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Porsche 911 Carrera – 2016

Porsche 911 CarreraHow does one improve on a classic?  What do car designers need to do to bring an iconic vehicle into the 2010s and even 2020s? It’s always a delicate balancing act for designers and engineers, especially with a car as well known and iconic as the Porsche 911 Carrera.


On the one hand, a Porsche 911 Carrera has to have the classic curves that make it the quintessential coupé.  It has to look right. And, of course, it has to drive the way a sports car should. However, on the other hand, to be a 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera rather than the original variety, it has to have plenty of features that reflect modern values.  This means that gas-guzzling engines, cigarette lighters, lap belts and halogen headlights are out, whereas efficiency, USB connectivity, LEDs and the very best in safety features are well and truly in.

On the whole, the designers of the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera have done a very good job.  Let’s start with the exterior styling.  The 2016 edition isn’t as curvaceous as past models, although the roofline, the high wings and those round headlights that were unashamedly borrowed from the VW Beetle are still the same and make this recognisable as a 911 Carrera.  However, the 2016 version is a touch more angular and elongated, perhaps with a little hint of other classics like the E-Type Jaguar and the BMW Z roadsters.  It’s a bit more… masculine, if you get my drift.  Not in a blatant way; it’s still tasteful and beautiful.  The design team have added bigger air intakes and have really had fun with the combined bi-Xenon and LED headlights, which do more than just look good; they also add to the overall efficiency (the LED-only lighting system, which has an auto-dipping function, is available as an option). From the rear view, this car is unmistakeably a 911 – and the engine is still located in the rear, as it always has been.

Unlike the 911 Carrera 4, the plain (bad word choice) 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera has a rear wheel drivetrain, which can come harnessed to either the seven-speed manual or the seven-speed PDK gearing system. PDK stands for Porsche Doppelkuppplung. It’s a while since I took basic German but that last word looks like it could be translated “double coupling”.  This is indeed the case, as PDK is a dual transmission, which isn’t quite a pure manual and isn’t quite an automatic either.  It can, of course, be left to work as a pure automatic transmission, but you can have fun with the manual setting, which uses a racing-inspired shifting system. No paddle-flappers here; instead, press the lever forward to shift down and pull it back to shift up.  PDK is a sort of double clutch or double gearbox arrangement, where the half of the gearing system that isn’t currently in action pre-selects the next gear so when you do change, it simply hops from one gearbox to the other nice and smoothly, making for super quick gear changes.  It certainly sounds like a lot of fun!  In the manual versions, the current gear is displayed in the instrument panel, avoiding those “Which gear am I in?” moments, and the display panel also pops up an indicator to suggest when the best time to change gear is to maximise fuel efficiency.

Speaking of fuel efficiency, a host of features have gone to ensuring that the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera gives you maximum bang for your driving buck.  This means that the total weight has been stripped down, for a start.  The LED lights, requiring less energy to be beautiful and bright (and beautifully bright), are another.  The 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera also has a stop/start function that goes way beyond what you’ll find on other vehicles.  This stop/start technology doesn’t just cut the engine when you come to a standstill and then restart when you go to accelerate at the lights again. This vehicle cuts the engine when it detects that you’re going at 7 km/h and are decelerating, coasting up to the lights smoothly and silently.  Start it again, and it takes off with a roar. Literally, if you go for the sports-tuned dual exhaust option.  With PDK transmission, you’ve also got a coasting function when decelerating in general, putting the principles of momentum and inertia to good use.

All right – the bit you’ve all been waiting for: what’s the engine lurking in the rear like?  Naturally, it’s a turbocharged petrol unit – Porsche have been all about turbos for the last 40 years or so.  This powerplant is 3.0 litres and six cylinders of awesomeness, producing a maximum power output of 272 kW at and a maximum torque of 450 Nm throughout the 1500–5000 rpm range. (Those torque figures sent me hurriedly doing my research to double-check that this engine really did take petrol, as you usually only see those sorts of torque figures in diesel engines.  Although the information about the fuel type isn’t stated specifically anywhere on the official Porsche Australia site (grrrr!), you can learn that the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera is designed to take E10 blended fuel, so one can assume that the engine is indeed a petrol engine.  I’ve saved you a bit of time there, which is what these reviews are for.)

