Earlier this summer, I flew down south to take Porsche’s new 2009 911 Carrera 4 with PDK for a 4-hour long test drive from Atlanta, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama. It was a quick two day trip that concluded with a very technical review of the car and its 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. We decided to contact Porsche for a week-long test-drive of the 911 Carrera S with PDK to see how the car stacks up as an everyday sports car and to offer those of you looking to purchase the car a less technical and a more hands-on review.
“There is no substitute” – the Porsche slogan goes. To be honest – there really isn’t. There are really just two things you need to know about the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S. First, the 3.8L straight 6 now has more power than its predecessor and second, the new 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission puts that power to the road flawlessly.
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Review: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S:
2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S Specifications:
Base Price: $91,080.
Engine: 3.8L 6-cylinder – 385-hp/310 lb-ft of torque.
Transmission: 7-speed PDK dual-clutch
Curb Weight: 3,219 lbs
0 to 60 mph: 4.3 seconds
Top Speed: 186
Fuel-Economy: 19/26 mpg (city/highway)
The 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S is no different than the 2009 911 Carrera 4 we drove two months ago – but if you really must make us repeat ourselves, all 2009 911 models see a few minor changes. The most noticeable changes include a new horizontal cover for the BI-XENON headlights and the LED daytime running headlamps. You’ll also notice that all the lighting elements in the back, except for the reversing lamp, have been equipped with LED lighting, and there are now two oval exhaust pipes.
So how does spending everyday inside a 2009 911 Carrera S feel? Well, it all depends on what type of person you are. If you’re one that likes a comfortable, smooth and soft ride, than the 911 Carrera S is not for you (you’re better off going for that other Stuttgart automaker; Mercedes-Benz). But if you’re one of those individuals that loves waking up everyday, getting inside your car, smelling that sweet Porsche leather that promises a sporty, firm ride on your commute, then by all means go for the Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Of course, you can enjoy those everyday luxury car features such as Bluetooth, a navigation system, iPod connectivity, and cooled and heated seats. Those features and others are all available with the 2009 911 Carrera S but we have no idea why anyone would care. To those of you that think Porsche makes the worst cup holders, well, all we have to say to you is that you’re a true American. What do we mean by that?
Well, the theory goes that, German drivers and German automakers are focused more on driving than eating or drinking. To them driving itself is a privilege that requires paying close attention; unlike Americans that want to be able to multi-task while driving.
The Autobahn has plays a large part in all that. The high speeds driven on the Autobahn require German automakers to concentrate on producing vehicles that focus on high-speed and fuel-efficiency, rather than interior utility. As such, Porsche was one of the first automakers to focus on high-speed stability with features such as tight-steering, a stiff suspension, and high-perfomance brakes . With that in mind, let’s move onto the subject of performance on the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Power comes from a new 3.8L direct-injected flat-6 that makes a neck-snapping 385-hp with a maximum torque of 310 lb-ft at 4,000 rpms. The 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission brings the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 186 mph.
When reviewing a PDK Porsche, it’s hard not to talk about the seamless 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The transmission has a split personality – one that allows you to shift gears 60 percent faster than the pervious Triptronic, or put it away and drive your Porsche like a regular automatic. One factor that appealed to us the most was the ease of use of the launch-control feature with the PDK transmission. All you have to do is put the car in Sports Plus mode, hit the PASM Sport button (available as an option), hold down the brake, slam and the gas and you’ll here a little blip. Let go of the brake and you’re ready to take off. If we had the money to buy a Porsche, you better believe we’d wake up every morning and launch-control ourselves to work.
Braking power comes from 4-piston monobloc fixed alloy calipers and ventilated brake discs, which bring the 911 Carrera S to a full stop from 60 mph in 102 ft. Porsche’s Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system is also available as an option.
How does the 2009 911 Carrera S drive when you’re in regular automatic mode? Mostly tamed. Nonetheless, it will still take off when you slam on the accelerator.
For those worried about fuel-economy figures, Porsche says that the 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission helps improve fuel-economy by 15 percent. EPA estimated fuel-economy for the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S comes in at 19/26 mpg (city/highway), or 22 mpg combined.
Pricing for the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S PDK starts at $91,080. However, if you go for the additional options, like the ventilated seats, Bose audio, navigation, the Sport Chrono package and more – you’re looking at $120,000 sports coupe. But, is it worth it?
If you’re looking for an incredibly quick and aggressive sports car that will hurt your bottom with its firm ride then yes, the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S is for you. However, if you’re looking for a smooth everyday luxury car, then no. But remember one thing. At the end of the day “there is no substitute.”
Review: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S:
– By: Omar Rana
All Photos Copyright ©2009 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.