Porsche's new 911 defies traditionalists

With electronic power steering and a parking brake, the 2012 Porsche Carrera S will have long-time fans of the brand looking in the used car lots for their next vehicle.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Those familiar with past 911s will notice something missing in the cabin of the 2012 911 Carrera S -- the emergency brake lever no longer sticks up from the console. Instead, a switch by your left knee activates an electronic parking brake.

The console now plays host to an array of buttons activating sport modes, active exhaust, and damper stiffening. In my opinion, these buttons are more accessible, and look much better, than the tiny plastic buttons that used to sit below the navigation screen.

Of greater loss to the traditionalists is hydraulic power steering, replaced by an electrically boosted system. This new steering system communicates less road feel, but remains very responsive in how it guides the car.

Despite these changes, the 911 Carrera S, with more power than the previous generation, delivers on its promise of excellent handling. On wet roads, corners did not trouble it. The car even remained composed under heavy acceleration, which lets it hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

Read CNET's review of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S.

 

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