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Base Camp: 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera

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Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we’ll let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that earns a passing grade.

It’s not too often we profile a true unicorn in the Base Camp series, but a no-options Porsche 911 is about as common as a snowball in Hades. The reasons for this are myriad, not the least of which is the company’s lengthy options list plus the reality that there are currently twenty-one different trims of 911 this model year. We’re sticking with the entry-level Carrera, of course, wearing a sticker price of $115,000.

For that princely sum, one will find themselves in command of 379 German horsepower capable of pushing this rear-engine legend to highway speeds from rest in roughly 4 seconds flat. Its six-cylinder engine displaces 3.0-litre and makes all of its 332 lb-ft of torque at just 1,950 r.p.m., explaining why owners praise the sprightly nature of these two-door rockets in city traffic. Power is funneled to the rear wheels through an eight-speed PDK automatic.

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Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is standard kit, along with variable-ratio electromechanical steering. In other words, this combination should permit drivers to be aware of every time they run over an amoeba. Helping matters is a staggered tire setup, deploying 235/40ZR19 performance summer tires up front and 295/35ZR20 meats out back. Reining in felonious velocities are a set of 4-piston rear all aluminum fixed monobloc calipers and brake discs the size of dinner platters.

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera

Sure, most gearheads will be focused on the sonorous noise of the Carrera’s 3.0-litre engine but an interior like a wheelbarrow would impress no one, especially with a price tag well into the six figures. Porsche delivers the goods by way of dual climate control, heated front electric Sport seats with snazzy embossed leather, keyless go, and all manner of parking aids. Leather also appears on the heated wheel and other interior touch points. Infotainment covers the basics with satellite radio functionality and smartphone integration tools.

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There are a quartet of zero-dollar paint options – Black, White, Guards Red, and Racing Yellow. Your obnoxiously Type A author has selected the latter. Metallics are on tap for $950, and Porsche will paint the thing whatever custom colour you want for $13,050. We feel the standard Carrera wheels do the trick but customers can spec RS Spyder or even Turbo S wheels if they’re willing to shell out about $1,000. For each wheel.

What We’d Choose

Which, of course, has always been the rub with Porsche. With an options list longer than Hoffa’s rap sheet filled with ambitiously priced items, it’s no trouble to nearly double the base price of a 911 Carrera. Eschewing expensive interior upgrades (such as $2,855 for personalized leather air vent surrounds) would be wise if you’re trying to build a track weapon without totally destroying the budget.

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The $3,180 Sport Chrono package does more than add an analog timer to the dashboard, bringing new driving modes and active driveline mounts. Sport Exhaust spec is mighty tempting for the aural drama it brings but costs a terrifying $3,370. Them’s some expensive pipes. Better to spend an equal amount on a Front Axle Lift feature if you dwell in a condo with strangely sloped parking garage floors, and $260 for the 90 litre fuel tank is not a bad idea. Your author is also the only person the planet who recommends the $420 rear wiper, since its practicality far outweighs the visual drawback.

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera

One more thing – if you’re dropping this type of money on a new Porsche, you need to opt for European delivery. Choose from having a Porsche driving expert teach you how to use your new 911’s performance in an equivalent model on their track, or collect your car from the factory after a three-course meal in Zu

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