The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera is set to debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September, however, Porsche revealed preliminary specs and photos of the new car on Tuesday. Porsche says in a press release that the new car features an updated interior and an aluminum-steel composite body, reducing weight by about 100 pounds compared with the 2011 model. Additionally, the new 911’s wheelbase is now 3.9 inches longer than the previous generation.

The 2012 911 also gets a new engine and a small bump in horsepower. The 2012 Carrera’s 3.4-liter flat-six engine is 0.2 liters smaller than the outgoing motor, but generates 350 horsepower, up five horses from 2011. Performance is improved thanks to the additional power and the new 911’s lighter weight.

“When equipped with the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission, the Carrera will hit 60 mph in a Porsche-estimated 4.4 seconds,” writes Motor Trend. “Buyers who opt for the Sport Chrono Package (and we suspect most will) can use the included launch control to send the Carrera on its way to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. By comparison, the 997 911 took 4.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a stop. The 2012 Carrera will top out at 179 mph, down 1 mph from last year.”

The new 911 Carrera S also receives more power. Its 3.8-liter flat-six engine generates 400 horsepower, 15 more than the 2011 model, which also adds up to improved performance. “The 911 Carrera S with PDK accelerates from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds,” says Porsche. That’s 0.2 seconds quicker than the PDK-equipped 2011 Carrera S.

The EPA has yet to test the upcoming 911’s fuel economy, but Porsche reports 16 percent lower fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle when compared with the previous generation. The New York Times says, “The improvement is attributed to features like an automatic start-stop shutoff, engine and transmission thermal management, electrical system recuperation, a 7-speed manual transmission, electromechanical power steering and the optional PDK double-clutch transmission, which enables coasting under certain conditions.”

Porsche says that the new 911 will hit dealer lots in February 2012, and includes more standard features than the 2011 model. The new 911 Carrera Coupe will start at $82,100, which is $3,100 more than the base 2011 model. The 911 Carrera S Coupe will see a price increase of $4,500. Base MSRP on the 2012 Carrera S is $96,400.

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