LOS ANGELES--Despite changed proportions, the new 911 retains its iconic look.
By now the 2012 Porsche 911 has been unveiled more times than we can keep track of, but the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show marked the seventh-generation 911's large-stage debut in North America (it had been shown at October's Rennsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but to a much smaller crowd). It was displayed alongside the latest variant of the Panamera, the GTS, which will be available as a 2013 model.
Perhaps the most intriguing single feature of the latest version of Porsche's most familiar model is the standard seven-speed manual transmission, a production-car first. Porsche's PDK dual-clutch transmission is an option, but a seven-speed manual sounds too good to pass up. If you're wondering where all those gears fit in the shift pattern, check out our slideshow. Spoiler alert: it's R-1-3-5-7 across the top.
In terms of size, the new 911 is about an inch longer overall, but with a nearly 4-inch increase in the wheelbase. Along with an extra 2 inches of front track width compared with the 2011 car, this makes for more interior space. The instrument cluster and general layout will be very familiar to fans of the model. Power from the base 3.4-liter flat-six is 350 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque, good for a 0-60 sprint in 4.8 seconds with the manual transmission and a top speed of 179 mph according to Porsche.
See all CNET's coverage from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.