Torque figures and power output specs are all very well, but what do the numbers translate to if you want to put the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera through its paces the way a sports car is meant to be driven?  To really get the most out of this anything-but-porky Porky, you’ll need to take it to a track unless you want one heck of a speeding ticket and the risk of losing your licence, as the top speed is 295 km/h in the manual version and 293 with the PDK transmission.  The 0–100 sprint time is 4.6 seconds for the manual and 4.4 s for the PDK, although this can be ramped up with the Sport Chrono option to 4.2 s with the PDK transmission.  My guess is that some of the exterior design tweaks have been added to help keep the 19-inch alloy wheels of the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera firmly on the ground, as some light aircraft can take off at lower speeds than this.

Naturally, as this is a sports car, it isn’t the most frugal beast on the road.  However, it’s no gas-guzzler, either, as it has a combined fuel economy figure of 8.3 L/100 km for the manual and 7.4 L/100 km for the PDK.  All those efficiency features like the coasting mode and the stop/start function play their part, including the active air intake flaps lurking in those very noticeable front intakes; these open when needed for extra cooling but close to reduce drag if you’re just cruising around town (and probably getting a few admiring glances).

Overseas model of 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera shown.

Overseas model of 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera shown.

And now for the interior. As you can expect, it’s pretty cushy inside the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera.  What’s more, unlike some of the older models, the rear seats aren’t just tokens but can actually fit two adult passengers, although they’ll have to climb in, as this is a two-door coupé (the standard rear seats have ISOFIX child seat preparation but this isn’t available with the optional sports bucket seats).  It’s all about sharing the fun.  The styling of the dashboard is a very pleasing blend of tradition and modern technology, and the 7-inch touch screen doesn’t clash with the five round dials that make up the centrepiece of the dash board display.  If you don’t want to listen to the sound of the engine (after all, the centrally placed rev counter will let you know when it’s time to change gear), you can enjoy the BOSE surround sound audio system, which comes as standard.  This can be operated via the Porsche Communication Management system, which sounds like it ought to be the name of a company but is actually the voice-controlled or touch-screen-controlled audio, navigation and phone system (of course it’s got handsfree Bluetooth preparation – this is 2016).  Music or other audio input can come in the form of SD cards, USB sticks, CDs, iPods, iPhones and auxiliary input (did I miss anything – yes, the radio).  Keyless entry and drive, dual-zone automatic climate control and positively voluptuous heated front seats with lots of adjustment possibilities round out the comfort features, although I kind of like the optional lighting package and the optional sunroof package as well.

A sports car like the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera is likely to appeal to the experienced driver who likes to get his/her hands on the leather-trimmed steering wheel and probably the gear knob as well, rather than letting the car do everything automatically.  It’s about you telling the car what to do, not the other way around.  Nevertheless, the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera is still fitted out with a few driver aids.  Chief among these is the parking assistance front and rear, along with the reversing camera.  Lane change assistance and adaptive cruise control (PDK only) are available as options.  Most Porsche drivers are more likely to appreciate features such as the ability to select the Sport drive mode when wanted and the Porsche stability control system that works with the very powerful black 330 mm calliper brakes that have automatic brake differential and (of course) anti-slip regulation.  You don’t want the passive safety features such as the airbags (driver, front passenger and side) and the side impact protection system to come into play.  That would be a real waste of a very beautiful sports car, at the very least.

The 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera comes in a range of colours, with 12 paint selections available at no extra cost (they’ve used eco-friendly paint, too).  All your favourites are there: black (gloss or metallic), white (gloss or metallic), yellow, red, graphite blue, sapphire blue, indigo, silver, light grey and dark grey.  As if that wasn’t enough, there are extra cost paint colours, including dark red and orange, or if you really want to splash out, you can get a custom paint colour.  Whatever you choose, it will look good.  Of course it will.  This is a proper Porsche 911, after all.

Current model series include:

  • 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera manual
  • 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera PDK

For any more information on the
, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Porsche dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!