2011 Porsche 911 (Carrera GTS, GT2 RS, Speedster, GT3 R Hybrid, Turbo S) Review - Official photos, features, specs, pricing

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For 2011, Porsche is bringing even more excitement to the venerable 911 model line up with the addition of the fastest Porsche 911 production car ever—the 911 GT2 RS.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS -Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS -Check out more 2011 Porsche 911 (Carrera GTS, GT2 RS, Speedster, GT3 R Hybrid, Turbo S) pictures in our 2011 Porsche 911 (Carrera GTS, GT2 RS, Speedster, GT3 R Hybrid, Turbo S) photo gallery

This limited-edition 911 joins new model additions to the 911’s high-performance stable, including the 911 Turbo S, the high-octane GT3 RS, the Carrera GTS and the exclusive new 911 Speedster.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera SpeedsterPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster

Also making news for 2011 is a longer list of standard equipment for most 911 models. This year 911s come equipped with Bluetooth hands-free phone interface and a universal audio interface that provides connections for a MP3 player that can be controlled through Porsche’s Communication Management system.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid -Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid -

Also new on the value front are 911 equipment packages (excluding the Turbo, GT models, GTS and Speedster in which this equipment is standard) that offer significant savings of up to 30 percent on the most popular option bundles. These include the Comfort and Infotainment packages, with the Comfort package offering power seats, heated front seats, and automatically dimming mirrors. The Infotainment package offers a Bose® Surround-Sound System, Navigation and XM® Satellite Radio.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS -Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS -

New color options for 2011 include Platinum Silver Metallic, Ruby Red and Amethyst Metallic are new.

The Limited-Edition Porsche 911 GT2 RS – The Most Powerful, Street Legal Porsche Ever

There is a new ultimate 911 and it extracts 620 ultra-efficient, twin-turbocharged horsepower from 3.6 liters to provide the industry’s best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and surprisingly efficient fuel economy

This new limited-edition 911 is the fastest and most powerful road-going sports car ever built in the history of Porsche. With horsepower (hp) up by 90 and weight down by 154 lbs in comparison with the previous 911 GT2, the new 911 GT2 RS has a power-to-weight ratio of just 4.9 lbs per horsepower, by far the best power/weight ratio in its class. These are the ideal ingredients for an ultra-high-performance sports car with supreme agility and truly blistering performance on the road.

Perfectly illustrating Porsche Intelligent Performance, the 2011 GT2 RS achieves a reduction of approximately 5 percent for both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when compared with the previous 911 GT2.

The 3.6 liter six-cylinder boxer engine features two variable turbine geometry turbochargers and provides power to the rear wheels exclusively through a six-speed manual gearbox. Equally impressive stopping power comes from standard Porsche Composite Ceramic Brakes (PCCB).

New tires were specifically developed for the 911 GT2 RS and measure 245/35 ZR 19 at the front and 325/30 ZR 19 at the rear, delivering cornering performance to match the straight-line speed. Extreme cornering dynamics are ensured by the setup of the springs, Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management (PASM), unique anti-roll bars, specific Porsche dynamic engine mounts and recalibrated Porsche Stability Management (PSM), whose stability and traction control functions can be switched off individually.

The combined effect of these developments is evident on the racetrack. In fact, the ultimate 911 accelerates from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, boasts a top-track speed of 205 mph and laps the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack in just 7 minutes and 18 seconds.

In its looks, the new 911 GT2 RS stands out clearly from the other 911 models through the lavish use of carbon-fiber-reinforced components with a matt-black surface finish, even wider wheels (including flared wheel arches at the front), new light-alloy wheels with central mounting and “GT2 RS“ model designations on the doors and rear lid. Matte-finish carbon-fiber also graces the redesigned front spoiler lip and the 3/8th of an inch (10 mm) taller rear spoiler lip – which both enhance aerodynamics and provide extra downforce.

The interior of the 911 GT2 RS also exudes sporting performance in virtually every detail. Lightweight two-piece bucket seats made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic are standard, as are lightweight door panels with fabric straps instead of traditional door handles. The interior color is black, which contrasts with red elements, such as the seat center sections, the roof lining and segments of the steering wheel rim. The gearshift and handbrake lever are also finished in red Alcantara.

Limited to just 500 units worldwide, all of which have been accounted for, the 911 GT2 RS will be delivered to eager customers in the U.S. beginning in February 2011. It carries a MSRP of $245.000.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo SPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S

The Venerable 911 Turbo

While their acceleration, braking and handling capabilities make it a true super sports car, the 911 Turbo Coupe and Cabriolet go about their business with a thriftiness that is equally remarkable and by no means the norm in the class.

The 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo features the flat-six boxer engine that delivers 500 horsepower, with a maximum torque of 516 lb-ft when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package Turbo.

All of this means that the 911 Turbo can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds when combined with the new, highly acclaimed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The top track speed for both the Coupe and the Cabriolet model is 194 mph.

Remarkably, with all this performance and power, the new Coupe offers best-in-class fuel economy when equipped with the PDK transmission, delivering an EPA rated 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Pricing for the 2011 Turbo Coupe and Turbo Cabriolet is $135,500 and $146,800, respectively, plus $950 for destination.

The First new 911 Turbo S in five years provides 530 hp and 25 mpg The 911 Turbo S

Never satisfied, Porsche 911 engineers have developed a range-topping Turbo designed to deliver the ultimate in terms of power, performance and driving dynamics: the 911 Turbo S. The heart of this exclusive high-performance athlete is the six-cylinder boxer engine boosted by two exhaust gas turbochargers with variable turbine geometry. The flat-six engine has an increase in power over the 911 Turbo by 30 to 530 hp and maximum torque is a most impressive 516 lb-ft.

Despite its significant increase in power and dynamic performance, the new 911 Turbo S does not consume any more fuel than the Porsche 911 Turbo, making it by far the most efficient sports car in its class. The 911 Turbo S Coupe is EPA rated at 17 mpg city, 25 highway.

