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Blistering performance; surprising practicality; available all-wheel drive.
Following minimal changes last year, Porsche's venerable 911 gets some significant mid-cycle updates for the 2009 Carrera, Carrera 4and Targa models. Chief among them is the incorporation of PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung), Porsche's new dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the long-reigning 5-speed Tiptronic system. Also new are the engines, now with direct fuel injection and significant boosts in horsepower across the range. The base Carrera 3.6L now delivers 345 horsepower, up from last year's 320, while the 3.8L Carrera S output jumps from 355 hp to 385. In the meantime, the powerplants are 13% more efficient, according to Porsche. Improved suspension tuning allows for a sportier ride, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is available on the optional sports suspension package. The base Carrera benefits from a new braking system as well, with larger front discs and improved cooling. Exterior changes include subtle updates to the front bumper and side mirrors, standard bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights and taillights. Interior improvements include an all-new entertainment and navigation system. The 911 Turbo is largely unchanged for 2009 and retains Tiptronic S as its optional automatic transmission.