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2021 Porsche 911 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.6

The 2021 Porsche 911 is an exceptionally rewarding car to drive. It’s available with a choice of four turbocharged engines, and each shuttles the car up to speed swiftly. The 911 feels stable and composed through tight turns and irons out bumps and dips in the road comfortably. It also earns good fuel economy by luxury sports car standards.

  • "All of the turbocharged flat six engines are buttery smooth and spin from idle to redline with minimal turbo lag — power comes immediately and with authority. Passing slower cars is effortless, as the 8-speed PDK automatic gearbox shifts brilliantly. The range-topping Turbo S models, with an astonishing 640 hp, deliver nauseating levels of power, and it makes them some of the fastest vehicles on the road." -- Autotrader
  • "Best of all, the 911 is as comfortable as ever and also better to drive. Its steering is communicative and brilliantly direct, and the coupe and convertible have increased cornering grip and stability. The ride quality is surprisingly supple, too, despite the 911's amazing body control, which allow drivers to seamlessly switch between relaxed and spirited romps." -- Car and Driver
  • "A few laps around a racetrack reveal that little has changed with the 911's dynamic abilities. This car is easy to drive fast. It pivots quickly into corners, and it has ample traction and power to exit with authority. As with all recent 911 generations, the car's balance remains on the stable side, but skilled drivers can extract plenty of adjustability." -- Edmunds (2020)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six with 379 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque (Carrera)
  • Available engines:
    • 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six with 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque (Carrera S)
    • 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six with 572 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque (Turbo)
    • 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six with 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque (Turbo S)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic (PDK); available seven-speed manual (Carrera S)

The Porsche 911 is currently available in four basic configurations – Carrera, Carrera S, Turbo, and Turbo S – and with each, the 911 accelerates up to speed with authority. The 911 Carrera can go from zero to 60 mph in four seconds, the Carrera S cuts half a second off that sprint, and the Turbo S completes this dash in just 2.6 seconds. These flat six-cylinder engines provide strong passing power once underway. Throttle response is immediate, and the engines rev freely and smoothly at high rpm. Both transmissions earn praise for their refinement as well.

  • "We've tested the base Carrera as well as several variations of the more powerful Carrera S, which proved its prowess at the racetrack and its incredible traction in adverse weather conditions. No matter the application, every 911 has astonishing acceleration, especially when the gleefully good launch control is utilized." -- Car and Driver
  • "The power from the flat six was never lacking. While I'm sure that there will be far more powerful Porsches coming in this new configuration of 911, I never once felt that I wanted more for the aggressive canyon-carving kamakazie cruise that I was on. Likewise, I never felt like I was waiting for the turbos to spool up. The power curve felt like a regal procession up the graph." -- Autoweek (2020)
  • "The engine revs cleanly to redline, offering a strong pull that doesn't relent until you're in the limiter. You can hear the turbochargers build boost when you romp on the gas pedal, but there's also a strong mix of engine and exhaust noise. The whistle and howl make for a pleasing combination." -- Edmunds (2020)

MPG Estimates

The Porsche 911 gets good fuel economy for the class. At the time of writing, estimates are not available for the 911 Turbo or Turbo S.

  • Carrera, automatic, RWD: 18/24 mpg city/highway
  • Carrera, automatic, AWD: 18/24 mpg
  • Carrera S, automatic, RWD: 18/24 mpg
  • Carrera S, automatic, AWD: 18/23 mpg
  • Carrera S, manual, RWD: 17/25 mpg
  • Carrera S, manual, AWD: 17/24 mpg

Handling and Braking

The Porsche 911 successfully balances agile handling with a composed ride. An adaptive suspension is standard in all models, and it allows the 911 to filter out bumps and dips smoothly while keeping the car stable and mitigating body lean around turns. The steering is responsive and nicely weighted, and the brakes slow down the 911 confidently. The 911 is outfitted with rear-wheel drive as standard equipment; an all-wheel-drive system is available.

  • "The 911’s steering is nearly perfect, with precision and an ideal balance, and the brakes are confidence-inspiring and strong. The handling is sharp, tenacious and seemingly unflappable. All of this is delivered with a surprisingly supple ride quality. (Every model offers dual-mode dampers so the driver can adjust the suspension.)" -- Autotrader
  • "Through tight corners, chicanes and sweepers, everything about the 911 conveyed the sense of being tight and buttoned down. Zero flex in the chassis, zero body roll. It was always in the right gear, power always at the ready. It's so, so utterly good that I felt like I was disappointing it." -- Jalopnik (2020)
  • "Put these modifications alongside the first major revamp of Porsche's Bilstein-based active, magnetically adjustable suspension system (PASM), and comfort improves along with performance – the holy grail of road-car setups." -- Automobile Magazine (2020)
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2021 Porsche 911

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