The latest generation of Porsche's 911 launched as a 2005 model. New for 2006 are Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models. The Carrera 4 is the four-wheel-drive, wide-body iteration of the new body style, and the Carrera 4S is an even higher-performance variation on the theme. Like the 911 Carrera and Carrera S, all-wheel-drive models are available in coupe or convertible versions.
While at first glance the overall silhouette of the 911 has remained much the same for more than 40 years, this model has undergone a succession of significant changes and enhancements under its now-classic fastback body style. The latest iteration of the 911 is known to Porsche enthusiasts as the 997; it is stronger, wider, more powerful, and faster than its predecessors. For 2006, the 911 is available in rear-wheel drive as the Carrera and Carrera S coupe and convertible, and in all-wheel drive, it is offered in Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S variants, also in coupe and convertible.
Carreras are powered by a 325-hp, 3.6L "boxer" 6-cylinder engine. The S models draw 355 hp from a 3.8L version of the engine. (For 2007, an even more powerful 911 Turbo model goes into production.) The 911 is available with a manual gearbox or Porsche's Tiptronic automatic transmission. Tiptronic features paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel for drivers who want to have more control over gear selection.
All 911s have their engines mounted at the rear of the car. This provides unique and agile handling characteristics, which not only make the car fun to drive on the street, but also has made the car very successful in international motorsports competition. Porsches also are known for their powerful braking systems. Vehicle stability control, anti-lock brakes and front/side/curtain airbags are standard safety equipment for all 911 models.
The 911 can be equipped with active suspension management and a Sport Chrono Package that allows drivers to select suspension settings. Drivers can adjust the suspension to make the car more comfortable for street driving, but they also have the ability to tighten the suspension for autocross or competitive driving events. Inside, there are two rear seats that can accommodate small children or packages. With the engine occupying the rear of the car, the "trunk" is in front of the passenger compartment, where the engine would typically reside in most vehicles.
The 911 resides in the Midsize Premium Sporty segment, a small and exclusive group that includes some of the world's finest sports cars.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the sales leader in this category is the Chevrolet Corvette (32,489 sales in calendar year 2005). The 911, with 10,107 units sold in 2005, is slightly ahead of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (10,080). Others in the segment include the Lexus SC Series, Cadillac XLR, Dodge Viper, and Maserati coupe and Spyder.
|Carrera (M6)||6 speed manual||$81,400||325-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Carrera 4 (M6)||6 speed manual||$87,100||325-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Carrera S (M6)||6 speed manual||$91,400||355-hp / 3.8L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Carrera 4S (M6)||6 speed manual||$97,100||355-hp / 3.8L 6-cyl||17/25|