The 911 Turbo S comes exclusively with the seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), Porsche’s Double-Clutch Gearbox, delivering power to the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system. The increase in driving enjoyment is ensured by the now standard Dynamic Engine Mounts and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), including the standard mechanical differential lock on the rear axle. In conjunction with Launch Control, part of the standard Sport Chrono Package Turbo, the 911 Turbo S accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds.

Top track speed is 195 mph (315 km/h). Extra-light and fade resistant Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) provides outstanding performance in terms of stopping power and controlled application of the brakes.

Other standard equipment on the 911 Turbo S includes Dynamic Corning Lights, 19-inch RS Spyder wheels with central locking, a three-spoke sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles, adaptive sports seats, cruise control, and a CD/DVD changer. The special twin-tone leather upholstery in Black/Cream or Black/Titanium Blue, along with the new Ice Blue Metallic exterior color underlines the exclusivity of the first Turbo S in five years.

The 2011 Turbo S Coupe and Turbo S Cabriolet prices are $160,700 and $172,100, respectively, plus 950 for destination.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid

911 GT3 and GT3 RS

The 2011 911 GT3 uses a highly refined version of the 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine found in other members of the current 911 GT family.

The engine, based on the famous GT1, is unique with its application of Porsche’s VarioCam Plus variable valve-lift and timing technology operating on both intake and exhaust camshafts, rather than solely the intake. The 911 GT3 boasts a variable intake manifold and a special, low-restriction, large-capacity exhaust system that ensures free engine breathing, yet still keeps sound levels within public-road legal limits. The exhaust system’s unique, dual centrally mounted outlets beneath the rear bumper are an instant giveaway to the 911 GT3’s identity.

The result of these refinements is a powerplant that produces 435 horsepower at 7600 rpm and 317 lb-ft of torque at 6250 rpm. The high-revving engine has a redline of 8500 rpm.

As befits its ultra high-performance capabilities and persona, the 911 GT3 comes only with a special six-speed manual gearbox with ratios designed to optimize the engine's extended rev range. Optional dynamic engine mounts are also available.

A mechanical limited-slip differential completes the drivetrain. Employing components developed for the awesome Carrera GT, the differential provides asymmetric limited-slip functions of 28 percent under load and 40 percent in overrun.

The astounding results are the 911 GT3's ability to run from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds. The car continues to 100 mph in only 8.2 seconds. The 2011 911 GT3 attains a track-tested top speed of 194 mph.

The 2011 MSRP is $115,700, plus $950 for destination.

Delivering even more engine power, lower weight and shorter transmission ratios, as well as upgraded body and suspension components than all previous 911 GT3s, the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS sets the foundation for homologating the race version of the 911 GT3.

The heart of the new, uncompromising 911 GT3 RS is the power unit. Like the engine featured in the 911 GT3, the naturally aspirated RS power unit now displaces 3.8 liters and delivers even more power, while revving up even faster to its 8500 rpm redline. It now delivers 450 horsepower, 15 more horsepower than its 911 GT3 counterpart. Even with a specific output of more than 118 horsepower per liter from the six-cylinder boxer engine, the power unit in the new 911 GT3 RS—the most potent naturally aspirated engine in any street-legal 911— remains fully suitable for everyday use.

The new 911 GT3 RS comes exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox optimized for short gearshift travel, low weight and high efficiency. To enhance the level of performance throughout the entire range of engine and road speed, the transmission comes with shorter ratios than found in the 911 GT3, deliberately conceding an even higher potential top track speed.

Dynamic engine mounts are standard and serve to improve the car’s handling to an even higher level. Depending on driving conditions, the mounts change in their stiffness and damping effect, improving the connection between the engine and the body when driving under very lively conditions, yet allow for more comfortable conditions during everyday street use.

Porsche introduces another 911 GT3 RS option in 2011, a lightweight lithium-ion battery. Delivered with the car, and when replacing the conventional lead-acid battery, it reduces the weight by more than 22 lbs and is mainly intended for the track. This special battery is also available in the Boxster Spyder, and GT3.

To further improve its sporting behavior, the new 911 GT3 RS comes with a purpose-built and specially set up PASM suspension, a wider front and rear track and corresponding bodywork. The front axle comes with nine-inch-wide wheels running on 245/35 ZR 19 sports tires while the rear axle features twelve-inch-wide wheels incorporating 325/30 ZR 19 sports tires.

Sharing many parts with the 911 GT3 RSR raced in ALMS, the new 911 GT3 RS shows its close connection to motorsport through its dynamic looks, in particular by its low ride height, the new, extra large and adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing and titanium exhaust system. It goes on sale in the United States in early spring 2011 with an MSRP of $135,500, plus $950 for destination.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTSPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

New Carrera builds on time-honored GTS name

When it comes to a name, adding the letters GTS has the time-honored prestige of designating the ultimate performer in the renowned Carrera lineup. The new Carrera GTS promises to be one of the brand’s most exhilarating sports cars ever, dishing out 23 more horsepower than the 911 Carrera S, and thereby narrowing the power gap with its mighty 911 GT3 brethren .

Remarkably, the new GTS – available as a Coupe and Cabriolet – adds this power, while remaining just as economical as the Carrera S—more proof that Porsche Intelligent Performance is much more than a slogan. Again, with each new model, Porsche is proving that high performance and fuel efficiency can go hand in hand.

As you would expect, the GTS adds an expressive and visual touch to the Carrera lineup. First, it combines the wider Carrera 4 body of the AWD models, including a wider rear track and wheels, with rear-wheel drive. Other details that distinguish it include 19-inch center-mount RS Spyder wheels, painted black, with high-gloss rim flanges and 305/30 R 19 tires on the rear axle. The GTS also includes the SportDesign front apron with black spoiler edge, special sideskirts, and the Carrera GTS logotype on doors and rear lid. The area between the two tailpipes in the rear is also black.

Inside, this new Carrera uses black Alcantara in combination with the standard interior color, ensuring that wherever driver and passenger make contact there is the special feel of the Alcantara—for example on the outside of the new three-spoke SportDesign steering wheel and on the gear and handbrake levers.

