Recently, there has been news/rumors that starting in 2015(for the 2016MY), that the Porsche 911 lineup in it's entirety could go predominantly turbo. Most of you know how much this has affected me over the past week with much sadness, and have even poked fun at it and joked about it. To that, I say "whatever". I accept that it was inevitable and bound to happen with the CAFE emissions regulations getting tighter and restrictive. However, some of what this Car and Driver article is claiming, is total BS, and here's why.
We will start here, with the current lineup, and look at this from the most unbiased and reasonable view I can give. Please bear with me:
The current lineup consist of 20 different 911s, in coupe, cabriolet, and targa bodies; with naturally aspirated engines taking up 18 of those slots, with the GTS being the newest of them all, and ranging from the base Carrera to the mighty GT3. Forced induction is as always, left to the legendary Turbo and Turbo S, the most expensive of the 911s. The Turbo has always belonged to the 911 Turbo and Turbo S(Duh!), but as I said in my entry, but that begs many questions that have been left unanswered and will be until we here it from Stuttgart themselves. This is my take on the current news.
Porsche for the first time will bolt turbochargers to the base 911 Carrera and next-step-up 911 Carrera S models. At least, that's what Car's sources say. For the Carrera, this means a reduction in displacement from 3.4 to 2.9 liters, while the Carrera S will keep its 3.8 liters of flat-six.
I will concede that this is potentially quite plausible, and funny in a way, bringing the base Carrera's displacement down to .2L higher than the '74 911 in my garage, but with a turbo bolted on being the difference; oh, and being water cooled, and no CIS...Meh!
The Carrera S keeping it's 3.8L and adding a Turbo though, this strikes me as odd. If the base gets a displacement reduction, why wouldn't the Carrera S drop some as well?
That aside, if these two get Turbos, there's no doubt that the rest will get them as well, including the GTS, and even....The GT3, should this be true.
The loss of the sweetly-sounding flat six is a day I've long lamented, and it may be closer than I ever imagined, but here's where I'm prepared to call BS on this article:
The publication's sources say the base Carrera will produce 400 horsepower—50 more than today's car and on par with the current Carrera S; the newly turbocharged Carrera S, on the other hand, will belt out 530 horsepower, a gain of 130 horsepower, which would put it solidly in between today's 911 Turbo and Turbo S.
Now, a base Carrera producing 400 horsepower, the same as the current Carrera S albeit with possibly more torque, that makes some sense; a Carrera S making 530 horsepower, 130 more than the current Carrera S and 30 less than the current Turbo S, the most powerful 911 to date and quickest? Mmmmm, nah.
What that means, is that current Turbo/Turbo S owners would basically be outgunned by a potentially cheaper Carrera S. Prices and Inflation be damned, I'm not too sure that many owners would be pleased with this if it happens, being brought down to the level of a new Carrera S.
Speaking of prices, I wonder how much prices will go up with this next type of 911; they'll no doubt go up as they always have, but how much remains to be seen.
Then there's naming the models. Let's look at the Macan for example. There are two models currently, the Macan S and Macan Turbo; both are V6s, both are turbocharged.
Could Porsche do the same with the 911? For the past 40 years, the 911 Turbo has been the ultimate in rear-engine deathtraps, with this new change, could this be the end of the Turbo being called, um, the TURBO? Maybe yes, maybe no. Perhaps we could see the return of the "Turbo Carrera" which was the name given to the original 400 Turbos back in 1974 as a callback or throwback of sorts; I'd especially be interested in seeing the return of the 911SC or "Super Carrera". And this new car would have to be making some serious superpower, I'd guess somewhere between 700-800 to make a significant gap between these models.
Lastly, there's the question of the new kid on the block, the GTS, could it be the swan song to the Naturally Aspirated 911s? Recently, prices have begun to spike up for the aircooled cars again, with 3.2 Carreras in excess of $30k nowadays. Will this FI change raise the price of N/A 911s? Who knows, I sure don't, all I know is that Porsche is doing what they have to do to stay alive, and that's better than nothing I suppose.
Now, for the part that most will be waiting for, a pissy, stubborn rant on this change and how I don't like it and how it sucks and won't be any good and all that dribble; but you won't get that from me this time. You will be getting my heartfelt feelings to what has been one of the most instrumental parts of my life:
That N/A sound is irreplaceable no matter how many mufflers and exhaust changes they will ever make, or how linear they could make the power delivery similar to an N/A. Going from air-cooled to water-cooled was one thing, going FI throughout the entire lineup is just too much in my honest opinion; it seems more like revolution than evolution to me.
What I like about driving an N/A, and my dad's '74 specifically, is that I had to work to get the power, work to get the steering right, it was much more satisfying; now it's like everything is handed to us on the golden platter called forced induction; everything is just too darn easy!
Maybe I'm too stubborn, too "old" for my age, maybe I should stop living in denal and get on with my life, or even the people who think that I'm insane for what I've posted in regards to this in the past week and think that I believe that what Porsche is doing is a "personal attack on me", nope, that's just how I am. But times change and so must I. I leave you now with the quote that defined my reasoning for writing this:
We all change when you think about it. We're all different all through our lives. And that's okay, that's good. You've got to keeping moving. As long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I swear.
I will never forget the times of the N/A life, the memories you've given me. And thank you, Doctor Who.