Porsche continues to hint and tease about its 2012 Porsche 911 which debuts later this month in Frankfurt, Germany. We’ve already seen footage of the 911 in action on the roads; this latest video covers the 2012 Porsche Carrera’s seven-speed manual transmission system.
The seven-speed manual transmission is a first for a mass-produced car, and Porsche has set up the transmission to provide a combination of sport and fuel economy. Similar to Porsche’s seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung automatic transmission, the 911 blasts through the first six gears, and actually achieves its 180-mph-plus top speed in sixth gear. The 7th gear, on the other hand, is meant for cruising, letting the engine revs stay low to improve fuel economy by two mpg over the previous model. Indicators in the 2012 Porsche 911 instrumental cluster helps the driver what gear he or she is in at all time.
But that’s not all that Porsche is doing to burnish its fuel economy street cred.
Porsche is also introducing start/stop technology, which is usually more closely associated with hybrids. When the new 911 is at a stop, the engine will shut off, and stay off until the driver either releases the brake on automatics, or pushes down on the clutch pedal in manual transmission cars. Even though the engine is off, all accessories such as the audio system and air conditioning continue to operate normally. The benefit is obvious: Since fuel is wasted keeping the engine running at a stop sign, a significant savings is possible, especially in city traffic.
The other system is the new 911′s coasting mode. This trick, common among “hypermilers,” puts automatic-equipped 911s into neutral when coasting down a hill or when decelerating without using the brakes. The benefit, again, is pretty clear. There’s no need to have the engine turning at anything above idle if you’re just gently cruising down a mountain road. If you press the brake or accelerator, the sophisticated transmission reengages within milliseconds.
Automotive.com’s Take: If you ever needed more proof that fuel economy is the new horsepower, at least as far as bragging rights goes, then look no further than this. No sooner is the all-new 2012 Porsche 911 officially unveiled than Porsche switches gears and begins talking about fuel economy measures. For enthusiasts everywhere, this is a good thing. Not only is Porsche staying committed to performance, but doing so in a way that will conform to ever-tightening fuel efficiency and emissions standards. We hope all sports car makers follow a similar tact.