Of course, as you would expect, the GTS earns its pedigree under the hood, where special attention to the intake and exhaust functions of the famous 3.8-liter flat-six engine allows it to deliver 408 hp, while increasing available torque in the mid-rev range. Maximum torque of 310 lb. ft. (420 Nm) is unchanged, but is available at a more desirable 4,200 rpm; 200 rpm earlier when compared with the Carrera S.

The Carrera GTS comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available. In comparison with the Carrera S, top track speed for manual transmission Coupe rises by two mph to 190 (306 km/h). Acceleration from zero to 60 is 4.0 seconds for the GTS Coupe with PDK and Sport Chrono Package Plus. And the new Carrera GTS will offer fuel economy of up to 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway.

In the U.S., the 911 Carrera GTS Coupe and Cabriolet will be available beginning in early 2011 and MSRP will be $103,100 and $112,900 respectively.

Exciting New 911 is fourth model in Porsche history to bear the Speedster name

The 2011 911 Speedster pays homage to the first Porsche model to bear the Speedster name – the 356 Speedster. Significantly different from other members of the 911 family, this two-seat roadster features a 2.36” (60 millimeter) lower, more raked windscreen and the characteristic speedster double-bubble hardcover for the manual soft top. Helping to define the striking profile of the new 2011 911 Speedster, the 1.73” (44 millimeter) wide-body from the AWD 911 models makes the rear-wheel-drive only Speedster stand out even more. The production run of this special car will be limited to 356 units worldwide, with approximately 100 heading to the U.S.

The new 911 speedster combines the classic features of the now well-known Speedster series with improved performance over the current 911 generation: The 3.8-liter flat six engine delivers 408 horsepower (hp), 23 hp more in comparison with the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, yet is EPA rated the same at 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway. The 2011 Speedster reaches 0-60 MPH in 4.2 seconds with Sport Chrono Plus and has a top-track speed of 190 mph (305 km/h)

– all courtesy of Porsche Intelligent Performance.

The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission transmits power to the rear axle with a limited-slip differential lock, also included as standard equipment. A six-speed manual transmission is not available. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) are standard, too. Add to that exemplary protection for driver and passengers in the new 911 Speedster as Porsche engineers improved the rollover protection system which is standard in all open-top Porsche cars.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera SpeedsterPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster

In 1953, the Speedster series was launched as a purist sports car based on the Porsche 356. New York Porsche importer Max Hoffman envisioned a lightweight 356 cabriolet that would look and perform in America like no other sports car. The car Porsche created had two sports bucket seats, doors with slide-in plastic windows and a shortened, elegantly curved windscreen and proved to be quite popular, especially in southern California. In 1988, the second Speedster, this time based on the 911 Carrera, celebrated its revival with an added feature: the characteristic double bubbles. In 1993/1994, the next evolutionary stage of the 911 Carrera was ushered in with the third Speedster edition.

The conception of the current Speedster comes from Porsche Exclusive – the department specializing in individualization of all Porsche cars and limited production models like the 911 Speedster. The 2011 Speedster heralds the 25th anniversary of Porsche Exclusive which will be celebrated in 2011, and once again, demonstrates the small-series competence of Porsche Exclusive after the European success of the 2010 911 Sport Classic. Living up to the Porsche Exclusive standard, the 911 Speedster features almost all optional equipment of the 911 series and its appeal also comes from its meticulously hand-finished interior in black smooth-finish leather with numerous exterior color painted details exclusive to the Speedster. These include decorative designs with checkerboard patterns in the seat center-section of the adaptive sports seats suggestive of a checkered flag, and the leather side bolsters in the exterior color.

The sporty flavor is further enhanced by the exterior color “Pure Blue” which has been developed exclusively for the Speedster, providing an intriguing contrast with the tinted front lights, black headlight rings, black windscreen surround and other black decorative designs. Upon request, the Speedster is available in Carrara White, at no extra cost. It also features a special front apron, specific sideskirts and a distinct rear apron.

In the U.S., the 911 Carrera Speedster will be available beginning in early 2011, MSRP will be $204,000, plus $950 destination charge.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTSPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Timeless Character: 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Coupe and Cabriolets

Porsche 911 Carrera is an icon, and its silhouette has been a Porsche design staple since it debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1963 as the successor to the Porsche 356.

The 911 Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet feature Porsche’s 3.6-liter, six-cylinder horizontally opposed or ‘boxer’ engine producing 345 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 288 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. The 911 Carrera S Coupe and Cabriolet have Porsche’s 3.8-liter version providing 385 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm.

The 911 Coupe sprints form 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds with its standard six-speed manual gearbox on its way to a top test-track speed of 180 mph. Adding PDK lowers the acceleration time to 4.5 seconds, and adding the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus drops the time an additional two-tenths of a second to 4.3 seconds. A PDK-equipped 911 Coupe has a top test track speed of 178 mph.

Although equipped with a soft top for quick open-air motoring, the 911 Cabriolet certainly does not fall short on performance. With the standard six-speed manual it accelerates to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Adding PDK lowers this time to 4.7 seconds, and activating Launch Control with the optional Sport Chrono Plus Package further reduces the time to 4.5 seconds. Top track speeds are also 180 mph and 178 mph for models with the six-speed manual gearbox and PDK transmission, respectively.

Yet the Porsche Intelligent Performance development strategy, where technologies such as DFI and lightweight construction are employed to maximize fuel efficiency, is evident between visits to the pump. The 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Coupe get 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the six-speed manual gearbox, while the 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera S Cabriolet get 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway. The 911 Coupe with the PDK transmission gets 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway and the Cabriolet gets 18 mpg city/27 highway, while the 911 S Coupe and Cabriolet with PDK achieve 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway, respectively.

The 2011 MSRPs are $77,800 for the 911 Carrera Coupe, $90,500 for the 911 Carrera S Coupe, $88,800 for the 911 Carrera Cabriolet, and $101,500 for the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. Destination is $950.

