The 2011 Porsche 911 earns one of the highest Total Car Scores among high performance luxury coupes and convertibles -- despite the fact that it is scheduled for replacement with an all-new model for 2012.
Infamous for its unique rear-engine layout, and despite many quirks, it is hard to find an automotive publication that doesn't like the 911. Most point out its superlative handling, impressive brakes and engine flexibility, and then comment on simply how fun it is to drive. The 911 has earned its position through decades of mechanical improvement and refinement.
For the 2011 model year, Porsche introduced new S and RS models, all with more power and higher performance when compared to their standard siblings. New GTS models represent the swan song of this outgoing 911 platform.
Bluetooth phone connectivity and an iPod/USB interface is now standard on all models. Porsche has also reconfigured several option packages to improve pricing.
While an all-new 911 model follows this 2011 version, it will take Porsche a couple of years to introduce every one of its variations on the next generation. As such, this 2011 award-winning platform maintains its desirability for performance-minded buyers who enjoy the thrill of driving.
The 2011 Porsche 911 is a compact two-plus-two coupe and convertible sports car offered in nearly two dozen different models.
The standard 911 Carrera is a rear-wheel-drive coupe with a 3.6-liter flat-six rated at 345 horsepower, but things get much more complicated after that. Feeding the demands of its loyal enthusiasts, Porsche offers the 911 in steel-roof coupe, glass-roof Targa models or cloth-top convertible with rear- or all-wheel drive (drop-top Cabriolet models feature a power-operated soft convertible top with a heated rear window). This vast collection of body styles and powertrains can be mixed and matched.
Engine choices range from the aforementioned 3.6-liter to a variety of 3.8-liter flat-six engines that are either naturally aspirated or turbocharged. Horsepower ratings vary from 345 (Carrera) all the way up to 530 (Turbo S). A six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the board, but many models also offer Porsche's seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic as an option.
The range-topping and limited edition GT2 RS is fitted with a race-bred, twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six rated at 620 hp and featuring rear-wheel drive.
Fuel economy ranges from 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined in the 911 Carrera to 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19.7 mpg combined for the race-ready GT2 RS.
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