2009 Porsche 911 Carrera PDK. Click image to enlarge
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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney
2009 Porsche 911
Toronto, Ontario – You know there is a shift afoot in the car business when a portion of Porsche’s media and advertising budget for the 2009 911 Carrera is devoted to the car’s fuel economy: this, from the company that gave us the 605-hp V10 Carrera GT, and continues to offer a progression of ballistic 911 Turbos and a variety of thirsty V8-powered Cayenne SUVs.
In truth, Porsche’s sports cars, which are the heart and soul of the automaker, have always been fairly miserly fuel-sippers considering their outstanding performance potential; credit modest curb weights and efficient flat-six engines that live in front of the rear axles (Boxster and Cayman) or aft (911 Carrera).
For 2009, Porsche has applied some of its engineering acumen to enable its sports cars do what they do best: go fast, turn hard, and make wonderful sounds – while using even less fuel. A noble pursuit, and a necessary one, as strict European CO2 emission regulations come into play and the world’s motoring conscience gets greener.
Hey, even those lucky folks who can spend 100 grand plus on Zuffenhausen’s finest want to do their part.
The dry-sump 3.6-litre horizontally-opposed six in the base 2009 911 Carrera ($94,800) has a new crankcase, new cylinders and cylinder heads, and now features direct injection. It is slightly more compact than the previous 3.6-litre engine and sits a little lower in the subframe, improving the car’s centre of gravity. Power jumps from 325 to 345 horsepower, and torque increases by 15 lb.-ft. to 288. According to Porsche, fuel economy improves by up to 13 per cent.