911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4S Coupes and Cabriolets

The first all-wheel drive 911 available for U.S. buyers, the 911 Carrera 4, arrived on our shores as a 1989 model. For some 22 years, Porsche has offered all-wheel drive 911 models, and today the technology can be found in other Porsche models like the Cayenne SUV and new models of the Panamera Gran Turismo.

Mechanically, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4, Carrera 4 Cabriolet and Carrera 4S Coupes and Cabriolets are defined by their all-weather capabilities. These cars benefit from the same electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system found under the awesome Porsche 911 Turbo. PTM can vary the torque split infinitesimally and absolutely between front and rear wheels as needed for optimum traction. However, since most purists feel --and Porsche engineers staunchly believe --that rear-drive is critical for optimum sporty driving, PTM directs two thirds of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions.

When the system determines the need, PTM diverts engine power and torque to the front axle in millisecond cycles. Particularly at very high speeds, all the driver feels is the car’s significant stability.

The 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet are powered by the same 3.6-liter, six-cylinder horizontally opposed or ‘boxer’ engine found in their two-wheel drive siblings. This engine produces 345 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 288 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. And likewise, the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet feature Porsche’s 3.8-liter engine providing 385 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm.

In the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet, this translates to a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.8 and 5.0 seconds, respectively, and a top test-track speed of 177 mph when fitted with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Adding the PDK gearbox drops the 0-to-60 times to 4.6 and 4.8 seconds, and adding the optional Sports Chrono Package further improves this sprint time to 4.4 and 4.6 seconds. The top test-track speed for a PDK-equipped 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet is 175 mph.

The S versions of Porsche’s all-wheel drive 911 Coupes and Cabriolets significantly raise the bar. Using the 3.8-liter Porsche boxer engine mated to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, 911 Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 and 4.7 seconds, respectively, on their way to a top test-track speed of 185 mph. Adding the PDK gearbox drops the 0-to-60 times to 4.3 and 4.5 seconds, and adding the optional Sports Chrono Package further improves this sprint time to 4.1 and 4.3 seconds. The top test-track speed for a PDK-equipped 911 Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet is 183 mph.

With the six-speed manual gearbox, the 2011 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet get 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 18 mpg city/25 highway, respectively. With PDK, they both get 18 mpg city/26 highway. The MSRP for the Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet is $84,100 and $95,100, respectively, plus $950 for destination.

The 911 Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet get 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the six-speed manual gearbox. With the PDK transmission they get 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway, respectively. The 2011 MSRPs for the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet is $96,800 and $107,800, respectively, plus $950 for destination.

911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S

In 1967 Porsche introduced American drivers to a new open-top sports car interpretation by offering the 911 Targa. Originally, the idea of employing a removable roof panel with a band-style roll bar was Porsche’s engineering solution to a feared ban on the traditional folding soft-top. That ban never happened, but soon after Porsche began offering the 911 Targa, its popularity had been solidified and soon demand far exceeded supply.

The 911 Targa, named after the famous Targa Florio where Porsche scored more victories than anyone else, stayed in the 911 model lineup for many years, and today it is offered in the form of the all-wheel drive 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S.

The stunning glass-roofed 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S are unique. With roofs made entirely of two glass panels, this transparent cover extends from the windshield header all the way back to the leading edge of the engine cover and spans the width of the roof from side frame to side frame.

The combination of glass roof panels, windshield, side windows and rear glass creates a see-through canopy for the occupants with an unobstructed view in all directions, yet provides total protection from the elements.

The front glass panel, which completely covers the area over the front seats, may be opened like a conventional sunroof. The rear glass panel is hinged and can be opened like a hatch to provide access to the rear seat area. This makes the 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S the only 911 models with this feature.

Both panels are made from a specially formulated glass that absorbs nearly all ultraviolet radiation yet remains transparent. An electrically operated roller blind adds insulation against the cold and bright sunlight.

Mechanically, these cars are based Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes, and thus retain their all-weather capabilities thanks to the electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system. It can vary torque infinitesimally and absolutely between front and rear wheels as needed, yet directs two thirds of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide more sporty dynamics.

The 911 Targa 4 features Porsche’s 3.6-liter, six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine producing 345 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 288 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The 911 Targa 4S has the 3.8-liter engine providing 385 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm.

The 911 Targa 4 with the standard six-speed manual gearbox accelerates from 0 to 60 mph

5.0 seconds on its way to a top test-track speed of 177 mph. Adding the PDK gearbox drops the 0-to-60 times to 4.8 seconds, and adding the optional Sports Chrono Package further improves this sprint time to 4.6 seconds. The top test-track speed for a PDK-equipped 911 Targa 4 is 175 mph.

The 911 Targa 4S, using the 3.8-liter Porsche boxer engine mated to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The top test-track speed is an impressive 185 mph. Adding the PDK gearbox drops the 0-to-60 times to 4.5 seconds and adding the optional Sports Chrono Package drops the time to 4.3 seconds. The top test-track speed for a PDK-equipped 911 Targa 4S is 183 mph.

The 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S get 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the six-speed manual gearbox. With the PDK transmission the 911 Targa 4 gets 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway while the 911 Targa 4S gets 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The 2011 MSRPs for the 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S is $92,100 and $104,800, respectively, plus $950 for destination.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid

The Rest of the Story

Powerful and Efficient Power

Like most Porsche engines, all non-GT 911s use—as a basis—the same advanced direct fuel injection (DFI) powerplants. In addition, these engines are all structurally rigid, boasting, for example, a two-part crankcase. Further, they benefit from high compression ratios and highly advanced breathing technology.

The results are astounding and immediately rewarding to the driver. The 2011 engines create outstanding horsepower and torque, yet still remain surprisingly fuel efficient. Furthermore, they meet LEV-II standards in the United States and no gas-guzzler tax.

It Starts With a Straight Shot

Both the 3.6-liter and the 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engines employ a light alloy crankcase and cylinder heads and four valves per cylinder actuated by dual overhead camshafts. All of this works in concert with DFI and Porsche's VarioCam Plus valve lift and timing control.

By injecting fuel directly into the combustion, these DFI engines deliver a myriad of benefits. Since the fuel charge arrives closer to combustion than with port injection, throttle response is instantaneous and the 911 driver feels that razor-like reaction to even the slightest movements of his right foot, whether accelerating or lifting the throttle.

To take fullest advantage of the DFI's attributes, Porsche's engineers designed the combustion chamber and piston crown to maximize efficiency. This detail allows the engineers to design both the 3.6-liter and 3.8-liter engines with an impressive compression ratio of

12.5:1. To ensure maximum efficiency and durability, the DFI injectors have been designed and manufactured to deal with working pressures of up to 1740 psi (120 bar) in the combustion chamber.

The fuel injector nozzle is between the two intake valves, spraying fuel directly into the incoming fresh air charge from both valves. This is clearly far more efficient than port injection which naturally leaves some unburned gasoline on the intake walls and valves. The incoming fuel charge further aids the combustion process by cooling the incoming air as it vaporizes, allowing more air to be drawn into the engine for a denser charge and permitting the higher compression ratios. Finally, the fuel and air are mixed more evenly and thoroughly when the fuel is injected directly into the air inside the combustion chamber.

DFI also has benefits from an emissions standpoint since it is designed to allow for a very thorough combustion. During start-up, the DFI engine benefits from high-pressure stratification of the injected fuel. Then to quickly light off the catalysts, the DFI heats the exhaust rapidly through multiple injection. To increase the temperature of the exhaust gas to an even higher level, ignition timing is very late, further minimizing start-up emissions.

The Porsche DFI system also employs multiple fuel injections during periods of combined high loads and engine speeds up to about 3500 rpm; for example, when the driver floors the throttle at slower speeds. During the multiple injection phases, the injectors split the fuel charge into several successive bursts during the piston's intake stroke. Otherwise, the fuel is injected in one phase during each intake stroke.

Both the 3.6-liter and 3.8-liter engines are equipped with Porsche's VarioCam Plus intake valve timing and lift system. When the DFI was first launched in 2009, Porsche's engineers refined the elements and operation of the VarioCam Plus to optimize the benefits of the DFI. The engineers re-aligned the profiles of both the intake and the exhaust camshafts. For example the diameter of the intake tappets was reduced, which resulted in a reduction in mass that allowed the engineers to safely raise the engines’ redlines to 7500 rpm.

Two Camshafts in One

As with all Porsche engines, VarioCam Plus adjusts intake valve lift and timing based on engine speed and load, and is under the umbrella of the engine's main electronic controller. Though the VarioCam Plus operates far too quickly for the driver to be aware of it, the results are obvious. The effect is that of an engine with two different intake camshaft profiles, one set up for smooth and efficient around-town driving, the other a high-performance camshaft designed for high-speed.

Each of these two designs usually precludes the other and most cars have a compromise of the two. Porsche's VarioCam Plus removes the compromise and the driver benefits from the best of both driving worlds.

Valve timing is controlled via a vane cell adjuster which continuously varies the two intake camshafts positions relative to crankshaft. Valve lift is varied by a system utilizing two cup tappets, one resting in the other. These tappets are actuated by separate cam lobes of differing size. The engine control module directs oil pressure to the appropriate tappet based on engine speed and load parameters. When non-pressurized, the tappet moves under the camshaft lobe, but exerts no pressure on the valve, in effect free wheeling.

Efficiency through Better Breathing

The Porsche VarioCam Plus in the DFI engines takes full advantage of free-flowing intake manifolds. The intakes boast a dual chamber design in which there are two openings and separate intake funnels in the rear engine cover. These funnels feed air to separate, round air filters. This optimizes air flow and also means the replacement intervals for the filter is 56,000 miles.

As an inherent attribute of 911s, the upper section of the 3.8-liter engine's intake features actively switchable resonance volume. Additional volume is activated as a function of engine speed, with temperature compensation being provided by a vacuum-controlled butterfly, improving the engine's acoustics.

The intake manifolds in the engines are themselves made of a special synthetic material. They incorporate a resonance pipe integral with the air-distribution pipe between left and right intake runners, as well as additional resonance chambers. The 3-8-liter engine also has a switchable resonance butterfly, which adjusts the oscillation of the intake charge to maximize torque at lower engine speeds. At full load between 2600 and 5100 rpm, the resonance butterfly is closed; at lower and higher speeds it is open.

The exhaust manifolds are essential to the engines supreme performance: the lengths of the individual exhaust runners are intricately equalized and optimized for smoothness and efficiency. Furthermore, the catalytic converters are directly behind the right-and left-hand manifolds, rather than being mounted crosswise behind the engine. Thanks to the engines' DFI, there is also no need to inject secondary air into the exhaust stream to complete combustion.

Strong and Light as Well

While highly sophisticated and laden with high technology, the horizontally opposed, six-cylinder engines are weight savers as well.

Among the critical features to the basic engine design is a two-piece crankcase (previously a four-piece unit). This crankcase has integral crankshaft bearings. In addition, Porsche's engineers have enhanced the thermal and mechanical stability of the engine. With the closed-deck configuration, the tops of the cylinder liners are now connected with the housing by a top plate which incorporates the coolant sleeves. This design increases stability and durability while helping reduce oil consumption and friction.

Further weight and complexity are saved through the elimination of the intermediate shaft needed to drive the timing chains in the previous engine from 2008. Thanks to new, highly resistant timing chains, that shaft is not needed. At the time, Porsche’s engineers also developed new one-piece cylinder heads that incorporate the camshaft bearings and the guide cylinders for the hydraulic cup tappets.

Leaving no stone unturned in their quest for maximum efficiency, Porsche's engine designers developed an engine lubricating oil system that ensures thorough lubrication regardless of driving conditions while minimizing operating losses for improved fuel economy.

