Porsche only showed its new 2021 911 Turbo S Coupe and Cabriolet models in March, and we’re already find out what they’ve got in store for next year’s 911 Carrera, Carrera S, and Carrera 4S.
The two sportier trims will soon get a new seven-speed manual transmission, but we’re not yet sure if the DIY gearbox will be standard in Canada and therefore priced lower than the current standard eight-speed automated PDK dual-clutch transmission, as it was in 2019, or if it will be no-cost option like the latest 2021 models are being offered in Europe. Fortunately, Porsche Canada will announce pricing in a few months, which will clarify this question.
PDK-equipped 911s in mind, Porsche will make its InnoDrive adaptive cruise control system available for 2021 as well. InnoDrive has the ability to automatically maintain set speed limits and slow down for corners, in addition to the usual adaptive cruise control capabilities.
Also new, optional Smartlift raises the 911’s front axle to clear steep driveways and larger than average speed bumps, while it can also be programmed to automatically remember specific locations where it needs to lift. A tire temperature readout gauge is new for 2021 911s equipped with the Sport Chrono Package as well.
In an effort to make the 911 even sportier, a lightweight glass package reduces mass up high in the body and therefore lowers the car’s centre of gravity. Only available with the Coupe, this feature will be popular with performance purists, while those wanting more refinement can opt for thicker, better-insulated glass.
Porsche looks to its past for a new leather upholstery upgrade package, introduced earlier for the base 2021 Turbo S. The retro upgrade pulls styling cues from the 930-generation 911 Turbo, and is available in both the Coupe and Cabriolet.
More trivial yet still cool, Porsche’s seven-colour Ambient Lighting Package has been renamed from the outgoing model year’s somewhat less obvious Light Design Package name, while the 911’s exterior paint palette has grown to include Python Green for 2021, a colour also offered with the 911 Turbo S and 718 Cayman GTS 4.0.
We can expect more 2021 911 details closer to launch.
It’s been less than a year since Porsche introduced the all-new eighth-generation 2020 911 at the LA auto show, and just seven months since the Cabriolet arrived, and now the German performance brand is readying those mid-range Carrera S models for production and upcoming deliveries this fall. Ahead of these 443 horsepower super cars, Porsche has just released photos and key information about a couple of 911 models that are a bit more down to earth, the more affordable base 911 Carrera Coupe and 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
The new entry-level 911 hardtop and soft-top models share the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder “boxer” engine as those “S” trims, but they incorporate a unique set of turbos for less performance. Still, 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque is no laughing matter, unless the thrill of quick acceleration makes you giggle. The first number adds 9 horsepower over the outgoing 2019 model, which results in a zero to 100km/h sprint time of just 4.2 seconds, or 4.0 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package. This is a significant move up from the outgoing base Carrera that was only capable of 4.6 or 4.2 seconds to 100km/h respectively.
Surprisingly, the new 911 Carrera will only be available with Porsche’s new eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission when it first arrives. This gearbox, which was originally announced for the Carrera S, adds one gear over the outgoing automatic, for stronger performance and improved fuel economy. Those who want the seven-speed manual will need to wait until later in the model.
The new Carrera Coupe’s track speed is identical to the outgoing model at 293 km/h (182 mph), while the Cabriolet’s terminal velocity is 291 km/h (181 mph). It’s normal for a fabric-topped convertible to be slower at high speeds than its equivalent hardtop coupe, due to the cloth roof “ballooning” at high speeds, but Porsche incorporated magnesium surface elements dubbed “bows” within the redesigned roof’s structure, so it manages wind more effectively.
By the way, that fabric roof, which is now bigger to accommodate for the 911’s larger interior, can open and close at speeds of up to 50 km/h (30 mph), and only needs 12 seconds to do so thanks to a reworked hydraulic system. What’s more, the updated process also extends an electrically extendable wind deflector so as to keep gusts of air from discomforting occupants.
Inside that larger, more accommodating cabin, the new 911 Carrera receives a wholly renewed interior with a large 10.9-inch high-definition touchscreen on the centre stack, while an all-new safety feature dubbed “Wet Mode” provides greater control when it’s raining or otherwise slippery.
