2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S
By Dave Good
Did not Porsche’s team knock the ball clean out of the park with the introduction of the 911-type body design more than 40 years ago? The answer, of course, is yes. Any attempts to alter it, even subtly, have not fared well. The 911 is considered to be Porsche’s flagship vehicle, iconic, immensely popular, and perfection enough to have maintained its basic silhouette down through the decades.
But there are changes in this year’s Carrera, no matter how subtle. For one thing, the Boxster’s teardrop-shaped headlights are gone and the traditional 911 round headlights are back. And, this marks the first time since 1977 that the Carrera has been introduced in two models simultaneously. The 2006 911 Carrera S differs from its little brother Carrera primarily in the areas of power plant and performance. After all, the “S” designation in Porsche nomenclature actually stands for something more than just a sporty upgrade or a snazzy trim package (the most famous “S”, by the way? The 1967 911 S, say some). To wit: the 911 Carrera has a 3.6 liter flat six with 325 horsepower, while the 911 Carrera S comes with a 3.8 liter flathead six that delivers 30 more horses. Both are liquid cooled.
This year’s Carrera S is said to have swapped some of the consumer cush from years past in exchange for more spirit and a harder edge. Bigger bore, quad exhaust pipes, and revised exhaust, intake manifold, and combustion chambers make for a heftier growl. The Carrera S rides on 19-inch wheels and tires on Porsche Active Suspension Management, and features the oversized ceramic composite disc brakes previously available only on special models like the Turbo and the Carrera GT. The calipers are painted yellow.
As in previous models, the Carrera S is packed to the gills with electronic management. The Sports Chrono Package, for example, records and displays lap times in what is either a nod toward the racetrack or to the perpetually type-A personality in us all. You need to know just exactly how long it takes to get to Whole Foods and back, right? But at an additional $1,240 dollars, it also serves as more than just an expensive stopwatch. When the Chrono is engaged, it accelerates the response of PASM, permits higher revs, and loosens the stability controls.
With an MSRP in the neighborhood of $82,000 dollars the list of perks includes multiple adjustment heated memory seats, automatic climate control, increased sound insulation, an electronic logbook, a navigation module, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Carrera S has a top speed of 182 mph, and jets from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The rear spoiler doesn’t activate until 75mph or better. Add a six-speed manual tranny (five-speed Tiptronic automatic is optional) and extra airbags are positioned in the side windowsills for improved head protection. The Carrera S comes with upgraded two-tone interiors and Bose surround sound with 13 speakers. Porsche Communications Management system will also play your ripped MP3 CDs.
All of that said, the Carrera S furthers Porsche’s reputation as a high-end consumer sports car, but one that is ultimately user friendly. It is a true daily driver. For example, the Carrera S doesn’t seem to mind bumper to bumper low-rev city driving. No set of car keys ever burned a bigger hole in an owner’s pocket.
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Pictures of the Porsche 911 Carrera S
Posted April 1, 2006
Photos courtesy of