2013 Porsche 911 Performance

$49,552 - $95,052

2013 Porsche 911 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Porsche 911 was new.


Performance: 8.9

Test drivers agree that the 2013 Porsche 911 offers one of the most thrilling driving experiences in the class, with controlled, athletic handling and one of the most accurate steering systems on the market. The 911 Carrera also earns praise for its strong brakes and powerful engine, while higher trims offer even more power and quicker acceleration.

  • "Everything about driving the Porsche 911 makes you feel like a rock star. No matter how you equip it, the car is an absolute thrill to drive with its aggressive power delivery and ultra-tight handling. Steering is also among the most direct that we've ever experienced, despite Porsche's inclusion of an electrically assisted steering system." -- AutoTrader 
  • "There's a purity to the way a 911 drives that one simply doesn't find in other cars. It's the light-on-its feet feeling. It's the unique flat-six howl. It's the perfect steering ... it's all of those things. The car is just a terrific drive. No two ways about it." -- AutoWeek 
  • "In the 2013 Porsche 911, the result is a quick, responsive and communicative car, but one that is also stable and confidence-inspiring. It's even comfortable and accommodating on long trips." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The 911 driving experience - especially in convertible form with the top down - is all about engaging your senses. From the distinctive turbinelike whine of the rear-mounted flat-six engine to the way the car feels on different road surfaces, the 911 is a machine that's always communicating with you. It refreshingly embraces its sounds in an era when other luxury performance cars try to mute them." -- Cars.com

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera has a 3.4-liter flat-six-cylinder engine that delivers 350 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 287 pound-feet of torque at 5,600 rpm. A seven-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) transmission is optional. A start/stop system is standard, and the EPA reports that the 911 Carrera gets 19/27 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission, which is quite good for the class. Porsche says that the base 911 Carrera has a top speed of 179 mph and will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds with the seven-speed manual. Adding the PDK transmission gives the 911 Carrera a 0-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds.

The 911 Carrera S features a 3.8-liter flat-six that generates 400 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque at 5,600 rpm. With the seven-speed manual, the Carrera S will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 188 mph, while models with the PDK accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S models feature twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six-cylinder engines that produce 500 and 530 horsepower, respectively. A six-speed manual is standard on the 911 Turbo, while Turbo S models come with the seven-speed PDK.

Auto writers agree that the base 911 Carrera offers strong acceleration, while the more powerful Carrera S earns praise for its sonorous exhaust note, swift acceleration and ample power throughout the rpm range. The 911’s PDK also pleases reviewers with its lightning-fast gear changes, though some say that the manual transmission has tightly spaced shift gates, which can make it hard to find the right gear.

  • "The boxer six-cylinder is magnificent with linear power delivery all the way up to redline and the sport-exhaust system sounded downright mean." -- AutoWeek (911 Carrera S)
  • "The seven-speed manual's gates are closely spaced, and it's easy to select the wrong gear, particularly while pulling the lever back for upshifts. If you don't coax the shifter to the right, you might do a five-four downshift instead of the intended five-six upshift. Porsche apparently has anticipated this and provides a gear indicator below the tachometer. It has also implemented software that prevents seventh gear from being selected without first going through fifth and sixth." -- Car and Driver 
  • "The 911 Carrera S is an amazingly fast car. Porsche says rear-drive models will do 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds (3.9 with the available Sport Chrono Plus Package). While we've not timed it, it feels every bit that quick." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The flat-6 engine produces strong acceleration and sounds fantastic doing it." -- Edmunds (911 Carrera) 
  • "The manual gearboxes - 6-speed on Turbos and an industry-first 7-speed on Carreras - work beautifully but we prefer Porsche's spectacular twin-clutch PDK transmission, which bangs off gear changes with a press of wheel-mounted rocker switches." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Handling and Braking

The Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S are rear-wheel drive, while Carrera 4, 4S, Turbo and Turbo S models have all-wheel drive. Reviewers agree that the 2013 Porsche 911 lives up to its reputation with exciting driving dynamics and athletic cornering ability, as well as powerful brakes and quick, precise steering. Additionally, the 911 earns praise for its firm, yet comfortable, ride.  

  • "The Porsche 911 is legendary for its razor-sharp steering and handling, and the redesigned models are no exception. ‘Fabulous,’ wrote one editor. ‘Glorious,’ added another. Discussing the 911 Carrera S, one CG editor noted that the steering is effortless at low speeds and firms up to perfection once you're moving." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Porsche allows devotees to revel in the light steering, quick direction changes and strong braking that the 911's unique tail-heavy layout affords while progressively taming the tendency to spin when the cornering limit it exceeded." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Without playing with the adjustable damping at all, the 911 is pretty much spot-on. The ride is stiff, but not harsh. Compliant, but not soft. It's the perfect mix." -- Jalopnik
  • "Complementing the convertible's straight-line prowess is its adept ability at tackling corners." -- Car and Driver (2012)
  • "The car comes standard with six piston brakes up front and four piston brakes on the rear wheels. The stopping power is truly excellent, as modulating the brakes let me precisely slow the car depending on the upcoming turn." -- CNET (2012)

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