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WhatCar? Awards 2012

Fun cars

Porsche 911 Carrera

Green Awards 2012: Fun cars runner-up

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback Sponsor image

Prices

List Price: £73,836
Target Price: £73,836

Key facts

True MPG n/a
True CO2 n/a
Particulates n/a
Govt MPG 34.4mpg
Govt CO2 194g/km
NOx 18mg/km

The latest Porsche 911 is an astonishing all-round sports car; it claimed the Performance Car category in our overall Car of the Year awards, after all.

However, Porsche’s engineers didn’t just add extra power and handling capability in this generation: they also made it astonishingly efficient.

The raw numbers on the regular 911 Carrera are strong enough to save you the bother of spending extra on the more potent Carrera S. The entry-level model gets a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine producing 350bhp at a heady 7400rpm, and 288lb ft at 5600rpm. That’s enough for a 0-62mph dash in just 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 179mph.

Choose the model with the PDK dual-clutch transmission (it costs around £2400 more) and you’ll lose 1mph from the maximum (no real hardship, let’s be honest) and trim a further 0.2sec off the 0-62mph sprint. It’s arguably a better gearbox than the unique but slightly confusing seven-speed manual, too.

Best of all, though, the PDK carves 14g/km off the 911’s CO2 emissions, taking it down to a barely believable 194g/km. That’s an amazing figure for one of the quickest point-to-point sports cars on the planet; to give you an idea, the Jaguar XK, which has more power but is actually slower than the 911, emits 70g/km more.

The latest 911 also irons out many of the car’s foibles. A new, lighter chassis set-up at the front end removes the slightly ‘floaty’ feel of previous generations, and the massive road roar has also been tamed. This is genuinely a vehicle that’s as happy pootling down to the supermarket as it is tearing around a race circuit on a track day.

The only debate, in fact, is whether the 911 has become too much of a polished all-rounder at the expense of true sporting prowess - but it definitely offers far more fun and performance than you could reasonably expect at under 200g/km.

Read the full Porsche 911 review

What other cars did we rate highly?

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