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2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S First Impressions

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S First Impressions
SANTA BARBARA, California - Porsche just showcased its reinvented 911 Carrera in California, which is fitting given the vehicle’s immense popularity and rich history in the sunny state. The original 911 debuted in 1963, and in the intervening 48 years, the vehicle has evolved dramatically without ever compromising its core raison d’etre.

Styling was critical
Rather than going all Rambo in the design studio, the pens at Porsche knew they had to retain the 911’s contour and flow in the 6th generation. Mess around too much and a good thing can easily become bad; that couldn’t be risked. While remaining respectful of the past, the new car appears sleeker thanks to its elongated side glass, new crease lines and slimmer taillight design.

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S rear 3/4 view
From the rear, I see shades of Aston Martin thanks to new taillights, broad shoulders and a subtle but distinct waistline crease. (Photo: Rob Rothwell/Auto123.com)

In my view, the 911 now projects more conventionality in its svelte yet aggressive stance. From the rear, I see shades of Aston Martin thanks to new taillights, broad shoulders and a subtle but distinct waistline crease. The restraint exercised by the pens reworking the shell was also adopted by the cabin boys. Here the improvements are outstanding – yet the interior environs remain all Porsche.

Most notable in the cabin architecture is the presence of a Panamera-inspired centre console that merges artistically with the centre stack. The materials in use in the new cabin exude quality. Assembly standards are first rate and the seats are simply amazing; they hold the human form more rigidly than a 1950s asylum straightjacket.

But it’s not just restraint that appeals; it’s the complete ergonomic picture that envelops the driver, which makes contorting and dropping oneself into the 911 so rewarding. From an ergo-perspective, the cockpit is near perfect. From a user-friendly perspective – perfect it’s not.

The presence of many small buttons, switches and such tend to confound and confuse Porsche neophytes, especially when underway and unable to study the setup. I guess the inclusion of so much technology and hardware in this car requires a multitude of switchgear to administer, the collection of which also includes a touchscreen interface to manage an additional plethora of settings along with navigation.

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S interior
The presence of many small buttons, switches and such tend to confound and confuse Porsche neophyte. (Photo: Rob Rothwell/Auto123.com)

By Rob Rothwell,

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