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Porsche 911: Test Drive Review

Date: 02 May 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Category: Sports
P11D price: £71,134
Key rival: Audi R8

The latest fully revised version of Porsche's hallowed 911 sports car marks less of a departure from its predecessor than previous versions have done in terms of its appearance.

It maintains its hallmark six-cylinder boxer engine, mounted at the rear of the car, which now produces 350hp in the entry-level Carrera and 400hp in the Carrera S. Coupe and cabriolet body styles are available from launch, while more extreme new versions such as the Turbo and GT variants have yet to be added.

Styling changes are very much evolutional and include a lower ride height, 100mm longer wheelbase, slimmer tail lamps and a mildly revised nose. Equally, the interior, which is exceptionally well built, is similar to that of its predecessor, save for minor updates such as a multi-function dial to the right of the rev counter and speedometer, which allows the driver to scroll through screens including a second satnav readout, mpg, engine vital levels and similar information.

A more noteworthy addition is the word's first seven-speed manual gearbox. The extra cog acts as an overdrive gear for cruising purposes and cannot be selected unless sixth gear is engaged beforehand to avoid accidental shifts. Both manual and the PDK auto transmissions now come with stop/start too.

The Porsche's beautifully composed handling and awesome power tick the box for driving enthusiasts. Ride comfort belies its sporting nature too, although intrusive road noise is a slight let down.

The high price and running costs limit the 911 to the echelons of top-flight executives and business owners. That said, strong RVs across the range make a case for it over the majority of high-performance rivals, as do 194g/km CO2 and 34.4mpg from the most economical version - the Carrera coupe when fitted with Porsche's PDK automatic gearbox.

Expensive it may be, but the 911's scintillating driving experience, exquisite build and no-fuss usability make it difficult to better in this category.

Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera
P11D price£71,134
Model price range£71,134-£89,740
Residual value43.7%
National Insurance£10,013
Cost per mile145.2p
Fuel consumption31.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 212g/km (33%)
BIK 20/40% per month£393/£786
Service interval20,000miles
Insurance (1-50)group 20
Warranty3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space135 litres
Engine size/power3436cc/350hp
Top speed/0-62mph180mph/4.8secs
On sale April 2012
VerdictCosts count against it,
but the 911 is still one
of the greatest driver’s
cars of all time


Costs count against it, but the 911 is still one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time