Body changes are subtle but numerous, with larger LED main-beam projector headlamps fitted in higher front fenders, a wider rear end, a higher side waistline and all-new LED taillamps.
Two engines are available in 2012. In the base-level Carrera, buyers get a 3.4L horizontally-opposed direct-injected 6-cylinder that makes 345 horsepower--a solid 4 horsepower increase over last year's 3.6L engine. Carrera S buyers get a slightly larger 3.8L flat 6-cylinder, which makes 394 horsepower. Other engines are slated for production later in the 2012 model year, including a Turbo version said to put out more than 500 horsepower.
Also new for 2012 is a 7-speed manual transmission, which is offered as standard equipment. A 7-speed PDK gearbox is optional, serving as an automatic with manual features. In the new manual, the ratios are close together in every gear except 7th, which helps to achieve a better fuel consumption rate during highway use. Other changes include all-new electric power steering in place of the previous hydraulic system, as well as a hydraulic decoupler of the front and rear sway bars, known as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. In addition, Porsche has added a rear wheel torque vectoring system that helps build traction using the rear brakes along with the rear differential.
Inside, the 911 gets a completely new interior, with styling touches consistent with Porsche's Panamera and Cayenne. There's no mistaking the new design as something other than 911, however, with a host of gauges flanking a large tachometer, mounted front and center. The center console is now wider and mounts a larger color touchscreen monitor for navigation and stereo functions. The shifter has also been moved up slightly, and more switches and knobs have been placed there.
In addition to the optional Carrera S package, there's a Sport Chrono package, which adds a thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel with multifunction controls.