The Carrera, Carrera S, and their all-wheel drive Carrera 4 variants were the only models updated to the new 991 basis as of the 2013 model year, but now the Turbo and GT3 have joined the new platform for 2014.
There are nearly as many engines available in the 911 as there are 911 variants; the base engine, found in the Carrera and Carrera 4, is a 3.4-liter flat six that packs 350 horsepower thanks to direct injection and a free-revving nature. The Carrera S and 4S get a 3.8-liter six good for 400 horsepower. Either engine can be paired with either the seven-speed manual or the PDK transmission.
With the PDK, the Carrera gets to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, while the Carrera S does it in 4.3 seconds; Carrera 4 models eke out 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds, and the C4S does it in 4.3 seconds. Cabriolet models add about 0.2 seconds to those times.
The Porsche 911 Carrera 4 adds all-wheel drive to the mix, and along the way, picks up rear fenders that are 1.7 inches wider, to better house the larger wheels and tires equipped. The resulting increase in track width should add even more stability to the all-wheel drive models.
Add the Sport Chrono package, which adds launch control, and you take 0.2 seconds off each car's 0-60 mph run. Top speeds clock in at 179 mph and 188 mph respectively for base and S models, while Carrera 4 and 4S models top out at 177 and 185 mph.
The rear-wheel-drive GT3 hits 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds thanks to its 475-horsepower, normally aspirated 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine and 3,152-pound curb weight. Top speed is 195 mph, and the GT3 will lap the Nordschelife in less than 7:30.
The new-for-2014 911 Turbo boosts output to 520 horsepower with a pair of turbochargers added to the 3.8-liter engine, rocketing to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds with the aid of launch control and standard all-wheel drive. The Turbo S takes it a step further, with 560 horsepower and 2.9-second 0-60-mph runs. Top speed for the Turbo is 196 mph; the Turbo S can reach 198 mph.
The available PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system offers dynamic suspension response to the road and driving conditions through a series of settings from Comfort to Sport Plus.
Porsche's advanced Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is also available. The PDCC system adjusts the car's roll stiffness through the use of anti-roll bars. The Sport Chrono package is also available on the base Carrera--and as the name indicates, a key element of the package is a stopwatch on the dash that ties into the car's computer to enable lap timing and other functions.
Handling in the newest batch of the 911 is fantastic, with Porsche's engineering and electronics taking away the traits that once earned the 911 a reputation as a bit of a vicious end-swapper.
In fact, the 911 range offers a stability and balance that any sports car would envy, even at the Turbo S end of the spectrum. Accurate steering, a nimble suspension, brisk acceleration (startlingly so in the Turbo and Turbo S), and fantastic on the brakes, the 911 is almost the perfect package.
If there's a weak spot, it's the electronic power steering system, which while among the best of the EPS implementations we've tested to date, still doesn't match the feel we're used to from hydraulic power steering.
The 911 Turbo and Turbo S put a particularly fine point on Porsche's refinement and evolution of the 911 chassis, delivering supercar performance in a very approachable, easy-to-drive package.