• This is the seventh-generation of the 911 since its 1963 launch
  • The new car is longer and lower, but maintains the unmistakable 911 shape
  • Nearly 90 percent of components new or redesigned

Porsche premiered the completely redesigned 911 for the first time on US soil at the LA Auto Show, giving Americans our first look at a lower, longer and lighter sports car that is both more powerful and more efficient than its predecessor.

The new 911 is the automotive embodiment of the design philosophy the company calls Porsche Intelligent Performance. To Porsche, this means improved performance while using less fuel, achieved through increased efficiency, reduced emissions and reduced mass. Efficiency adds to the appeal of the 911 as not just a sports car, but an exciting vehicle for everyday use.

The new car is longer than the outgoing 911. However, a smaller-displacement, 3.4-liter engine in the 911 Carrera yields a five horsepower improvement while using about 16 percent less fuel. Carrera S models get an updated version of the previous car's 3.8-liter unit, churning out a stout 400 horsepower, a 15-horsepower bump.

Other efficiency gains are thanks to use of weight-saving aluminum for the doors, hood, engine lid and roof. An engine start-stop feature saves fuel at rest, and the innovative "sailing" technology allows the engine to rest in an idle mode when power is not needed, such as when descending a long hill.

Efficiency aside, the new 911 is still a sports car at heart. Performance-minded components are as plentiful as those aimed at efficiency and include a redesigned suspension, a torque vectoring system, larger air intakes, a new active spoiler and a standard seven-speed manual transmission.

Inside, the new 911 takes styling cues from the Carrera GT supercar. The long center console splits the new sports seats and rises gently toward the dash. Buttons and switches are arranged by function for improved ergonomics and a seven-inch touch screen controls navigation, audio and communication.

Of course, this US debut of the new 911 is just the beginning for the latest version of the car. Numerous variants based on this Carrera will surely follow. Porsche still has no less than sixteen versions of the previous 911 model in its American lineup. Some versions based on the new 911 will most likely be intended as race-ready track cars. But like the new Carrera and Carrera S, most will be highly capable yet efficient everyday vehicles.

What it means to you: Fifty years in the making, the new 911 follows its predecessors in both form and function, offering drivers extraordinary performance capability and everyday usability.

See more LA Auto Show news.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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