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Porsche adds two new versions of its venerable 911 sports car for the 2007 model year. They are the 911 Targa 4/Targa 4S and the GT3. The Targa features an all-glass roof system that provides a panoramic view even when the top is "closed." For the first time, this roof is mounted on the four-wheel-drive (4WD) version of the 911, thus the "4" designation. Compared to the Targa 4, the Targa 4S gets a more powerful engine and other performance enhancements. Meanwhile, the 911 GT3 is a particularly racy road car designed for driving enthusiasts who participate in weekend "track day" competitive events but who also want to drive their cars during the week as well.
The 911 is Porsche's classic sports car, a true 2+2 with a rear seat that better serves as a place for gym bags or brief cases than it does for anyone other than perhaps pre-teenage passengers. Unlike most sports cars, Porsche places the 911's engine behind the passenger compartment. This gives the car unique and tail-happy handling characteristics that Porsche drivers enjoy. And while the 911's silhouette may appear much as it did more than 40 years ago when the model was introduced, the car has undergone generational changes with annual updates. For 2007, those updates include tire-pressure-monitoring technology and standard leather seating surfaces.
The 911 comes in a variety of versions, including the 911 Carrera coupe and convertible, both powered by a 325-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. But instead of the typical V configuration, Porsche's 6-cylinder engine architecture features horizontally opposed or "boxer" placement that might be termed a 180-degree V. The Porsche 911 Carrera S also comes in coupe and convertible versions that draw their power from a 3.8-liter "boxer" six that pumps out 355 hp. The S versions also have a racier suspension setting and braking power, and are capable of speeds in excess of 170 mph on the test or racetrack. The 4WD versions of the 911 are the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S, again available in fixed-roof coupe or cloth-top cabriolet versions. The engines are the same as in the rear-wheel-drive versions, but the 4s have all-wheel drive to enhance traction in inclement weather conditions. And when the weather is clear and dry, the 911 Carrera 4S can reach a top speed of nearly 180 mph.
The 911 GT3 is available only in a fixed-roof coupe architecture. Its 3.6-liter engine pumps out 415 hp, taking the GT3 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. This car also comes with a special suspension that can be fine-tuned for the demands of specific racetracks. The top of the line for the 911 is the Turbo. Again, available only with a fixed roof, the Turbo has 4WD and a 3.6-liter engine that pounds out 480 hp. It's even faster than the GT3, and reaches a top speed of 193 mph on the test track. Like other 4WD 911s, the Turbo has a special "wide body" design with larger fenders to cover the car's wide track and wheels.
The Porsche 911 competes in the Midsize Premium Sporty segment, which consists of seven models. Buyers in this segment look for performance, exterior styling, and quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SMThe top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Chevrolet Corvette (36,518 units sold), Porsche 911 (12,045), and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (8,462). The Porsche 911's 12,045 sales in 2006 represent an increase of 19.2 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Premium Sporty segment include the Lexus SC Series, Cadillac XLR, Dodge Viper, and Maserati coupe/Spyder.
|Carrera (M6)||6 speed manual||$72,400||325-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Carrera 4 (M6)||6 speed manual||$78,200||325-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Carrera S (M6)||6 speed manual||$82,600||355-hp / 3.8L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Targa 4||6 speed manual||$85,700||325-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/26|
|Carrera 4S (M6)||6 speed manual||$88,400||355-hp / 3.8L 6-cyl||17/25|
|Targa 4S||6 speed manual||$95,900||355-hp / 3.8L 6-cyl||17/25|
|GT3 (M6)||6 speed manual||$106,000||415-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||15/22|
|Turbo (M6)||6 speed manual||$122,900||480-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/25|
|RS (M6)||6 speed manual||$123,200||415-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||15/22|
$94,800–$186,000 Base MSRP
13/19 MPG City/Hwy
$82,600–$98,600 Base MSRP
17/25 MPG City/Hwy
$72,400–$123,200 Base MSRP
15/22 MPG City/Hwy
$65,455–$65,455 Base MSRP
18/25 MPG City/Hwy