Porsche has been making the idiosyncratic, rear-engined 911 sports activities automotive since 1963. Every few years, it will get an replace—typically simply incremental enhancements and styling tweaks, often radical clean-sheet redesigns. The latest 911, identified to Porsche folks by the inner designation “992,” is the eighth era to put on these three digits, and it is new for mannequin yr 2020. It’s extra evolution than revolution this time; a brand new eight-speed PDK transmission, a extra related cockpit, and a sharper tackle that basic silhouette are the highlights.
It’s wider at each axles than the automotive it replaces, rising 1.Eight inches (45mm) on the entrance and 1.7 inches (44mm) on the rear. And there isn’t any longer a mixture of narrowbodies and widebodies—all 911s would be the full-fat dimension for this era. New LED lights at the back and front give the automotive a particular take care of darkish, however in any other case there’s nothing in regards to the styling that may offend the extra delicate 911 devotee. A tip for the trainspotters—you’ll be able to inform a rear-wheel drive 992 from an all-wheel drive 992 as a result of the previous has a black grille over the engine and the latter has chrome bits within the grille.
Our check automotive has a black grille as a result of it is a $113,300 911 Carrera S, which suggests rear-wheel drive with the extra highly effective 3.0L flat-six engine. You may also get an AWD Carrera 4S that has the identical engine, or RWD and AWD variations of the cheaper, much less highly effective 911 Carrera, and all both as coupés or convertibles.
The Carrera S’ flat-six is carefully associated to the flat-four within the mid-engined 718 household and even shares rather a lot with Porsche’s all-conquering 919 race automotive. It makes use of a pair of turbochargers, however this is not a 911 Turbo—that, together with different extra specialised variants just like the 911T, GTS, and GT3, will arrive sooner or later. The turbocharged not-911 Turbo first appeared midway via the life cycle of the 991 era, but it surely has had a slight bump in energy to 443hp (331kW) and torque to 390lb-ft (530Nm), together with the addition of a gasoline particulate filter. The turbocharger generators have grown, and digital motors now management the wastegates extra exactly than the vacuum system of earlier than.
Eight speeds however worse economic system
A seven-speed handbook transmission is now out there as a no-cost possibility, however our automotive got here with the all-new eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. Porsche invented the thought of the twin clutch ‘field again within the 1980s and developed it for street use a few a long time later; the corporate arguably does it higher than anybody else. For this era, Porsche has added an additional ratio, shortening the primary few gears for higher efficiency with Seventh- and Eighth-gear overdrives for higher gas effectivity. It wants that assist due to the enhance in engine output and a rise in weight of about 200lbs to three,382lbs (1,534kg).
Disappointingly, in keeping with the EPA, gas effectivity is definitely worse than the automotive it replaces. The EPA charges the 2020 Carrera S at 20mpg mixed (18 metropolis, 24 freeway); the 2019 model manages 24mpg mixed. Highlighting the variations between testing regimes, in Europe underneath the WLTP cycle, the brand new automotive will get 8.9l/100km mixed, which is a little more than 26mpg. I averaged 19.7mpg over a pair hundred miles of driving.
The arrival of a brand new Porsche 911 has traditionally been met with the identical response from Porschephiles. It’s gotten too fats and too heavy, folks say. The steering really feel is not as telepathic because it was once, they are saying. The previous automotive sounded higher, they are saying. Luckily for me, I’ve solely ever pushed one different 911, and that was a current one, too. There’s no denying the brand new automotive is a bit larger and heavier than earlier than. And it did sound higher when there was a naturally aspirated engine on the again. But Porsche nonetheless is aware of find out how to make a 911 participating to drive.
It’s a low automotive, and a comparatively stiff one, however street disturbances like enlargement gaps are principally filtered out by the adaptive dampers. Turn-in could be very fast, notably as a result of our check automotive had the optionally available rear axle steering ($2,090) that makes the automotive extra agile at low pace and extra steady at increased speeds. Porsche can be getting fairly good at programming some steering really feel into its newest digital programs. You really feel the automotive’s rear-biased weight, however neglect fears of vicious lift-off oversteer and spinning into hedgerows backward; Porsche has spent a long time exorcising these dealing with demons from its merchandise.
A principally nice inside
It could be onerous to inform a 992 from a 991 from the surface, however there isn’t any such downside when you open a (flush-fitting) door deal with and look inside. The multitude of buttons which have been a signature of Porsche interiors for years and years are gone, changed by the shiny black panels which might be so du jour. There’s no bodily key to insert into the sprint, however there’s a knurled aluminum knob positioned the place the ignition can be; you twist it to begin the automotive.
Another knurled aluminum knob could be discovered on the middle console, which is a lonely place now that every one the buttons have migrated elsewhere. The cabin is a barely odd mixture of principally very high-quality supplies, with just a few bits of plastic right here and there that really feel low cost and misplaced. And watch out for the within door handles—it is potential to pinch your pinkie finger on the hinge level when you’re not cautious.
In entrance of the motive force and behind the (a lot improved) multifunction steering wheel are a pair of shiny, clear shows both aspect of a traditional analogue tachometer. These will principally nonetheless present you information as old style round gauges, and it may be onerous to see the outermost elements of both show via the steering wheel. In the middle stack, there is a 10.9-inch infotainment system. Most of the features from the lacking buttons could be present in right here.
As ever with 911s, the entrance seats are a greater place to sit down than the rears, though the again seats on this automotive are barely extra useable than these within the Polestar 1 I simply drove. You can put young children again there, or your canine, or baggage, and the rear seats fold flat to extend the storage space to 9.2 cubic ft (264L). Beware, something you allow right here can be on show when the automotive is parked. For safer storage, the frunk has a capability of 4.7 cubic ft (132L) and can fortunately swallow a hardshell carry-on suitcase plus an additional bag.
As ever, Porsche reveals that it is aware of how to not mess up a very good factor—one thing different automotive makers with long-running nameplates may do properly to be taught from. The 911 stays a automotive that you could every day drive simply however which additionally encourages you to take the lengthy, twisty street house. Almost all of the items you see or contact really feel high-quality, and it is a handsome automotive. But I’d be rather a lot happier if the newer, heavier, extra highly effective 911 additionally managed to be a little bit extra abstemious on the fuel pump. If you care about local weather change and need a Porsche, be sensible and order a Taycan. (The Taycan 4S can be $10,000 cheaper than a 911 Carrera S even with out the $7,500 IRS tax credit score.)
Listing picture by Jonathan Gitlin