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New car test drive

Porsche 911 Carrera S test drive

The latest 992-generation Porsche 911 is a driving experience that's close to perfect

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Porsche 911 Carrera S test drive 1
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The Porsche 911 is probably the most famous sports car of all time. It’s been with us in one form or another for more than 55 years, and in that time has only been properly reinvented five times.

Over the decades, the 911 has developed a reputation for delivering a pure driving experience. Although it’s become more luxurious with each generation, Porsche has remained stubborn that the engine should stay behind the rear wheels, endowing the car with a unique character and spectacular handling.

This is the latest 992-generation model, and it doesn’t change the formula so much as evolve it to new heights.

What’s new about the new Porsche 911?

The 992 combines classic Porsche 911 cues and carryovers from the previous (991) model with a few new touches. Despite the same-again looks, the bodyshell is actually all new.

All models now receive the same wider rear arches previously reserved for all-wheel-drive models, so the only distinguishing feature between the two launch models – Carrera S and Carrera 4S – is a piece of trim above the tail lights. The rear end also adopts the full-width light bar used in all of Porsche’s latest models.

Under the skin, there’s more power from the flat-six turbocharged engine, along with a few chassis alterations (including, for the first time, different size wheels for front and rear) and a new, eight-speed automatic gearbox.

   

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How does it look?

The new 911 looks, unsurprisingly and unmistakeably, like a 911. The bum-heavy silhouette and sloping nose is a product of the rear-engine layout, and it’s definitely classic.

For the 992, Porsche has sharpened up some of the edges and given it more of a purposeful look, but certainly hasn’t strayed too far from a winning formula.

At the front, things are much the same as before. The lid to the ‘frunk’ (or front boot) now has corners rather than a rounded edge, as part of a squarer front bumper.

The rear, meanwhile, has been more substantially redesigned with strong horizontal lines, a new ribbed engine cover, a full-width adjustable spoiler and full-width LED light bar.

The interior, meanwhile, follows the same horizontal theme. It’s clean and minimal in execution, and again is an evolution on previous generations rather than an all-new approach.

What’s the spec like?

Don’t expect too many Porsche customers to pay the starting price of £93,110 for the 911 Carrera S. To get the best out of this car, it really needs some options added. The test cars we drove would have cost no less than £115,000 on-road.

We’d say that Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control is a must – it costs £2,273 but must be paired with £1,592 rear-wheel steering. The Sport Chrono Pack is also essential, bringing the drive mode selector and a stopwatch for £1,646.

Carbon-ceramic brakes add more than £6,000 but could be worth it if you intend driving your 911 particularly hard – and we’d also be tempted by a few comfort options such as the upgraded Bose sound system, parking sensors plus reversing camera, and adaptive cruise control.

Porsche does at least cover the bare essentials, but not fitting LED lights as standard feels beyond stingy.

Continued on next page: Interior, driving experience and our verdict

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Tom Wiltshire
Tom Wiltshire
Articles by Tom Wiltshire are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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