As part of Porsche’s continuing efforts to reduce emissions across its range, the facelift version of its sports car range-topping model, the 991, will switch to all turbocharged engines when released to market late this year. Porsche like to view their upgrades as part of an evolution of design rather than revolutionary, but this most recent change to its powerplant will no doubt be seen by some purists as radical as their move away from air-cooled engines in 1998.
Perhaps even more shocking is that both the base Carrera model and the higher-spec Carrera S will feature the same 3.0 litre flat six cylinder boxer engine – previously all S models offered increased displacement as part of their higher purchase price. But the addition of twin turbochargers – smaller than those already fitted to the ‘turbo’ model – gives a power boost of 20bhp to both models, along with a significant 60Nm increase in torque. The base model, with optional 7-speed double-clutch transmission is supposedly capable of returning over 38mpg – remarkable considering it can also reach 62mph in just 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 182mph. The S can make that sprint in under 4 seconds – seriously supercar territory.
As before, fuel efficiency is maximised on the PDK models; the optional adaptive cruise control can disengage both clutches for coasting and can apply engine braking when the pre-set speed is exceeded when driving down hill.
Internally and externally, cosmetic changes will be rather subtle and only a Porsche aficionado is likely to notice. Both the front and rear are tweaked; the rear engine ventilation grille is very reminiscent of the early 911s of the 1970s.
Active suspension is standard across the range while ride height is lowered by 10mm; from the 918 Spyder comes sport mode activation on the steering wheel with an additional personalised mode; rear axle steering, already a feature on the 991 GT3, becomes an option on the S models; front lift becomes an option too – handy with the growing numbers of speed ramps infesting our roads. And inside Porsche finally drags itself into the current century, with optional connection to Internet-based traffic information from Google and connectivity with recent Apple devices, through the latest touch-screen incarnation of its ‘PCM’ media system.
Officially to be launched in Germany on 12th December, first deliveries may begin to arrive in UK dealerships at the end of the year. Fancy a nice Christmas present?