Porsche Carrera Vs Carrera S – Is The S Just Extra $? (Simple Answer)

The words Carrera and Carrera S have become synonymous with Porsche 911 models, with the Carrera being the base model and Carrera S providing extra performance. So what does the S stand for in Porsche Carrera S? The “S” stands for Sport, which is indicative of the added power and capabilities of the Carrera S.

The Carrera and Carrera S have been available in a variety of Porsche 911 models since the inception of the 901 concept in 1963 and now extend to the 21st century models such as the 997 and 992 series.

The Carrera S sometimes feature wider tires than the standard Carrera model for improved grip and handling on the road but these are an optional add on. An increase in engine power also provides more performance and speed than that of the base model Porsche Carrera.

Is the Carrera S wider than the Carrera?

While some model 911’s may have a slightly wider body than others the S variants of the same model are typically the same width. What may make the Carrera appear wider is that some owners will option the car to be lower and have wider wheels than the base model Carrera.

What is the difference between Carrera and Carrera S?

Apart from a more tweaked engine and some fatter wheels, the difference between a Carrera and Carrera S are mostly cosmetic. The Carrera S model includes sportier looking bumpers, spoilers and unique badges which all add to the car’s reputation as a performance car. The interior of the car also differs with higher quality materials used in the upholstery, the option for more electronic gadgets such as heated seats and larger display screens.

While I could go on about the difference between BHP between the Carrera vs Carrera S the exact figures change from year to year so it is not worth listing every single model line by line – overall your Carrera S will give you roughly:

  • 5% increase in top speed
  • 12% better acceleration
  • 16% more torque and horsepower
  • Slightly more weight
  • About $15,000 more on average on the base price for a Carrera vs Carrera S

So is a Porsche Carrera S fast?

Yes, the Carrera S has increased performance from the base model Carrera due to a more powerful engine and wider tires. Don’t expect the Carrera S to be blowing the base model off the track, the power and speed gains less than 20% across the board.

The folks at Acceleration Times  have listed the 1/4 mile times of a 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S and when I compared them to the base model Carrera we see that the Carrera S does 0-60 in 3.3 seconds while the base model Carrera takes 4.3 seconds according to CarIndigo.

What other Porsche models come in a Carrera and Carrera S?

The Carrera and Carrera S are available across the majority of Porsche 911 based models but this excludes any of the Boxster, Cayman, Macan and Panamera models which may have their own S variants but not as a Carrera.

Carrera Vs Carrera S – Final Thoughts

Overall, there is not too much of a difference between the base Carrera vs Carrera S apart from the added exterior features, interior luxuries and increased engine power. 

The Carrera S model is generally considered to be the higher-end version with more features and extras than its base Carrera counterpart.

However, some may prefer the look or feel of the Carrera and be happy to save the extra money associated with a car with higher specs. 

Ultimately, it is up to an individual’s preference as to which model they choose. No matter the choice, Porsche has produced two cars that are sure to provide a unique and exhilarating driving experience. 

Is the S in a Carrera S worth the extra $15,000 or so that it will cost you? Personally, I would buy the base model and use the $15,000 for something else but owning a Porsche is a purchase from the heart and not the mind.

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