The turbocharged takeover at the top end of the sports car world has arrived at Porsche in its classic 911.
Just as Ferrari has succumbed to the benefits of force-fed engines, which promise the best of both worlds for performance and efficiency, Porsche is about to make a total change to the rear-mounted flat-six engines in its 911s.
It promises the first Carrera will hit 100km/h in less than four seconds. The only 911 not to be turbocharged is the track-focused GT3.
The new-generation engines are smaller, displacing 3.0L, but the Carrera and Carrera S arriving early next year get an extra 15kW — for 272kW and 309kW respectively — and torque increases of 60Nm. Fuel economy is tipped to improve by up to 12 per cent.
The turbo tearaways get a mild styling tweak at each end, standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to lower ride height by 10mm and updated multimedia setup.
But there is bad news on the price side, with the basic 911 Carrera Coupe jumping to $217,800 and the Carrera S Cabriolet up to $274,300.
"We’ve solved two previously opposing objectives," said Porsche Cars Australia spokesman Paul Ellis. “Because we’re a performance brand we have not compromised and the new 911s will actually be quicker.
We have turbo with a little t and a full stop, then Turbo with a capital T and an exclamation mark
"Smaller is better because we have the technology. The days of cubic inches in engine capacity for improved performance are over. We won Le Mans this year with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine package."
The 911 Turbo, already force-fed, is not affected by the 911 update. The new 911s will not have any turbo badge on their tails to alert other drivers.
"The turbo badge is reserved for the 911 Turbo with a capital T," Ellis said. "The Turbo means we have 40 years of experience with turbocharged engines. We have turbo with a little t and a full stop, then Turbo with a capital T and an exclamation mark."
The change for the 911 has been an open secret for some time. There is still no confirmation — official or otherwise — that Porsche's Boxster and Cayman will join the turbo team, perhaps with engines as small as 2.0L.
The 911 engine change comes as many high-performance and luxury brands battle to meet targets on C02 emissions and fuel economy. Turbocharging is an ideal solution as the engine capacity is reduced, but there is still turbo boost to restore, or improve, the full-throttle outputs.
Porsche's official figures for the 2016-model Carrera are 272kW/450Nm, fuel economy of 7.4L/100km and a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds. Carrera S numbers are 309kW/500Nm, 7.7L and 3.9 seconds.
Ellis says next year's prices are not yet hit by exchange-rate movements. "The prices are going up slightly, but the price increases all equate to gains in substance — more performance and more standard features."