£750 first year)
Verdict: Hardly puts a foot wrong. One of the world's finest sports cars.
Telegraph rating: Five out of five

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