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The 2014 Porsche 911 lineup now includes Turbo and Turbo S models, as well as the baddest 911 of them all, the GT3. With more power, quicker shifts and rear-wheel steering, the GT3 is also easier to live with every day. We didn't think you'd object.
Blistering acceleration; sublime, free-revving six-cylinder engine; four-wheel-steering system makes GT3 and Turbo models easier to handle at low speeds.
No manual transmission on Turbo and GT3 models; electric steering system not as direct as previous setups.
Available 911 Coupe Models
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The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 and Turbo models get more power, an exclusive seven-speed transmission, and for the first time, an active rear-wheel-steering system.
Each new generation of the Porsche 911 introduces new heresy into the model's storied history. Purists bemoan technological advances, but enthusiasts still buy 911s as fast as Porsche makes them.
For 2014, Porsche updates the 911 portfolio with the Turbo, Turbo S and GT3 models. No disrespect to the Turbo S -- it's the fastest 911 on the lot -- but the GT3 is still the baddest Porsche on the block. It uses the same 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine design as the Carrera S, although Porsche developed the more exotic titanium and forged parts specifically for the GT3's six-cylinder. The direct-injected power plant makes 475 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. That's a modest torque gain (8 lb-ft) over the previous GT3, but a healthy bump of 40 hp from an engine that redlines at 9,000 rpm. The revised flat-6 is also lighter than its predecessor.
But don't expect to find a manual transmission in the new GT3. A seven-speed PDK automated dual-clutch transmission is the only choice. Heresy. The new seven-speed now also features a neutral mode when both paddle shifters are pulled back. Taller gear and final-drive ratios make the 2014 GT3 quicker than before. Porsche claims zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, a top speed of 195 and a lap around the Nurburgring in less than 7 minutes, 30 seconds.
Like the standard 911 that debuted last year, the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 also features electric power steering. We've found it barely perceptible in the base Carrera, and hope for the same effect at the higher, sharper performance margins of the GT3. The bigger shock, however, is the addition of four-wheel steering. The thought of recalibrating our muscle memory of the 911's rear bias and benchmark steering makes us anxious.
Porsche says at speeds below 30 mph, the system points the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the fronts -- up to 1.5 degrees -- making the GT3 easier to manage in strip malls and narrow urban paths. Above 50 mph, the rear wheels head the same direction as the front wheels for better high-speed stability and cornering.
The 2014 911 GT3 now uses 20-inch wheels (up from 19 inches), which are also wider. The forged aluminum wheels again come with a single center lock. And in case the new stance wasn't enough style for you, the GT3 also offers optional full-LED headlights.
The new Turbo and Turbo S get the same rear-wheel-steering treatment and 20-inch wheels (center locks on the Turbo S). But Turbo models also get a revised all-wheel-drive system with an electronically controlled coupling and improved water cooling that helps deliver more drive to the front wheels than the Turbo's previous generation. Turbo models also get adaptive aerodynamic features, including a three-stage front spoiler and three-position rear wing.
That same 3.8-liter six-cylinder in the GT3 sits in back of Turbo models as well, but uses dual turbochargers to develop 520 hp in the Turbo and 560 hp in the Turbo S. Both models also use the seven-speed PDK transmission. Porsche says the Turbo equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus covers zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, en route to a top speed of 196 mph. The Turbo S makes the same sprint in a blinding 2.9 seconds, topping out at 198 mph.
Inside, thin-shell sport seats come standard and fully wrapped in leather and offer 18-way adjustment and memory function. There's a standard Bose audio system, but those with more demanding ears can opt for the premium system from German audiophile manufacturer Burmester.
The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 goes on sale in November, starting at around $131,000. The 911 Turbo starts at around $149,000, while the Turbo S costs around $182,000. Check back for a full review of the new Turbo, Turbo S and GT3 models, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.
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