2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Test Drive

?2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe?

Maintaining tradition while going completely modern


It continues to remain a total mystery to me, how the Porsche team manages each and every year, to improve upon what seems to have already been the ultimate high performance sports car. But somehow they do just that consistently without fail. This is a practice that has gone on for nearly 50 years since the 911?s inception. The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S coupe became infinitely better than the previous year?s model. The product launch was staged in four separate waves of automotive journalists from around the globe. The last wave consisted primarily of U.S.-based scribes, who were forced to deal with heavy rain ? an unusual occurrence for the area. Enter the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S.

The latest iteration 911 emerged from a major developmental process ? one of the most significant in the history of this classic sports car with nearly 90 percent of all of its components having been redesigned or redeveloped. The lightweight body was all-new, with drivetrain and suspension systems, which combined to deliver improvements in Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy. Driving?dynamics benefited along with a 16 percent lower fuel consumption and lower emissions, not to mention enhanced practicality and functionality.


Power for the 911 comes from two sources: a 350 horsepower 3.4-liter boxer 6-cylinder engine for the base 911 Carrera; and a 3.8-liter boxer 6-cylinder for the 911 Carrera S, which produces 400 horsepower along with an imopressive 325 pound feet of torque. Both engines feature direct fuel injection and drive the rear wheels, with power geared through either a 7-speed manual gearbox (it was the first passenger car in the world to feature a 7-speed manual as standard fare), or an optionally available Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) automatic with electronically controlled rear differential and PTV Plus (Porsche Torque Vectoring). Seventh gear is a quasi-overdrive for greater fuel economy. The new 911 Carrera was also the first sports car that Porsche equipped with an auto start/stop function. The 911 Carrera clicks off 0-62 mph in a very respectable 4.8 seconds (4.6 with PDK and 4.4 with the Sport Chrono Package), while the more potent 911 Carrera S covers the same distance in 4.3 seconds (3.9 seconds with PDK with the Sport Chrono Package).


The latest 911 Carrera S Coupe appears to be smaller at first glance, while in actuality, it is larger, sporting a longer wheelbase and a wider track, riding on 20-inch wheel and tires. The overall length has been increased by 56 mm, while overhangs were shortened by 32 mm up front and 12 mm in the rear. The roofline is 7 mm lower on the Carrera and 6 mm shorter on the Carrera S. It is the most compact sports car in its class. Despite all its modifications, the 911 Carrera?s styling represents a? basically evolutionary movement, rather than a revolutionary one, and it is now lighter. The car?s couple-like character is more pronounced, accentuated by the larger alloy wheels and tires, along with the convex, sharp raked windshield angle. The front end is wide, with projector-style Bi-Xenon headlamps and larger side air intakes. The revised rear end features a wide, variably extending spoiler, which along with other aerodynamic enhancements emphasizes the car?s power output.


Complementing the fresh, racy exterior, the interior? draws visual inspiration from the Porsche Carrera GT and functional control treatment and placement from the Panamera. The center console rises forward housing the gearshift lever and large 7-inch touch screen information center. Both driver and front passenger are treated to sport seats with electric four way adjustments. Additional sport seat versions are available with 14 and 18-way adjustments.

The venerable Porsche 911 Carrera was previously available in 23 variations and those variations continue. Turbo and Cabrio versions became available this spring.

During last year?s press launch, only 911 Carrera S models were available, but both transmission versions were represented. My driving partner and I were assigned a Bright White 911 Carrera S with a flashy Red interior and the PDK automatic which may shifted either via the console mounted lever or steering wheel mounted paddles. It was also equipped with Ceramic brakes and Sport Chrono Plus. The base price was set at $96,400 while the final count and amount came to $108,350. It came with the sunroof deleted as well as simplified exterior badging. I later tested one with a Platinum silver metallic exterior and Yachting blue? leather interior. Its total sticker came to $125,780 as it came with a host of options including a sunroof. My latest test 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe sported a Guards Red exterior and a Black interior. The base sticker was set at $98,900. While the final tally amounted to $107,830. After adding options, which included: Black instrument dials, colored Porsche wheel caps, telephone module, SportDesign steering wheel, 14-way power Sport seats, Bose Audio package, Premium Package Plus, online services and destination charges.


SUMMARY: ?The 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe is truly a sports car to aspire to, and yes Virginia, it is definitely better before in every regard, from looks to performance capability. There is really no need for the Turbo version from my perspective, because the 911 S versions already deliver more than enough power and performance attributes for even an accomplished driver.

The latest generation 911Carrera provides the driver (and passenger too for that matter) more driving pleasure, even in terms of the sound generated. It benefits from a Sound Symposer that creates a more robust and sportier engine sound in the interior simply by pressing the standard sport button. It is a passive system that reinforces the boxer engine?s distinctive sound through a special channel rather than creating an artificial sound.

Adding even more to the car?s audible pleasure ? the old exhaust system, which consisted of individual exhaust systems per cylinder bank (three cylinders per exhaust) are now connected by a cross system that integrates both banks for an even richer and more powerful note. Press the Sport Plus button and the exhaust opens up even more, minimizing back-pressure and increasing performance.

The acceleration capability of the new 911 Carrera S is phenomenal ? it is wicked quick and fast. Ceramic brakes are optionally available to increase the already impressive stopping power and effectiveness, and they are now improved minimizing low speed braking noise and chatter.

The interior layout presents optimal and ergonomically satisfying functionality in the placement of controls and switchgear. There is no spare tire, but rather a repair compound kit.


All in all, this latest example of the Porsche 911 Carrera S is an incredible sports car ? something that Porsche is best noted for producing year after year with continual and progressive improvements. It is a truly amazing machine on the road or on the track. Safety systems and features abound and are in place to save both driver and car at less than a moment?s notice. It actually makes one a better driver and makes the transition into the seventh generation 911 an exciting and rewarding one. Is it inexpensive? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $98,900.
Price as Tested: $107,830.
Engine Type and Size: 3.8-liter DOHC, 24-valve, water-cooled flat-opposed-six-cylinder with VarioCam Plus and Direct fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 400 @ 7,400 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 325 @ 5,600 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed manual or optional Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) automatic with electronically controlled rear differential and PTV Plus (Porsche Torque Vectoring).
Drive Train: Rear mounted engine / Rear-wheel Drive.
Suspension: Porsche Active Suspension Management with electronically controlled vibration dampers and two manually selectable damping modes. TPMS and PDCC.
Front –MacPherson axle optimized to Porsche requirements, wheels on independently mounted transverse control arms, longitudinal control arms and suspension struts, coil over dampers and electro- mechanical power steering with anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multi-link rear with wheels independently guided on five control arms, cylindrical coil springs with coaxial vibration dampers mounted inside with anti-roll bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs, dual circuit brake system with separate front and rear circuits, PSM, vacuum brake booster, BA, electric duo-servo parking brake and auto hold function. 6-piston monobloc front calipers and 4-piston calipers rear.
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero 245/35 ZR20x8.5” front / 295/30 ZR20x11” rear mounted on 5-“U” (10-spoke) alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 96.46 inches
Length Overall: 176.81 inches
Width: 71.18 inches – without mirrors.
Height: 50.98 inches
Curb Weight: 3,075 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 16.9 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city / 20 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.29
0 – 60 mph: 4.3 seconds- (3.9 seconds with Sport Plus and PDK). Top Speed = 188 mph

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