It’s nothing short of history being made—a new generation of Porsche 911 Carrera. Unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, this model has the internal designation 991. Yes, 997 was the one before, but Porsche follows its own logic in this respect. There are some shockers: a world’s-first seven-speed manual transmission and a longer wheelbase to make those rear seats actually quite useful. The interior is also noticeably more luxurious, offset by the aluminum-and-steel body being around 100 pounds lighter. But the steering—the quality that Porsche drivers value perhaps above everything else—now has electric instead of hydraulic assistance. In other cars, such a setup would usually mean a drop-off in all-important “feel.” But this is Porsche, so there’s still reason to be optimistic. The Carrera gets a 350-hp 3.4-liter flat six, while the Carrera S enjoys a 400-hp 3.8-liter boxer engine. With the optional Sport Chrono Package’s launch control, a PDK-equipped Carrera S can dash from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds. Expect all the usual variants once this generation, the seventh, is up and running. The 2012 911 coupe hits the States in February, starting at $82,100. That’s a few grand more than the 997 equivalent, but Porsche promises a higher level of standard equipment, as well as a 16 percent improvement in emissions and fuel consumption.