Given that 911 sports cars are designed to be driven quickly and enthusiastically, every element must withstand extended periods of high levels of lateral acceleration. Drawing from decades of racing success, Porsche's engineers ensured the cars' engines would always be adequately lubricated, even under the most extreme driving conditions. Here, Porsche employs its proven integral dry sump system, with four intakes and one electronically controlled pressure oil pump operating on demand. The engine's electronic management system adjusts the supply of oil by means of a hydraulically activated, axially moved gear in the pressure pump. As the gear is moved, its mesh section width is changed, varying the volume of oil moved. The pump runs on a chain-driven shaft spun by the crankshaft. The result is optimum lubrication with minimal energy consumption.

In addition, two suction pumps extract oil from each of the two cylinder heads and feed it to the oil sump where a new baffle plate largely separates the crankcase and the sump, resulting in low splash losses in the crankcase and minimizing oil foaming in the sump.

The integrated dry-sump system is so precise at monitoring oil levels that the engines have no engine oil dipstick. Instead, an electronic monitor measures the oil level and displays the result on the instrument cluster.

Keeping it Cool

Engine cooling for both the 3.6-and 3.8-liter engines is optimized by the cooling around the exhaust valve seat rings, which efficiently dissipates heat in the cylinder heads.

Getting the Power Out

As before, the 911 Carrera, Carrerra 4 and Targa 4 models, including the S versions, and GTS come equipped with an advanced six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The GT3s and GT2 RS come exclusively with the manual. This highly refined manual transmissions boast high strength and supreme performance.

For example, the transmission uses steel rather than brass synchronizing rings as well as thick shafts and wide gears. Still, its weight is kept down by using extra-thin aluminum in the oil chamber walls.

Of course, many 911 models can be equipped with the highly acclaimed and innovative Porsche PDK transmission (standard on the Turbo S models and the Speedster). This seven-speed can be shifted manually by the driver or used as a lightening-fast automatic transmission.

The PDK transmission in the 911 is the result of years of Porsche motorsport competition, and was originally developed in the 1980s for the all-conquering Porsche 962 Group C racecar. Its use in the 911 and other Porsches is the result of the company’s hard-earned race track experience and recent advancements in electronic control technology.

The PDK allows the driver to shift up and down using either steering-wheel mounted switches, optional paddles, or the console-mounted gear selector. Or the driver can simply leave the PDK in automatic mode and allow it to operate totally on its own.

Put extremely simply, the PDK is two manual gearboxes combined into one unit. At its crux, the PDK has a sophisticated electronically controlled valve body overseeing the operation of two separate multi-plate wet-clutch packs, each with its own gearset. One clutch activates first, third, fifth, seventh and reverse, the other acts on second, fourth and sixth.

Only one of the clutch packs is engaged at any given moment. As one disengages, the other simultaneously engages. Since each gear is pre-selected and already in mesh when its clutch pack engages, the shift is completed instantly and without any loss of power. Like the clutch packs, the gears' shift forks are electro-hydraulically operated. This all adds up to gear changes that occur in milliseconds, faster – and smoother even under full load --than can be made by even the most adept driver.

In manual mode, under load, the PDK upshifts sequentially, alternating between odd and even numbered gearsets. During downshifts, however, the PDK can skip gears, even going from seventh to second. In downshifts within the same gearset, intermediate gears in the other unit are engaged briefly. For example, if the PDK downshifts from sixth to fourth, fifth gear is activated temporarily as fourth gear is selected and the ECU synchronizes engine and transmission speeds.

Wait, There's Still More Performance Available

For those enthusiast drivers who want even more direct control of the PDK double-clutch transmission, Porsche's engineers have configured the optional Sports Chrono Package Plus to work with PDK.

Pressing the Sport or Sport Plus button on the center console allows the driver to select his desired gear directly. The shift points are adjusted infinitely as a function of the driver’s style and the button pressed. An added feature is an aggressive downshifting program whenever the driver hits the gas pedal quickly.

The available Sport program provides enhanced driving dynamics by preventing an automatic upshift when the driver lifts off the throttle quickly, as when entering a turn. The transmission won't upshift in curves if the car's lateral acceleration and road speed inform the ECU that the driver is driving aggressively. Automatic and quick downshifts under braking are based on the vehicle's road speed and rate of deceleration. Finally, the program alters the shift points to compensate for elevation above sea level.

The driver always has the ability to shift gears directly, regardless of the PDK's program mode. While in the fully automatic mode, the manual gear selections made via the steering-wheel switches or paddles remain in effect for about eight seconds, depending on the vehicle's momentum and lateral acceleration.

Porsche’s Sports Chrono Package Plus includes Launch Control and a special gearshift function for extremely dynamic driving. Launch Control delivers optimum acceleration regardless of conditions and is activated by pressing the Sports Plus button in the center console. For race-like starts, the driver holds down the brake pedal with his left foot while pressing the accelerator pedal with his right, revving the engine to about 6500 rpm. He then releases the brake, and PDK ensures minimal wheelspin with maximum torque.

The Sports Chrono Package Plus with PDK also offers a gearshift strategy for extreme performance with shift points optimized for the track. Activated by the Sports Plus button, the PDK switches to the fastest possible reaction and gearshift times, twice as fast as on the Tiptronic S. When shifting up under full load, the engine is revved up to maximum speed with a brief overboost of power. And to optimize performance when downshifting, the transmission automatically applies extra gas in between shifts.

Brakes Stopping What Goes Fast

Inherent in the Porsche philosophy is that every Porsche must have braking power commensurate with its acceleration and top test-track speed capabilities. Therefore, all 911s are equipped with cross-drilled, internally vented four-wheel disc antilock brakes.

The front brakes on the 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera 4 Coupes and Cabriolets, as well as the 911 Targa 4, have 12.99 inch by 1.1 inch (330 mm by 28 mm) rotors on all four corners. The S versions of these models have the same rear rotors, but the front discs are larger, measuring 12.99 inches by 1.34 inches (330 mm by 34 mm). In comparison, the 911 GT3, 911 GT3 RS and 911 Turbo front discs are 14.96 inches by 1.34 inches (380 mm by 34 mm) and the rear discs measure 13.78 inches by 1.1 inches (350 mm by 28 mm).

