The 2018 Porsche 911 is available in a dizzying variety of configurations that range from properly quick to blindingly speedy. Unlike in previous generations, 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 suggest 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.
Carried over from the 2017 model year, the engine in the Carrera is still a six-cylinder displacing 3.0 liters (down from the previous generation's nonturbocharged 3.4 liters), and thanks to its turbochargers, horsepower is up to a mighty 370 hp. Move up to the Carrera S model with its larger turbos, freer-flowing exhaust system and increased boost pressure, 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 gearbox or Porsche's Doppelkupplung (PDK) seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Carreras are offered as coupes, cabriolet convertibles or the retractable-roof Targa 4 and Targa 4S.
And then there are the Turbo models. Using a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter six-cylinder, the Turbo is rated at 540 hp; the Turbo S gets larger turbos and higher boost pressure to fortify the engine up to 580 hp. They are available as coupes or cabriolets and feature all-wheel drive and a PDK transmission. The Turbo models are simply some of the quickest and fastest cars available at any price. And the price is high.
OK, the nonturbocharged exception is the 911 GT3. This model gets a reworked engine for 2018, now a 4.0-liter six-cylinder (formerly 3.8 liters) that's never been near a turbocharger yet slams out an utterly exhilarating 500 hp and revs to 9,000 rpm. Whereas last year's GT3 was available exclusively with a PDK transmission, the 2018 model offers a six-speed manual gearbox (borrowed from the no-longer-available 911R model) as a no-cost option. The GT3 model is biased toward track performance and doesn't come cheap.
The EPA rates the 2018 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 model gets 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 2018 Porsche 911 for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.