Porsche officially unveils the 2012 911


All the details on Porsche's all-new 911, including that 7-speed manual gearbox you've been hearing about...

Following the initial picture leak, Porsche has now released all the details on the 2012 911 (codenamed 991) and the complete batch of high resolution photos. We’ve already detailed the new 911’s looks, but now it’s time to go deeper under the skin.

Two engine options will be available at launch - a 350 hp 3.4 liter boxer engine (what else?) for the Carrera and a 400 hp 3.8 liter for the Carrera S. With this new generation of direct injection engines, both fuel economy and emissions have been improved by 16 percent. Helping this figure are an automatic start/stop function, engine and transmission thermal management, electrical system recuperation and electro-mechanical power steering. This last one is sure to be a sticking point for purists, but Porsche has assured the press that the typical 911 steering precision and feedback will remain.

The optional Sport Chrono Package for the Carrera S includes a launch control system, which will see the 911 go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Without the system the same sprint takes 4.1 seconds, while the Carrera takes 4.4 seconds. Top speeds will be 188 mph for the Carrera S and 179 for the Carrera.

The wheelbase has been lengthened by 3.9 inches / 100 mm and the roof has been lowered. This, combined with a slightly wider track, gives it a lower, sleeker profile than its predecessors and also improved agility and stability. The revised Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control system now controls an active stabilization system which reduces lateral roll and is able to keep the tires in the optimum position relative to the road.

The body panels are made from a new aluminum-steel composite, which shaves a not-so-insignificant 100 lbs / 45 kg from the body over previous 911s. The new shape and variably extending rear spoiler reduce front and rear lift to almost zero and contribute to a very slippery drag coefficient of 0.29.

On the inside, the Carrera GT-inspired flying buttress center console will house either a shifter for the world’s first 7-speed manual gearbox or a PDK gear selector also controlling seven ratios. One of the dials on the traditional five-dial gauge cluster will be a multifunction screen, through which drivers will be able to control systems such as chassis settings and the aforementioned launch control.

Expect to see the first of the 2012 911s appearing in showrooms at the beginning of next year with a starting price of $82,100 / £71,449 for the Carrera and $96,400 / £81,242 for the Carrera S. Now, about that GT3...