Four-piston, monobloc fixed calipers on all corners do the heavy work on the 911 Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa models, while the 911 GT3, 911 GT3 RS, Carrera GTS, the 911 Turbo, and Turbo S get six-piston monobloc calipers up front. Porsche's engineers increased caliper strength and stiffness by adding crossbars to the piston-bearing side units.

Greater Stopping Power Available

Driver's desiring even greater stopping performance than Porsche's already well-renowned braking can specify Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), which are available as an option on 911s and are standard on the 911 Speedster, 911 GT2 RS and 911 Turbo S.

Developed for the extreme use in motorsports, PCCB replaces the standard metal brake rotors with 13.78 inch (350 mm) ceramic discs. Besides delivering otherwise unobtainable levels of consistently superb braking performance under repeated heavy use, the ceramic rotors weigh approximately 50 percent less than the iron ones. PCCB reduces the car's unsprung mass by 34.4 pounds (15.6 kg).

Reliable Vacuum Assist

As with the brake systems on many cars, the 911 Carrera and 911 Targa models have vacuum-assisted braking. However, unlike most, the Porsches do not rely on intake-manifold vacuum for that assist. A mechanical vacuum pump driven by the right-hand cylinder bank's exhaust camshaft ensures a constant and reliable source of braking assist, regardless of ambient air pressure or steady open-throttle driving.

No Heavy Spare

To help reduce vehicle weight by 22 pounds (10 kg) and to save space, the 911 models have no spare tire, jack, or tire-changing tools. Instead they have a small electric air compressor and tire sealant, allowing the emergency repair of a small puncture. This gives the driver the safe opportunity to drive at speeds up to 50 mph (80 km/h) to have the tire properly replaced.

Keeping Up the Pressure

To ensure optimum safety, fuel economy and performance, Porsche engineers provide drivers with a safeguard against driving on a damaged or an under inflated tire: Porsche’s Tire Pressure Control system (TPC). This system uses sensors at each wheel to constantly monitor inflation pressures. The system offers the driver two levels of warning, should it detect a problem.

Suspension Sporty Handling = Active Safety

Knowing full well that all vehicles are safest by avoiding an accident in the first place, Porsche's engineers understand that their cars' awesome dynamic abilities are as much of a safety feature as a performance attribute.

To ensure both dynamic safety and an exhilarating driving experience, Porsche's engineers have continued to refine and enhance their cars' suspensions. All 911 models sit on a large, secure footprint. Porsche's engineers also specified a lightweight and technologically advanced suspension system and a low center of gravity for optimum agility and driver confidence assuring stability.

Porsche's proven front suspension is a McPherson design with spring strut axles with separately mounted longitudinal and track control arms, conical stump springs with an inner damper, and twin-sleeve gas-pressurized dampers. The dampers on 911s with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) feature active control.

In the rear are Porsche's five-arm, spring-strut suspension with longitudinal and track control arms. The rear coil springs have co-axial, single-sleeve gas-pressure inner dampers. As in front, the rear dampers on the S models boast active control.

Better Living through PASM

As noted, the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S Coupes and Cabriolets and the 911 Targa 4S, 911 Turbo, 911 Turbo S, 911 GT3, 911 GT3 RS, Carrera GTS and 911 GT2 RS come standard with Porsche’s advanced Active Suspension Management (PASM). This system is optional on the 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera 4 Coupes and Cabriolets and the 911 Targa 4. PASM suspension has refined springs and anti-roll bars for even greater comfort. Porsche's engineers were able to accomplish this by fine-tuning the PASM control function, delivering a smoother ride on bad roads in both the Normal and Sport modes with no degradation in handling.

This electronically controlled suspension allows the driver to select either a Normal or Sport setting, depending on the driving situation and conditions. Besides allowing the choice of setups, PASM also lowers the car's ride height by about 0.4 inch (10 mm) as compared to the standard steel spring suspension.

At the core of PASM are continuously adjustable dampers, a front and rear accelerometer, and a dedicated electronic control unit. The PASM controller receives data about the vertical movements of the car's body, as well as steering angle, vehicle speed, brake pressure, and engine torque.

The control unit then alters oil flow within the dampers to constantly provide the optimum firmness for the conditions and driver's desire. The system's active dampers have a similar structure as standard shock absorbers but incorporate an electronically controlled internal bypass valve that increases or reduces oil flow as needed.

More than merely a two-setting suspension, PASM automatically adjusts to the driver's style. If left in Normal mode, PASM will gradually increase the suspension's firmness if the car is driven with greater enthusiasm, generating higher dynamic forces.

Rapid and sudden steering movements indicate to the control unit an immediate need to increase damper forces on both axles to reduce swaying or rocking.

By monitoring vertical motions of the body, the system can firm the dampers in Normal mode as reaction to a rough road, minimizing rocking. However, in Sport mode, the same motions alert the controller to reduce the damping forces to ensure that the wheels remain in contact with the road and increase ride comfort.

When the driver steps on the brakes, PASM firms the dampers to reduce body dive and, as the braking sequence continues, adjusts to softer damping with different forces front and rear to ensure solid tire-to-surface contact even on broken pavement or rough roads and to minimize stopping distance.

PASM also controls body squat during full-throttle acceleration. As the driver may briefly lift off from the throttle during gear shifts, PASM instantly adjusts firmness at front and rear axles to compensate for the brief change in loads. In Normal mode, PASM increases damping to prevent excess squat. In Sport mode, the damping is softened to improve traction.

The Sports Suspension

Porsche engineers have also configured a special PASM variant that is intended for serious and skilled enthusiast driver.

The new PASM sports suspension gives the car a firm, at the same time lowering the entire vehicle by 0.79 inches (20 mm) compared to the normal PASM suspension.

