Object of Desire: The 2012 Porsche 911 Luxury Sports Car

The redesigned Porsche 911 is the latest great feat of German engineering. It's pretty fun to drive, too.

Photo: Courtesy of Brandware Public Relations

Is there any car—in any category—as enduring and iconic as the Porsche 911? This month sees the arrival of only the seventh "redesign" in the car's history, almost half a century after it was introduced in 1963, and like every previous iteration, it moves performance into the future while staying faithful to the German two-door's classic silhouette—that signature, sweeping roofline. The 2012 Porsche 911 is longer, lower, and wider—yet lighter—than its predecessor. It has a more luxurious interior and cutting-edge onboard technology, including the world's first seven-speed manual transmission. And it's faster than ever, reaching 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. But perhaps the best thing about the new 911 is that it's a supercar to drive every day. Unlike with a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, you never feel as if you're in over your head. For this you can credit the steady hands and scalpels of the German engineers, who have the rare ability to make a performance machine both beautiful and easy to operate. And danke schn for that.


Base price: $82,100 ($96,400 for the S model)

Engine: 3.4-liter 350-hp V-6 base model (3.8-liter 400-hp V-6 for the S)

Top speed: 179 mph (188 mph for the S)

— Josh Dean

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