2009 Porsche 911 Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Porsche 911 was new.
Auto writers didn't believe it was possible, but the 2009 911 Carrera's performance abilities are even greater than before. Significantly refreshed for the new model-year, the 911 boasts more power, speed and agility. Drivers won't be disappointed.
- "[U]nless you speak fluent Porsche, you may not realize that the new Carrera is the hottest normally aspirated, mass-produced 911 ever to zoom out of Zuffenhausen. With a top speed of 188 mph, the top-of-the-line Carrera S is said to take as little as 4.1 seconds to squirt from 0 to 60 mph." -- Road and Track
Acceleration and Power
For 2009, the 911 Carrera features an all-new engine, more power, better gas mileage, and replaces its Tiptronic S transmission with an entirely new double-clutch gearbox. Needless to say, test drivers are impressed.
The 911 Carrera base-trim, 4, and Targa 4 feature a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 345-horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 288 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Meanwhile, the more powerful 911 Carrera S, 4S and Targa 4S are equipped with a 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 385-horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. For all models, drivers may choose a six-speed manual transmission or the new Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) -- which features seven-gears, manual gearshift, and an automatic mode.
According to Porsche, the fastest 911 Carrera trims are the S and 4S Coupes when equipped with PDK can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. The trims with the highest top speed are the 911 Carrera S Coupe and Cabriolet, which max out at 188 mph when mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
The EPA reports the 911 Carrera's city/highway fuel economy ranges from 18/25 mpg to 19/27 mpg, depending on trim and transmission.
- "The 2009 911 receives an all-new engine, not just a revision of the existing flat-six, whose basic architecture dates back ten years to the first water-cooled 911s. With a crankcase now made from two pieces instead of four, the new top-spec engine is not only dimensionally smaller (by 24 cubic centimeters), it's also stiffer, weighs a few pounds less, and has a lower center of gravity. ... These changes also make the new 911 engines more fuel-efficient than their predecessors, despite the power increases. After all, what's the point of having all that muscle if you can't afford to use it?" -- -- Automobile Magazine
- "The most important changes are in the engines: Both the standard 3.6-liter six and the 3.8-liter S version move from port to direct fuel injection. By injecting the fuel directly into the cylinder at a pressure of up to 1740 psi, the intake charge is cooled very effectively when the fuel atomizes. This allows the compression ratio to be increased to 12.5:1 and for a little more air to be sucked into the engine with each intake stroke. More air means more power, and higher compression aids both power and efficiency." -- Car and Driver
- "It's also hard for us to admit that Porsche's Doppelkupplungsgetriebe is one tasty treat. No, it's not an entree at the steak house planned for Porsche's new museum, it's the new twin-clutch automatic that has us, almost, forgiving the pain of enduring Tiptronic's mysterious ways. Combined with a new standard rear limited-slip differential, it's so much better at sorting out the correct gear that the transition from Tiptronic to PDK seems an inexplicable leap of evolution, the kind that can't be explained by the fossil record." -- Motor Trend
- "While driving, PDK will pre-select the next gear, so when it comes time to shift, the next gear can instantly take over -- virtually eliminating the lag in shift time. Like other transmissions of this type, PDK can be placed in a fully automatic mode or shifted manually via steering-wheel-mounted buttons. ... The new PDK transmission is a welcome happy medium for those who desire the traffic-friendly nature of not having a clutch, yet still want the rapid shift performance of a traditional manual. However, we're not fans of the awkward shift buttons -- they should be paddles, just like every other manufacturer employs." -- Edmunds
- "Shifts don't take much time. Indeed, Porsche says the PDK is up to 60 percent faster than the Tiptronic system it replaces, and improves zero-to-62 mph times in the Carrera S by 15 percent. It's 19 percent quicker in models with the optional Sport Chrono Plus feature, which incorporates a launch control strategy allowing full-throttle starts." -- Popular Mechanics
Handling and Braking
Test drivers offer universal praise for the '09 Porsche 911 Carrera's supreme sports car handling capabilities and comfortable ride. Adding to the 911 Carrera's handling abilities is Porsche's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which is standard on the Carrera 4, 4S and Targa 4.
Available for all Carrera trims are ceramic brake pads and Porsche's Sport Chrono Package Plus, which -- as if the standard models weren't thrilling enough -- further enhances the 911's performance capabilities.
- "The driving experience is, as you'd expect, similar to last year's cars: the 911 communicates constantly with its driver. Its thin-rimmed steering wheel performs an interpretive dance in your hands, sharing with you its fascination with changing road surfaces, cambers, and grip levels. Hard braking is drama-free even at speeds beyond 180 mph, accompanied by reassuring, rock-hard pedal feel and zero fade. The 911's PASM active suspension (optional on the base Carrera) delivers a ride that is all-day comfortable without ever allowing body motions to get out of hand." -- Automobile Magazine
- "On back roads near Porsche headquarters in Germany, the new cars proved fantastic. Driven moderately, they're comfortable and refined. Driven hard, they're stirring and exhilarating, and make the driver feel as though he has Lewis Hamilton's reflexes and car control." -- Car and Driver
- "To call the 2009 Porsche 911 'sporty' would be an understatement. Even without the adjustable suspension, the 911 delivers a firm but pleasant ride that's suitable for a drive to the office. When put to the test, the 911 accelerates effortlessly. In Sport or Sport Plus mode, the suspension tightens up and hunkers down, providing even more tautness through twisty corners. Big, powerful brakes bite down hard and stop with ease. But even though this car can be a monster, one never feels out of control. Even with all that weight and grip in the rear, Porsche's stability control is able to keep the wheels on the ground without being obtrusive." -- Edmunds
- "So visceral was our reaction to the car's unfettered capabilities that a series of fast laps at the Michelin proving grounds left us as giddy as if we'd been sucking on a bottle of pure ozone. (Kids, don't try this at home.)" -- Motor Trend
- "We tested the 911 Carrera 4S cabrio. AWD helps it stick to the pavement as if attached to a rail. Exceptional handling and stability, especially at high speed. And to keep you in command, stability control and traction control are standard." -- Chicago Tribune