Full 2007 Porsche 911 Review
What's New for 2007
A pair of familiar powerhouses rejoins the Porsche 911 family for 2007. The mighty 911 Turbo returns with a blistering 480 horsepower and a 3.4-second 0-60-mph time, while the track-ready GT3 sports 415 hp -- by far the most of any non-turbo Porsche ever made. The 911 Targa joins the current-generation family this year, too, sporting its now trademark sliding glass roof.
For more than 40 years, the Porsche 911 has been a sports car icon, and for 2007 it's apparent that the company is not about to let that reputation diminish in the least. This year sees the return, after a one-year hiatus, of the 911 Turbo. This poster child of speed now makes a thrilling 480 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque. With all-wheel drive putting it to the pavement, the 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo can dash to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed over 190 mph. And that's with an automatic transmission. For the first time ever, the automatic version is quicker than the manual version.
Another pavement-scorcher reappears – the GT3. Essentially a track-ready car that's civilized enough for daily use, the Porsche 911 GT3 makes a great choice as a club racer for the weekend enthusiast. With 415 hp, it's the most powerful non-turbo 911 ever made and with a weight just over 3,000 pounds, it's an agile monster. The glass-topped Targa 4 (the "4" indicates all-wheel drive) returns as well, in either standard (325 hp) or higher-powered (355 hp) "S" form. Finishing out the lineup are the 911 Carrera coupe and convertible, which can be had in standard or "S" form, as well as with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
One of the reasons the 911 has become almost larger than life is its combination of ferocious performance and daily-driver livability. The car's basic design, with its large glass area, slim roof pillars and no-nonsense interior, has hardly changed since the 911's debut in 1964. This provides a comfortable and stress-free environment for the driver, unlike some other sports cars where one sinks down low, and the view to the rear quarters isn't much better than a Brink's truck. Underway, the 911 is just as welcoming, with a smooth power delivery, strong yet easily modulated brakes and ultra-responsive yet never nervous steering.
Savvy consumers will know that a strong argument can be made for choosing a Chevrolet Corvette over a 2007 Porsche 911, as the 'Vette provides virtually equal performance numbers for considerably less money. But the Corvette doesn't have the 911's solid, carved-from-a-block-of-granite build quality, nor its easier-to-live-with compact dimensions and unfettered sight lines. Perhaps the toughest, most direct rival for the 911 is the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, a beautiful sports car with moves to match its looks. But the V8 Vantage has a long time to go before it can match the history and legendary status of the Porsche 911.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Porsche 911 comes in four main trim levels: Carrera, Carrera S, GT3 and Turbo. The base 911 Carrera comes with 18-inch wheels, full power accessories, a trip computer, leather seating, auto-dimming mirrors, nine-speaker audio system with a CD player, and automatic climate control. The 911 Carrera S adds a more powerful engine, 19-inch wheels, active suspension management technology, bigger brakes, bi-HID xenon headlights, a sports steering wheel and unique exterior and interior trim. The Carrera and Carrera S can be had in either coupe or convertible ("Cabriolet") body styles and with either rear- or all-wheel-drive ("4") versions. Equipped like a regular Carrera coupe, the 911 Targa 4 comes with all-wheel drive and a large power-sliding glass roof. The S version of the Targa 4 adds the same upgrades as the Carrera S.
The GT3 comes with a 415-hp engine, 19-inch wheels, a fixed rear spoiler, unique front and rear fascias, traction control, track-tuned suspension and sport seats. The Turbo comes with a 480-hp engine, 19-inch wheels, power seats, a Homelink transmitter and a Bose audio system.
Porsche offers a dizzying array of options, including custom color schemes, custom leather trims and a choice of wood, aluminum and carbon-fiber accents. Other highlights include race-bred ceramic disc brakes, a navigation system and a Sport Chrono package. In addition to supplying lap times and records, the Sport Chrono option also remaps the electronic throttle for quicker response and, on automatic cars, the transmission for higher performance, meaning quicker downshifts and the holding of lower gears during aggressive driving so as to keep the power on tap for powerful corner exits.
Powertrains and Performance
The standard 911 Carrera comes with a rear-mounted 3.6-liter, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine. It makes 325 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Moving up to the Carrera S means getting a 3.8-liter version of the flat-6 rated for 355 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 911 Carrera and Carrera S can be had in either rear- or all-wheel-drive ("4") versions. The Targa 4 is AWD only and can also be had in standard or S trim. The GT3 is rear-drive only (preferred by racing enthusiasts) and comes with a 3.6-liter flat-6 with 415 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The Turbo features all-wheel-drive as well as a twin-turbocharged 3.6 that makes 480 hp and 460 lb-ft. All 911s come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while all trims except the GT3 also offer a five-speed Tiptronic automatic as an option. Every 911 can perform the 0-60-mph sprint in fewer than five seconds, with the Turbo doing it in well under four. Top speed approaches 200 mph for the GT3 and Turbo.
Six airbags (including side curtain), antilock disc brakes and stability control are included on all 2007 Porsche 911 models except the GT3, which does without the stability control. An active suspension management system is optional on the Carrera and Targa 4, and standard on the S versions as well as the GT3 and Turbo.
Interior Design and Special Features
The driver-centric Porsche 911 interior features a single-pod gauge cluster and supportive bucket seats with firm side bolsters to hold one in place during aggressive cornering. Also standard is a nine-speaker sound system, but a 13-speaker Bose surround-sound system is optional for true audiophiles. Large footwells and a steering column that tilts and telescopes create more head- and legroom than in previous generations. In back, there are two deep-set bucket seats. In a pinch, they'll work for small children, but no more than that.
Driven at normal speeds the 2007 Porsche 911 delivers a firm but mostly pleasant ride that's suitable for daily commutes, but the growl of the flat-6 behind the driver is a welcome reminder that this is a serious performance car. Lay into the power and the 911 comes alive. The variable-rate steering feels slightly numb at certain speeds, but turns in with precision and is largely unaffected by broken pavement. The brakes are powerful and respond promptly. Acceleration is effortless and the 911 remains composed and hunkered down when slicing through a twisty road. The stability control provides enough leeway to allow experienced drivers to push the car hard, while also offering enough of a safety net to keep them pointed the right way.