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Sunday 4 December 2016
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Test Drive: 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S Review

Test Drive: 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S Review

This week I am behind the wheel of one of the most iconic sports cars sold in American, the Porsche 911 Carrera S.  This is the 2017 model and Porsche made a lot of changes to this car. 

You’ll see a good number of changes to the exterior with new headlights and taillights, new fenders and bumpers, but all of it was done in a very subtle manner, without compromising the heritage looks of the 911.


Perhaps the biggest change for 2017 is in the rear, which is where the engine is.  For the first time, Porsche went from a naturally-aspirated flat six cylinder to a twin-turbo 3-liter six.  This made died-in-the-wool Porsche fans very nervous, but in my opinion, they have nothing to worry about.   

Going to the turbos increased fuel economy and more importantly, horsepower.  Along with the 7-speed PDK automatic transmission, the 911 S is putting out 420-horses and has shocking thrust under heavy acceleration. 

Let’s look at the stats:  The 911 Carrera S will take you from 0-to-60 in a lightning fast 3.7 seconds, and if you can find a place to open it up, it tops out at 191 miles per hour.

The transmission can be shifted by the stick, or by the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, but I have to say, with the rapid and determined shifts when letting the PDK shift itself, you will not be disappointed.

This new Carrera S is beautiful on the outside with its wide stance, 20” wheels, and power rear spoiler.  In the front, there are active air intake flaps that close when you are driving for aerodynamics, but will open if the engine needs assistance cooling.

You won’t find an engine compartment in the back; there is a pop-up cooling panel right behind the rear glass.  The trunk is in front and it is very deep, but has limited cargo room.

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On the inside, it’s everything you would expect from a Porsche.  The red leather seating with carbon fiber trim looks terrific.  When you sit down behind the wheel, there are so many buttons you feel like you are in the cockpit of a jet.

The gauge cluster features a huge tachometer in the middle, with the speedometer to the left, and oil temperature gauge and oil pressure further to the left.  To the right of the tach is a driver info center that you operate from a lever on the bottom right of the steering wheel.  To the far right is the fuel gauge and engine temperature.  All five gauges are easy to see and read.

The center console is fairly good size with a USB port inside.  The shifter feels comfortable, and to the left of the shifter is the active suspension management to change the suspension, and just under that you can turn off the traction control, which is a bad idea by the way.

To the right of the shifter is the button to raise the spoiler, next you can turn the sport exhaust on, and under that you can raise the suspension for steep driveways or speed bumps, and finally my favorite button…the one that turns the start/stop system off.

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In front of the shifter are the air conditioning controls, heated and cooled seat buttons, and buttons to operate the 7” color touchscreen.  You operate all the audio, navigation, and change the settings of the car to your liking.  The system is simple to operate and it does come with Apple CarPlay.  The sound system is exceptional in the 911 Carrera.

There is a round knob mounted to the lower right of the steering wheel that hit me as oddly placed, almost an afterthought.  It operates the Dynamic Chassis Control, and by turning the knob, you change the drive, ride, feel, and exhaust sound of the car.  You can choose from normal, sport, sport plus, and then individual that lets you tailor it to your liking.

A couple of things to note on the interior: first, this car has very little storage, there isn’t even a place to put your cell phone.  The cup holders are a little hokey, hidden behind a door above the glove box, and although Porsche calls this a 4-passenger, it is not.  There is enough room in the back for a purse and a brief case.  If you are tall, watch your headroom in this car.

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The 911 Carrera S comes standard with just about everything including power seats on both sides.  My Jet Black Metallic tester does not have a sliding moon roof, but you can get one.

This car is incredibly fast and a ton of fun to drive.  The exhaust sound is worth the price of admission, and there is just nothing that handles like a Porsche 911.

If you behave, and trust me you will not, you’ll get 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 22 in town.

Since these cars as so new and just getting to the dealerships, it did not come with a factory window sticker.  However, building this car online, the MSRP is right at $135,000.

The first 911 came to the United States in 1965 and cost less than $7000.  The changes to the 2017, in my opinion, make this the very best 911 Carrera ever.

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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
  • What I liked most:  The horsepower, the handling, the heritage
  • What I would change: It is a 911 Carrera, nothing.
  • MSRP:  Estimated at $135,000.
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 22 City/28 highway.
  • Official Color:  Jet Black Metallic
  • Odometer reading when tested: 1200 miles.
  • Weight:  3219 Pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 177.1” long/71.2” wide/51” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 gallons with the filler on the passenger side, front fender.
  • Towing Capacity: N/A
  • 2017 Carrera 911 in a few words:  It’s an iconic beast of a car.
  • Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance.
  • Final Assembly Location:  Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • Manufacturers website: Porsche
Photo Credit: Porsche