Compared with a passive system, this suspension improves both handling performance and comfort. The active sports suspension is available together with the mechanical limited-slip differential, and either the manual gearbox or PDK.

Stability is Standard

Porsche 911 models are equipped with enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM) as standard equipment. For the newest models, PSM now adds both Brake Pre-Filling and Brake Assistant, previously reserved for Porsche's all-wheel drive vehicles.

PSM is a computerized system that relies on data from an assortment of sensors to help maintain the car's intended path as the driver pushes it to the edges of its dynamic limits. By comparing movement of the individual wheels, vehicle speed and engine speed, PSM can determine that the car may be beginning to slip sideways or that a tire is losing traction and beginning to spin.

To rein the car back under the driver's control, PSM applies individual brake force to a slipping wheel. If more drastic measures are required, PSM works with the engine control module to reduce engine power briefly. PSM is programmed to intervene less quickly when the car is moving below 45 mph (70 km/h) to allow the driver more latitude.

PSM uses advanced anti-lock brake sensors that take their readings from multipole seats fitted directly on the wheel bearings. These signals allow more precise processing and control than other types. Instead of conventional shaft valves, linear solenoid valves adjust brake pressure with nearly infinite precision. To provide pressure more quickly, an advanced hydraulic pump is used, thus eliminating the need for a pre-charging pump and its connections.

Besides helping ensure stability, PSM boasts new functions. Critical among them is Brake Pre-Filling which can shorten stopping distances in an emergency. Whenever the driver lifts off the gas pedal abruptly, the system instantly pumps brake fluid from the hydraulic PSM control unit to the brake calipers, placing the pads lightly against the rotors before the driver's foot actually hits the brake pedal.

The refined PSM also now has Brake Assistant which helps drivers apply full braking force when needed. If the driver hits the brake pedal hard, but not with full force, PSM instructs the hydraulic pump to apply the rest, right up to the ABS threshold.

Like all Porsche dynamic safety-enhancement systems, the enhanced PSM does not interfere with a skilled enthusiast's pleasure. If the driver doesn't increase his pressure on the brake pedal past a certain point, the additional pressure built up by the system is reduced. Critically, the pressure booster does not always cut in.

And true to Porsche's philosophy that the driver should always be in command of the vehicle, PSM can be switched off by the driver, unlike some other systems.

When deactivated, the enhanced PSM remains off until the driver firmly hits the brake pedal, reaching the ABS threshold on at least one front wheel. This allows the skilled enthusiast driver more dynamic freedom. As with other Porsche performance-enhancing technologies, PSM is non-intrusive, never abruptly wrestling control of the car from the driver.

Sport Chrono Package Plus

The optional Sport Chrono Package Plus feature is available as an option with either the manual gearbox or PDK transmission.

This enhancement package brings specific control maps to the engine management system and Porsche Stability Management (PSM), as well as to Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and PDK on vehicles so equipped.

The engine control maps strongly favor performance over comfort and provide even quicker engine response, not only on deployment but also on release of the throttle. This helps the PDK shift even more aggressively.

Stability thresholds allow more lateral slip before the ABS and PSM intervene. On those cars with PASM, that system switches to its firmer setting to provide more agility in cornering. However, in some instances, such as on wet pavement, a softer suspension setting can be advantageous so the driver using Sport Chrono can press the PASM button to return to the normal damper settings.

The Sport Chrono package also includes a digital/analog stopwatch and lap-counting function.

Variable-Ratio Steering

The 911 models come with standard variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering. This both increases agility and stability at higher speed maneuvers and reduces steering effort at slow speeds.

When the steering wheel is turned within 30 degrees of center, the ratio provides a smooth and calm driving experience, even on rough surfaces. However, when the steering wheel angle exceeds 30 degrees, the ratio becomes more direct, reducing lock-to-lock from 2.98 to 2.62 turns. This gives the driver better control both on winding roads and in slow-speed parking maneuvers.

In addition to the variable ratio technology, the steering columns tilt and telescope. The wheel can be adjusted by 1.57 inches (40 mm) in height and reach.

Incorporated in the steering system is an electric steering wheel lock as part of the car’s antitheft immobilizer.

Safe by Design

Thanks to the high-and ultra-high-strength steel as well as the sophisticated spot-welding and bonding techniques used during their manufacture, the 911 bodies are torsionally rigid and extremely flex resistant while still being lightweight.

Particular attention was paid in designing and engineering the junction of the A-pillars and the roof frame, as well as the safety structure involved in head-on and offset collisions, including the transition between the door and B-pillars. Forces in a collision can be transferred through the door, around the passenger compartment to the rear of the car.

A bulkhead crossbar at the front of the car is made from high-strength boron steel and special assembly processes were developed to minimize intrusion or into the foot well in an offset collision.

Six Airbags with POSIP

Occupants are protected by six airbags in the event of a collision. There are two front-impact airbags; two front seat-mounted, thorax protecting, side-impact airbags; and the two curtain-style, door-mounted, side-impact airbags that are part of the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) system.

Photo: 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RSPhoto: 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

The frontal airbags are full-size, two-stage front units featuring an organic-based propellant. This propellant reduces the stored airbags' size and weight, and aids in their recyclability.

The front passenger seat features sensors that accommodate child safety seats. Should the sensors detect a child sitting in that seat, the airbag is deactivated.

The POSIP boasts head airbags that deploy upward from their housings in the door windowsills. These airbags provide a flat cushion that inflates to nearly 500 cu.-in. (8 liters) and are designed to help protect the heads of the driver and front-seat passenger from broken glass and objects that might enter through the window in the event of an accident.

Check out more 2011 Porsche 911 (Carrera GTS, GT2 RS, Speedster, GT3 R Hybrid, Turbo S) pictures in our 2011 Porsche 911 (Carrera GTS, GT2 RS, Speedster, GT3 R Hybrid, Turbo S) photo gallery:

2011 Porsche 911 (Carrera GTS, GT2 RS, Speedster, GT3 R Hybrid, Turbo S) specifications, review, photos and imagery courtesy of Porsche.

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