FrontRunners: Dialing up the 911

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The Porsche 911’s soap-bar-shaped body seemingly has not changed since 1963, when the first models rolled out of Stuttgart. Although they, too, look like their predecessors, the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S (www.porsche.com) coupes and cabriolets embody changes both subtle and substantial. The headlights and taillights now are LEDs, the front air intakes are bigger, and the side mirrors have been revised for a larger field of view. More significant are the alterations to the cars’ mechanicals. A direct fuel-injection system—first seen in last year’s Cayenne models—pushes the Carrera’s 3.6-liter engine to 345 hp and the Carrera S’ 3.8-liter motor to 385 hp (an increase of 20 hp and 30 hp, respectively). Paired with an optional 7-speed, dual-clutch transmission in the Carrera S, the latter engine helps the car (which starts at $86,200) accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 188 mph

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