All just-mentioned items come standard with the Carrera S, but take note the new base Carrera gets a smaller set of 19-inch alloys on 235/40 ZR performance tires up front, plus bigger 20-inch rims shod in 295/35 ZR rubber at the rear. Additionally, the base Carrera’s 330-millimetre brake rotors are smaller than the Carrera S’ discs, these biting onto black-coated four-piston monobloc fixed calipers for stopping power that should easily be up to task for dealing with this less potent car’s overall performance. Also notable, the 911 Carrera’s exhaust system gets unique individual tailpipe covers.
Transport Canada hasn’t provided fuel economy specs for the new 2020 911 models yet, but Porsche claims its new base Coupe and Cabriolet will be capable of a 9.0 and 9.2 L/100km city/highway combined rating respectively, when calculated on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). We can expect slightly different numbers when our five-cycle rating system is applied.
And what about pricing? Surprisingly the base 2020 911 Carrera Coupe’s window sticker gets pushed up $7,000 over its predecessor, from $104,000 to $111,000, while the Cabriolet’s starting price has been increased from $118,100 to $125,600, for a $7,500 increase. Then again, we need to factor in that the new eight-speed automated PDK transmission is now standard, and that prices will likely be lowered when the seven-speed manual arrives later in the model year.
Just the same, Porsche is probably hoping that the new 2020 911 Carrera’s many enhancements will justify its sharp move up in price, but this said it will be interesting to witness how a more value-driven rival, like Chevy’s new 526-horsepower mid-engine C8 Corvette that hits the road for a mere $69,998, might erode 911 sales. Granted, Porsche clientele, particularly 911 buyers, are not normally Corvette buyers, but the C8 is no normal Corvette, and its more exotic mid-engine layout and styling, stronger performance, and bargain basement price might lure in those who aren’t as brand loyal.
This said, if you still want a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe or Cabriolet you can order it now and expect delivery early next year, while all-wheel drive C4 models will be available to order soon.
And while waiting, be sure to flick through all the photos we’ve gathered in our gallery above, plus enjoy the short video below:
The new 911 Carrera Coupé and 911 Carrera Cabriolet. (1:00):
Who isn’t excited to see the new 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera on the road, let alone experience one first hand? While the latest sports car of sports cars might look to some like a mild makeover of a classic design, it’s a radical departure to those who live and breathe Porsche.
Most applaud its fresh new styling, although some have criticized its backside when its attractively tapered deck lid transforms into a rather unorthodox rear wing, but no matter how much you like or dislike the car’s design, the method behind Porsche’s madness is hard to argue against.
Less noticeable than the protruding rear wing are a set of active shutters that hide within the front corner grilles, which open above 70 km/h to minimize aerodynamic drag, while at 90 km/h the just noted rear spoiler gets raised into its most fuel efficient Eco position to once again reduce air resistance, although the aero system’s purpose changes from eco stewardship to maximum speed and grip at 170 km/h, when the front shutters open and the rear spoiler moves farther upward into its Performance position.
What’s more, as part of this Performance position the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) sport chassis automatically drops down by 10 millimetres in order to improve its aero efficiency further, this sole feature adding four seconds per lap to the 911’s Nürburgring performance.
The 911’s adaptive aero also adjusts for new Wet mode, plus the active rear spoiler will literally spring into action when emergency braking is needed by automatically canting farther upward into its “Air Brake” mode, adding downward pressure over the rear wheels for greater braking grip.
How does it work? Like the previous 911, the new model’s sculpted body panels provide precise paths for oncoming air to flow overtop, underneath and around the entire car so as to minimize drag and maximize downforce, a balancing act that’s always challenging to perfect, but the new 911’s adaptive aerodynamics take it a step further by letting that air vent into the front corner intakes, pass through each radiator, and then flow around the front wheels like an air curtain in order to reduce turbulence.
This airflow continues along the 911’s doors before moving up and over the rear fenders into the engine vents mounted below the rear window, which feeds the 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine’s new air-to-air intercoolers, after which it gets directed down and out rear vents at each side of the back bumper.
For a more visual insight, make sure to watch the video provided by Porsche below, and don’t forget to check out the photo gallery above, where we’ve included some close up shots of the rear wing as well as some illustrations of frontal and rear airflow.