Porsche decided to unveil all the major details about its 2016 Porsche 911 mid-cycle refresh approximately one week before the range will have its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. As expected, both the 911 Carrera and the 911 Carrera S have received an all-new, turbocharged, boxer engine. This is the first time that a non-GT2 or Turbo 911 will have a turbocharged six-cylinder in over half a century.

With a displacement of 3.0 liters, the new flat-six delivers 370 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in the standard 911 Carrera, an increase of 20 horsepower and 44 pound-feet over the pre-face-lift model. The updated numbers translate into a 0-62 mph acceleration of just 4.2 seconds for a 911 Carrera Coupe equipped with PDK and the Sport Chrono Package. Those that find themselves wanting more can opt for the face-lifted 911 Carrera S, whose turbocharged, 3.0-liter flat-six deliver 420 horsepower and 369 pound-feet, also an increase of 20 horsepower and 44 pound-feet over the previous model. They are also responsible for giving the face-lifted 911 Carrera S with PDK and the Sport Chrono Package a 0-62 mph time of just 3.9 seconds – the first time that a 911 Carrera goes under the four-second mark from the factory.

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Available from December, the U.S. starting price for a 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera will be $89,400, while the 911 Carrera S will start a $103,400. On the convertible front, the 911 Carrera Cabriolet will start at $101,700, while for its more powerful brother, the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, you will need to shell out at least $115,700. EPA figures are still a long way from being unveiled, but Porsche says that the new turbocharged engines and a host of other modifications make the model appropximately 12 percent more fuel-efficient than before.

Why it matters

Obviously, the 911 going from a naturally aspirated soundtrack to a turbocharged one is a change almost as big as going from air-cooling to water-cooling on the 1998-2006 Porsche 911 (996). In other words, it’s bound to anger quite a lot of Porsche purists, but it also has the capacity to draw in fans of turbos and/or torque. The 12 percent improvement in fuel economy is the cherry on top, but I think that the improved tuning potential is the biggest news here. A simple ECU re-flash should make a base 911 Carrera feel almost like a slightly detuned 911 Turbo.

What do you think?
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