2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Pros and Cons of the 3.4-Liter Engine
November 13, 2013
We've posted updates on our 2013 Porsche 911's performance previously. In our track testing, the car accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quite respectable 4.7 seconds. Even better than that is the way the 3.4-liter flat-6 sounds as it sings towards redline. It's just awesome and pleasingly unique.
But I could also see where the 911's real-world performance would leave somebody wanting.
The reality is that the 4.7-second 0-60 time is under track conditions using launch control. In more normal driving, you're looking at a nearly 3,400-pound car with high power peaks: 350 hp at 7,400 rpm and 287 lb-ft of torque at 5,600 rpm.
In contrast, almost all competing sports cars or coupes these days have big-displacement engines or turbocharging or supercharging. The Corvette Stingray is at 460 hp at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb-ft at 4,600 rpm (with the optional exhaust). The Jaguar F-Type V8 S churns out 495 hp at 6,500 rpm and 460 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm. The upcoming BMW M4 is expected to offer at least 369 lb-ft of torque starting at 1,500 rpm.
Now, throwing around numbers like that is largely just bench racing. But there's no denying that the 911 Carrera represents classic, naturally aspirated sports car performance. You can't just gently roll on the throttle to make quick passes like you can in those other high-end sports cars. You've got to make some downshifts and be pretty high in the rpm range to get maximum effect.
Of course, if it's torque you want, Porsche will gladly sell you a 911 Turbo. But for the potential Carrera convertible buyer, I think he or she should know that there are pros and cons to the way this car makes it power.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor