- A sports car icon
- Performance perfection
- Near infinite customization
- Comfortable front seats
- A $100,000 bargain
- Get a second mortgage if you want to buy a Turbo
- Manual transmission isn’t offered on base car
- Back seat or penalty box? Hard to tell
- Steering wheel blocks some instruments
features & specs
The 2021 Porsche 911 bristles with pavement-conquering confidence, and brims with tech and luxe touches.
What kind of car is the 2021 Porsche 911? What does it compare to?
The 2021 Porsche 911 is one of the longest-running nameplates in automotive history. It’s a coupe, a cabriolet, or a targa with seats for four and near-supercar performance. Rivals include the Audi R8, Jaguar F-Type, and BMW 8-Series.
Is the 2021 Porsche 911 a good car?
It’s sooooo good. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10, a high rating for what’s effectively a two-seater, one with a huge price tag and the grip and acceleration to go with it. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2021 Porsche 911?
New Turbo models and some new features improve the eighth-generation 911, which was introduced as a 2020 model.
The latest 911 does nothing to alter the classic teardrop shape, though every 911 seems to grow at the haunches. The classic look continues in the cabin. Despite the onslaught of digital screens, the 911’s still a functional paragon, with physical controls like paddle shifters where they’re necessary, and digital ones where they’re better left out of hand.
With a stiff aluminum-intensive body and twin-turbo flat-6 engines across the lineup, every 911 has the ethereal performance that eludes some hefty V-8 competition. It hammers out, at a minimum, 379 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds. At the top end and in its highest state of tune, the 911 Turbo S lasers to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and nails a 205-mph top speed—despite lugging around an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive (on most models; rear-drive models and 7-speed manuals are offered). Grip and acceleration set high benchmarks, even with the current raft of electronic controls for damping, shift speeds, ride height, torque distribution, and steering heft.
The 911 grows heavier and more complex in Cabriolet and Targa versions, but they’re hardly less appealing, thanks to near-equal performance and power-operated tops that fold down at speeds of up to 30 mph.
The 911 cabin glints with digital pixels, and the front passenger shares sublime comfort in shapely bucket seats. Any other people brought along for a ride may file charges; the back seat’s a punch line and the 4.7-cubic-foot front trunk can barely handle a trip to Walgreens, much less Costco.
Every 911 has automatic emergency braking, and Porsche makes blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control available—as well as a sport exhaust, carbon-ceramic brakes, rear-axle steering, a front-axle lift system, Burmester sound, and pick-your-own paint colors.
How much does the 2021 Porsche 911 cost?
A lot. Still, it’s tougher to spend $100,550 on the base 911 than it is to spend $230,000 or more on the Turbo S Cabriolet, we think.
Where is the 2021 Porsche 911 made?
In Germany, natürlich.
2021 Porsche 911
The 911’s iconic bod hides a digital heart.
Is the Porsche 911 a good-looking car?
Does the sun rise in the east? It’s an SUV in stance, compared to the original 1963 model, but today’s Porsche 911 nonetheless preserves perfectly its teardrop shape and iconic appeal. We give it a 9 for style.
The hips may be wider and the fenders more rounded, but there’s nothing new about the 911. Thank goodness. It’s the instantly recognizable shape for us, the unmistakable LED lights, and the way it sits on its haunches, ready to take down challengers by the neck. It can even raise its adjustable spoiler, in case you didn’t feel threatened enough.
The 911 cockpit mixes the modern and the classic. The dash remains a horizontal pan of controls, but the 10.9-inch touchscreen and twin 7.0-inch instrument screens fill the dash in the requisite nod to the now. Porsche adorns the plain-ish console in piano-black trim and we wish it were anything else, but the 911 cabin otherwise brims with high-quality controls, from the nubby shift toggler to the quietly snicky turn signal.
2021 Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 flashes to pass everything on the road.
We can’t think of a high-performance car that drives so naturally every day, and somersaults around a track with the telepathic thrill of a Porsche 911. It makes any driver a better driver. It’s a 10 here.
Is the Porsche 911 4WD?
Most models can be configured with all-wheel drive.
How fast is the Porsche 911?
How fast do you want it to be? All models sport a turbocharged flat-6 and have at least 379 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. That’s what Porsche extracts from its 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-6 in the 911 Carrera and Carrera 4. With its trademark sonorous whirr, the boxer engine kicks out pavement-incinerating force through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic that delivers smooth shifts in Normal mode and crisp and quick shifts in its Sport modes, all on its own or via steering wheel paddles. Checking in at 3,354 lb in base spec, this 911 can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds thanks to launch control, while the top speed clicks in at 182 mph.
From there, performance upgrades act like a set of imaginary screws being tightened all over the 911 lineup—Cabriolet, Targa, or Coupe. The Carrera S and 4S models occupy the middle band of 911 performance with an uprated flat-6 rated at 443 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Delivered without a hint of turbo lag via an electronically locking rear differential, that power vaults the 911 Carrera S to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and pushes it to a top speed of 191 mph. Collectionistas will savor this 911’s available 7-speed manual, a joy to shift and exceedingly rare (and fitted with a mechanically locking differential to boot).
Ready to singe hairs? Then you’re ready for the 3,635-lb 911 Turbo, which pounds out 572 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, or in Turbo S guise, 640 hp and 590 lb-ft. Through standard all-wheel drive, and shod with big 20-inch front and 21-inch rear tires, 16.1-inch front brake rotors, and a slightly lower redline of 7,200 rpm, the 911 Turbo sears its way to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and a 199-mph top speed, or 2.6 seconds and 205 mph in Turbo S trim.
Porsche 911 ride and handling
The 911’s suspension and steering make for a car that handles exceptionally well. Even on base 19- and 20-inch ZR-rated tires, the latest 911 has a tractable feel on any road texture or surface not covered in weather-related ick. With a lighter body than its predecessor, and a wider track on 911 S models and higher, this 911 has quick steering, an extraordinary well-tuned front strut and rear multi-link suspension with adaptive damping, and an array of electronic controls for apportioning power to specific wheels.
The 911 is a natural athlete even without options, but it also has more exotic hardware for spendy drivers. Rear-axle steering can help carve tighter low-speed turns, while active anti-roll bars can counteract the little lean the 911 actually has, while a sport version of Porsche Active Suspension Management lowers the car 0.4 inches and comes with stiffer suspension settings.
The 911 has tremendous grip, and neutral and focused handling. Its brakes are up to the task. Standard aluminum monobloc 4-piston brakes get upgraded on S models to 6-piston units in front and 4-piston units in back. They have progressive and firm feedback and can handle track duty, and Porsche sells pricey carbon-ceramic brakes that fare even better on the track.
2021 Porsche 911
Comfort & Quality
Tight spaces get fine finishes in the 911.
The 911 has Hall of Fame front seats, and penalty boxes in back to match its puny front trunk. But it’s finished with a fine eye for detail, so we give it a 5 here, with all of those points offsetting each other.
By the numbers, the 2021 911 sits 177.9 inches long on a 96.5-inch wheelbase.
Low-slung, form-fitting seats greet front passengers in the 911. Quite close to the ground, they offer an excellent view of the road ahead, with a thick steering wheel to frame big analog gauges—and to partly block the digital side screens that offer navigation routing and other semi-critical functions. The seats adjust in many ways, so even 6-footers can fit well.
Storage is a bugbear, starting with extra people. Two are supposed to fit in back, but the rear nacelles are so small they’re squeezed for space for big backpacks. The front trunk’s 4.7 cubic feet of space underscores the 911 mission: run and gun get top priority, while undershorts get shipped ahead.
The 911’s interior speaks of wealth without glopping on glitz. The base car’s plastic trim under the dash can be forgiven; the richly dyed leather and carbon trim on the options sheet shouldn’t be ignored.
2021 Porsche 911
Safety tech’s here by the ream, but the 911 hasn’t been crash-tested.
Is the Porsche 911 a safe car?
The pricey, semi-exotic Porsche 911 hasn’t been crash-tested by the IIHS or by the NHTSA, and probably won’t be. We don’t give it a safety rating without that data.
The 911 does have lots of standard safety technology, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Up the price ladder, the 911 can be fitted with blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, and surround-view and night-vision camera systems. The 911’s stability control systems also can be tailored to driving conditions; it offers a Wet mode, which adjusts vehicle systems to help with traction in rain, snow, or ice.
2021 Porsche 911
The 911 offers a Rorschach test for every buyer’s taste levels.
The 911 range includes Coupes and Cabriolets and Targa editions, with rear- or four-wheel drive and a 7-speed manual or an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The litany of features starts with excellent standard equipment, a beyond-extensive options sheet, and good infotainment. Its value depends highly on your priorities and its 4-year/50,000-mile warranty doesn’t include free maintenance, so it loses potential points there—but it’s still good for an 8.
The base $100,550 911 Carrera Coupe comes with a 10.9-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, navigation, an eight-speaker 150-watt audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, keyless start, and LED headlights.
The options list would puzzle a professional shopper. Porsche upsells 911s with the stuff performance dreams are made of: active roll bars, a sport exhaust, rear-axle steering, adjustable adaptive dampers with a lowered ride height, carbon-ceramic brakes, a sport suspension with a lowered ride height and firmer settings, and the Sport Chrono Package with additional driving modes and launch control. Those are the go-fast pieces: On the luxury side reside Bose or Burmester sound, 14- or 18-way adjustable sport seats with heating and cooling, a surround-view camera system, a front-axle lift system, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams. Porsche will paint a 911 to match your favorite color, then wrap it in your favorite leather—even if those favorites are garish pink and orange.
Which Porsche 911 should I buy?
We like extra spicy, so we’d pick a 911 S with a limited-slip rear differential with torque vectoring, adjustable adaptive dampers, 245/35ZR20 front and 305/30ZR21 rear Pirelli P Zero summer tires on alloy wheels, and big 13.8-inch brakes with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. We like the 930 Leather package, with quilting like that on Porsche’s original 930 Turbo, too.
How much is a fully loaded Porsche 911?
Big spenders can show off with the $217,650 Turbo S Cabriolet and add all the options. The 911 soars near the $300,000 mark—and that’s before the exclusive GT3 gets a price or before custom paint colors and trim.
2021 Porsche 911
Germany’s icon gets reasonable gas mileage.
Is the Porsche 911 good on gas?
It’s not bad, considering its stellar performance. The best of the lineup is the 911 Carrera S with the 7-speed manual and EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 25 highway, 21 combined. At the bottom—not by much—are all Turbo models, which garner ratings of 15/20/17 mpg.