Over the past 50 years the Porsche 911 has been considered a paragon amongst high performance vehicles. Few other sports cars can match its combination of thoroughly iconic style and performance. It seems that each year the 911 family grows and 2015 is certainly no different. This year Porsche adds a new trim level to the already deep 911 model roster while continuing to refine the entire lineup’s performance and technology.
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2015 Porsche 911 Overview
What's New for 2015
Last year marked the completion of transitioning the entire 911 model series to the newest 991-generation platform. The big news this year is that Porsche is adding two entirely new trim levels to the 911 fold: the Targa 4 and Targa 4S.
Choosing Your Porsche 911
Selecting a new 911 can be a daunting task. From the Carrera to the Targa 4S each model is unique thanks to either distinct engine upgrades or subtle refinements in trim. The thing to remember is that every 911 delivers in the looks and performance department. So with that in mind, your questions become just how much power you want underneath the hood and what your budgetary constraints are.
The entry level to the 911 family is the Carrera line. Each model is a progressive increase in power and refinement. There are two main engines offered within the Carreras and each model is available as a coupe or as a convertible.
The base 911 Carrera starts with a 3.4-liter direct-injected flat-six engine with a seven-speed manual transmission that delivers a total of 350 horsepower. It also has rear-wheel drive, the SPORT button, 4-way power adjustable seats, 7-inch color touch screen, dual zone air conditioning, a nine-speaker audio system, Bluetooth capability and bi-xenon headlights. Optional equipment includes Porsche’s seven-speed PDK automated manual transmission, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, 14-way or 18-way power adjustable seats, Burmester or Bose audio systems and adaptive cruise control.
Moving to the Carrera 4 increases the body width by 1.7 inches to create a wider, lower platform. It also adds all-wheel drive and Porsche Traction Management.
The S has a 3.8-liter direct-injected flat-six engine with rear-wheel drive and a seven-speed manual transmission that combine to deliver 400 horsepower. It starts with the features of the Carrera and adds enhanced driving control with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (for increased steering response and precision) and active suspension management.
Takes the performance equipment on the S with the larger body size of the 4 and adds all-wheel drive.
Targa 4 and Targa 4S
With the addition of the Targa 4 and Targa 4S trims, Porsche resurrects the classic sculptured Targa roof design which hasn’t been available on a 911 since the eighties.
Starting with the standard features of the Carrera the Targa 4 adds the fixed, all glass rear windscreen. The result as Porsche describes it is: “an open-top sports car with the feel and comfort of a 911 Coupe.” The Targa 4 also adds park assist.
The Targa 4S starts with all the features and engine of the Carrera S and adds the fixed, all glass rear windscreen. it also features park assist.
Turbo and Turbo S
If you like the Carrera S but wish it delivered more performance and power then what you’re looking for are the Turbo trims. Both are available as coupes or convertibles.
Porsche has given the 911 Turbo a turbocharged 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine with the PDK transmission that delivers 520 horsepower. The Turbo features active all-wheel drive, rear-axle steering, traction management, VarioCam Plus system, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and a rear spoiler. It also has a twelve speaker Bose audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth compatibility and park assist standard.
The Turbo S adds on to the Turbo with a variation on the 3.8-liter engine that achieves 560 horsepower.
These limited run special editions are still available, though they are no doubt in diminishing quantities.
Only 1,963 copies of the 50th Anniversary 911 were produced to pay tribute the introductory year of this storied sports car. The 50th Anniversary has the Carrera S’s engine and Carrera 4’s wider body. It includes the power kit upgrade as standard and has a plethora of subtle trim and interior upgrades that pay homage to the 911’s past and its future.
The GT3 coupe is designed and built for the track. It is a rear-drive two-seater with a 475-horsepower normally aspirated 3.8-liter V6 engine. It has a PDK transmission tuned specifically to the GT3 and rear-axle steering.
The Porsche 911 offers a deep roster of models with an incredible number of personalized options and an equally wide range of costs. With all of these choices it's easy to spend far more money than you intended -- or even to price yourself of the endeavor entirely. Our recommendation is to not lose sight of your true priority (be it the ultimate drive or all the options) and adjust accordingly. After all, no matter which one you choose you will still own one of the most legendary sports cars in the world.