New Porsche 911 Carrera on the way with sub-six-figure price tag

Porsche 911 Carrera coupe and cabriolet

When Porsche launched the eighth-generation 992 series of its iconic 911 sports car eight months ago, it was introduced in high-performance Carrera S trim. It's not clear just how many budget-minded 911 shoppers there are, but they should appreciate that Porsche has now introduced the base Carrera and Carrera Cabriolet models at a slightly lower price point.

The new Carreras will be the entry-level 911s and will come exclusively with rear-wheel drive. They will be powered by the same basic 3.0-liter, twin-turbo flat six engine as used in the Carrera S, only with smaller turbochargers. The latest variant of Porsche's boxer motor is rated at 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. A manual gearbox is expected after it first arrives in the Carrera S, though Porsche hasn't yet confirmed this speculation as fact.

Even though power is down almost 20-percent from the 442-hp Carrera S, it’s about 15 hp higher than in previous base Carrera models and performance is still impressive. The standard Coupe gets to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds, while the optional Sport Chrono package drops that to 3.8. The heavier Cabriolet is slightly slower, at 4.2 and 4.0 seconds respectively, for the base and Sport Chrono-equipped convertibles. All of those figures are a half second slower than with comparable Carrera S models.

Black, four-piston monobloc non-floating brake calipers and 13.5-inch rotors are at all four corners, while the wheels and rubber are staggered, with 235/40/19 ZR tires up front and 295/35/20 ZR tires in back. Buyers can upgrade to ceramic composite brake rotors from the Carrera S along with its 20/21-inch wheel and tire package.

Styling changes from the Carrera S are minimal. The wheels are a little smaller and there is a single exhaust outlet in back as compared to the Carrera S' dual exhaust, though a Sport Exhaust with two oval tips is optional. Inside, the base Carreras carry the same Porsche Advanced Cockpit and 10.9-inch display as on the Carrera S.

The new 911s may be entry-level versions but as is expected these days they are still packed with technology. Porsche's Active Suspension Management with adaptive shock absorbers and driver selectable Normal and Sport modes is standard equipment, and the braking system now features a Wet mode that adjusts stability control and ABS for driving in the rain.

No scheduled delivery date has been announced, but when the new 911 Carrera arrives at dealers, it will cost $98,750 for the Coupe and $111,550 for the Cabriolet. That's $15,800 less than the respective Carrera S models.