The 2017 Porsche 911 is available in a dizzying variety of configurations that range from truly quick to super fast and blindingly speedy. And for the first time virtually all 911s ? with a spectacular exception ? are turbocharged. That's right, even the base 911, the regular old Carrera, has two turbochargers heaving air into its horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine. And, yes, that engine is still hanging off the back of the 911 where physics says it shouldn't be ? and Porsche's engineers make it work brilliantly anyhow.
To keep things confusing, the glorious 911 Turbo continues as the superstar of the Porsche 911 galaxy. We'll get back to that heavenly body in a few paragraphs.
Designed from scratch for the 2017 model year, the engine in the Carrera is still a six-cylinder, but the displacement is now 3.0 liters (down from last year's non-turbocharged 3.4 liters), and thanks to its turbochargers, horsepower has risen from 350 horsepower to a mighty 370 hp. And it gets better fuel mileage. Move up to the Carrera S model with its larger turbos and advanced exhaust system, and the output of the 3.0-liter six rises to a spine-tingling 420 hp.
As before, the Carrera and Carrera S models are rear-wheel-drive, while the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S are all-wheel-drive. All the Carreras are available with either a seven-speed manual transmission or Porsche's Doppelkupplung (PDK) seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Carreras are offered as coupes, cabriolet convertibles or the retractable-roof Targa 4 and Targa 4S. The styling has been tweaked for 2017, but not too much. After all, a 911 has to look like a 911.
And then there are the Turbos. Using a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter six-cylinder, the Turbo models are rated at 540 hp; the Turbo S gets larger turbos that fortify the engine up to 580 hp. They are available as coupes or cabriolets and feature all-wheel drive. The Turbos are simply some of the quickest and fastest cars available at any price. And the price is high.
OK, the non-turbocharged exceptions are the 911 GT3, the 911 GT3 RS and the 911R. The latter two use a 4.0-liter six-cylinder that's never been near a turbocharger but slams out an utterly exhilarating 500 hp. The GT3 models are narrowly focused on track performance, while the 911R is a limited edition (only 991 units to be made) designed for the Porsche purist who wants an undiluted 911 experience. None of them are cheap.
The EPA rates the 2017 911 Carrera coupe with the PDK dual-clutch automatic at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) and the mighty 911 Turbo S cabriolet at 21 mpg combined (19 city/24 highway). The narrowly focused GT3 and 911R models get considerably lower mileage than that.
Beyond just the right engine and body, Porsche offers a blizzard of expensive options. Use the buying tools on Edmunds to find the right 2017 Porsche 911 for you.