For 2009, two new engines constructed with a two-piece crankcase design, direct fuel injection, and Porsche's VarioCam Plus intake-valve timing and lift system join the fold.
Popular Mechanics contends “the experience of driving the 911 is essentially similar in character, but the newfound performance is immediately noticeable, particularly in the 3.6-liter engine. Emphatic response to the throttle has renewed our respect for the base engine, which is now just 10-bhp below the previous Carrera S.” ConsumerGuide says, “Ample low-end torque means 911, base or S, has strong thrust for any situation.”
Edmunds states that "every 911 can perform the 0-60-mph sprint in fewer than 5 seconds, with the Turbo and GT2 doing it in well under 4." Furthermore, they add "top speed approaches 200 mph for the GT3 and Turbo and exceeds that in the GT2." Edmunds describes the lengthy engine list as including a "3.6-liter, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that produces 345 hp and 288 pound-feet of torque" on the base Porsche 911 Carrera, while the "Carrera S has a 3.8-liter version of the flat-6 rated for 385 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque."
Both the 2009 Porsche 911 Turbo and the 911 Porsche GT2 use a "3.6-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine" that Car and Driver says produces 530 hp in the GT2, as opposed to 480 hp in the standard Turbo. The GT3 models of the 2009 Porsche 911 are powered by a "high-revving six-cylinder engine" that "yields 435 hp and 317 pounds-feet of torque" from its 3.8-liter displacement, according to Cars.com.
Porsche also bestows its PDK double-clutch transmission as a new option for 2009 911s, replacing the Tiptronic S transmission. The beauty of this system is in its operation, where one clutch engages the next appropriate gear, while the other clutch simultaneously disengages the previous gear.
“It took two decades of advancing electronic know-how to get PDK ready for prime time,” says Popular Mechanics, “but ready it is, with a host of control strategies that make the system seem telepathic in operation.” Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com rave about the transmissions, especially the manual. ConsumerGuide deems the manual "slick" and "precise." Even the high-end Porsche 911 GT2's "control efforts are fluid and easy," in the words of Motor Trend.
One feature that reviewers of the Porsche 911 GT2 especially love is the launch control, which Car and Driver says is "a way of taking off with maximum force while preventing mechanical meltdown." The launch control system essentially works the clutch and matches engine speed for you, providing optimal acceleration launches with minimal hassle. Edmunds adds that "the 911 Carrera and Carrera S can be had in either rear-wheel- or all-wheel-drive ('4') versions," though the Targa 4 "comes only in AWD form." They conclude by remarking that "the GT3 and GT3 RS are rear-wheel-drive only," while "the Turbo features all-wheel drive" and "the GT2 is a rear-driver."
New cross-drilled, inner-vented brake rotors are mated to monobloc, four-piston calipers on 2009 Porsche 911 models. “Per Porsche tradition, steering and brakes are excellent for response, effort, and feedback,” says ConsumerGuide. Further praise for the 2009 Porsche 911 brakes comes from Edmunds, who insist they are "powerful and respond promptly in a linear fashion." Forbes Autos goes so far as to call the brakes "among the best on any car at any price."
Other reviewers unanimously agree that the 2009 Porsche 911 "turns in crisply and with precision, and is largely unaffected by broken pavement." Ride quality is equally impressive; ConsumerGuide calls the ride "firm but seldom punishing."
The official EPA estimates for the Porsche 911 lineup range from 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the 911 Turbo with automatic transmission up to 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for a manual-transmission Porsche 911 Carrera. ConsumerGuide reports that "a manual-transmission Carrera 4 averaged 17.2 mpg in mostly highway driving," while a "manual-transmission rear-drive Carrera S averaged 17.6 mpg."