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The New 2025 Porsche 911 Carrera Is Anything but Base

2025 porsche 911
The 2025 Porsche 911 Carrera Is Anything but BasePorsche

At the launch of the 718 Spyder RS, Andreas Preuninger, the man in charge of all Porsche GT cars, was asked which non-GT 911 is his favorite. There are after all some 20 models between the 911 Carrera and whatever is the current most expensive variant (at the moment, the Turbos). He said the Turbo S, because he can make calls at high speed and it's comfortable and very quick. Then he posed the question to me, and I said, "Whatever is the cheapest one with a manual transmission. The 911 T, right?" At which point he slapped me on the shoulder, affirmed that was the correct answer, and changed his. So, I've got that going for me.

The point of that story is that he knows the bones of the cars he molds and that the greatness of a GT3 RS or an S/T wouldn't be possible if the starting point were anything but exceptional. This holds true for the newly refreshed 2025 911 Carrera.

2025 porsche 911
Porsche

A manual transmission may not be in the cards at the moment, but the incremental changes to the rest of the car are an improvement. Power comes from a lightly breathed upon but otherwise carryover 3.0-liter flat-six. Unlike the new GTS, which utilizes a single electrified turbocharger, the Carrera carries on with two turbos, but they are from the outgoing GTS, and the intercoolers are from the previous-gen 911 Turbo. These changes net efficiency gains that contribute to a small power increase of nine horsepower for a total of 388 horses at 6500 rpm. Peak torque remains 331 pound-feet, though that's available at 2000 rpm, 100 rpm higher in the rev range. Redline is unchanged at 7400 rpm. Response is good. Not the lag-free experience of the new Carrera GTS, but not much is.

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The exterior shape is unchanged—why mess with a shape that's worked for eight generations?—though typical of a mid-cycle refresh, the bumpers have been revised, and there's more standard content. The LED Matrix headlights with auto high beams constitute the most noteworthy addition. HD LED Matrix lights are also available, but as we've seen with other automakers' dynamic high-beams, their 16,384 light sources per side work in unison rather than illuminating specific parts of the road to keep bright lights from shining on oncoming traffic. Active cruise control is available and so is night vision, which displays in the now 100 percent digital instrument cluster, but avoid those options as they come with unsightly sensors in the grille.

2025 porsche 911
Porsche

That's right, not only does the 911 not have an analogue speedometer, it doesn't have an old-timey tach either. The 12.6-inch curved screen can display up to seven different views, depending on how the car is equipped. Every Carrera also gets the steering-wheel-mounted drive-mode switch as standard. (It was previously reserved for models equipped with the Sport Chrono package.) Added to the list of no-cost options, which also includes the Smoking package (an ashtray insert for the cupholder) and a storage net in the passenger footwell, is the small back seat. The back seat may add a bit of weight, but its versatility is mandatory, in our opinion.

A base Carrera should weigh just under 3400 pounds, and Porsche says the car is 0.1 second quicker to 60 mph, but the last Carrera we tested hit 60 in 3.2 seconds, which is 0.5 second quicker than Porsche's estimate for the new model (with the Sport Chrono package). So don't be too shocked if it ties the outgoing car in terms of acceleration.

2025 porsche 911
Porsche

From behind the wheel the experience is all but unchanged. The steering is communicative; the eight-speed dual-clutch behaves like a professionally trained German shepherd and never barks back or ignores a command. The 911 is a cohesive round pod that brings joy to each mile. That's a difficult thing to price, but Porsche has, as you expect. The 911 has gotten more expensive, now starting at $122,095. There isn't a lot of competition at that price point. You can get a V-8 by either undercutting it with the much less pricey Chevrolet Corvette or spending a good bit more on a Mercedes-AMG GT55. Or try to find a Lotus Emira or one of the few remaining Jaguar F-Types. All these cars try to capture the 911's magic, because the Carrera remains the gold standard by which all other sports cars are judged.

2025 porsche 911
Porsche

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