The new Porsche 911 is the every-man and every-woman high-performance sports car.
The story of the Porsche 911 will one day be the subject of a trilogy starring, to name a few, Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, Steve McQueen, Hurley Haywood, Patrick Long, Jerry Seinfeld, Patrick Dempsey and Rob Dickinson. The Porsche 911 is automotive history.
The arrival of the latest 992 is nothing less than the next chapter in the 911’s glorious history, to which many more will be added in the coming years and decades. While I could go on and on about the 911’s glorious past and promising future, I’ll use the following few paragraphs to share some initial and very brief impressions of the new 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera.
Do not be fooled by its size
From afar, the 992 looks enormous. It is true that the car continues to grow in every dimension but it shrinks right before your eyes as you walk up to it. The walk-around reveals no visual excess, only what is needed shines through, notably how the 911’s body sits so low on the 20-inch wheels. There is fact nothing off about the design – it is the perfect evolution of the design we’ve come to love in nearly 60 years.
Onboard, the Porsche 911 shrinks once more. The perfect driving position sets you up as though the car was tailor-made to fit your appendages. Although everything in the car is new, the dashboard and the instrument panel’s layout are instantly familiar. If I had to make a single, unique negative comment, it would be that I find the “shifter” or transmission switch too dainty for a car of this caliber.
It’s only a Carrera
At the twist of the left-hand sided integrated intelligent key, the Carrera’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre boxer-6-cylinder engine hums to life. This, the base 992 911, now plays with no less than 379-horsepower and 331 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,950-5,000 rpm. Flicking the “switch” to “D”, the 8-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) automatic transmission needs only a command.
Here, once underway, the new 992 2020 Porsche 911 feels as intimate as your spouse – all the pieces fit perfectly together. Here, the 911 is at its most compact. Yes, I became one with the 911.
In this short drive, I scarcely managed to bring the car up to 90km/h. In the few seconds, under mild acceleration, it took to get there, I heard the memorable turbo-spool noise accompanied by the subdued yet equally customary rumble of the flat-6 first heard in the 991.2 Carrera. I switched to Sport drive mode almost immediately and I was rewarded with instant and linear throttle response. Sadly, I never much got beyond 4,500rpm but this mill begs to be push, and heard. With the included Chrono Package, the basic Carrera will hit 100 km/h in only 4 seconds.
Drive time, need more drive time
I am happy to report that I noticed only exceptional brake pedal feel during the drive. The 992 features a new electronic brake booster. While at the deep-dive event late last year, I’d asked a race car driver what he thought of the “improved” pedal response. He hesitated for a moment before saying it was good. I was a little concerned and wasn’t at the same time.
When I got to my first proper curve, a left-hander, at about 75km/h, I was instinctively headed along the exact line I’d plotted in my mind. I suppose I can say that steering is telepathic but beyond this mild-speed sweeper, every other time I spun the wheel, I was crawling.
That’s it. I’ve got nothing else. Well, that is other than a hankering for a week-long test of what I fear will be the greatest driving 911 of all time. I say “fear” because the drama of driving this rear-engine-drive car is officially gone. The new 911 feels no more complicated or delicate to drive than a Honda Fit. And on the track, I’m convinced it’ll be no more of a handful than the delightful Mazda MX-5. Only, much faster. Much, much faster.
Also and once more, I sorely want and need a 911 in my life.