It’s incredible to think that there was a time back in the 1980s when Porsche had decided the 911 had reached the end of the line. In his first week in the job, Peter Schultz, the first American CEO of the company rescinded that decision and enthusiasts around the world have thanked him ever since. This latest version (known internally and to petrolheads by its code 992) is faster, more efficient and better equipped than ever. Evolution of the species doesn’t just work in the animal kingdom.
The Porsche 911 is a joyous paradox – constantly evolving performance and technology within a familiar, iconic silhouette. It doesn’t matter which model you own or how old it is; to be able to say ‘I have a 911’ ensures membership of a very proud and elite club. The new 911 Carrera S with rear-drive is undoubtedly the purists’ choice.
‘Continuity is not stagnation’ was the defiant message of Porsche CEO Oliver Blume at the launch of the latest 911. The lines of the evergreen 911 don’t need reinventing, but in the latest version the rear-end treatment has been tidied and simplified, with vertical slats over the engine compartment, a full-width light strip and a neatly integrated rear bumper. The front end is 45mm wider than before with full-width air intakes, distinctive round LED matrix headlamps and four-point daytime running lights.
All versions will feature the same rear arches, so there won’t be a wider-track Turbo or GT2 to come later. Inside, the driver will find an analogue rev counter direct centre in his or her line of vision but the instrumentation either side is digital, with the option of Night Vision.
The 911 is still powered by a flat six engine mounted behind the rear wheels as every model has been since 1963 (though there was an outwardly similar flat four 912). In the new 911 Carrera S, the first model to be launched, the 3.0-litre six develops 444bhp, with 0-62mph coming up in 3.7 seconds. All models feature a PDK 8-speed transmission.
The lower-priced and slightly less powerful base model Carrera will be launched in late spring 2019. Later still Porsche will bring out Turbo and GTS models; nowadays all models are actually turbocharged but the Turbo name is still reserved for the flagship model.
The new 911 now has the 10.9-inch infotainment screen familiar from the Panamera, Cayenne and Macan. Swarm data-based live mapping is always connected and will help you avoid the traffic jams that are a bane of modern driving life. All the controls you’ll need on the move are located within reach of the multifunction steering wheel, leaving just a few partially touch-sensitive buttons on the elevated centre console.
The familiar Porsche Communication Management (PCM) has been updated and provides a central control centre for audio, navigation and communication as well as for a variety of assistance systems. The Burmester® High-End Surround Sound System is another option for the audiophile.
The new 911 has a full panoply of safety aids, including adaptive cruise control and the option of infrared night vision cameras to help you spot stray animals or pedestrians on unlit roads at night. Other systems include the collision and brake assist system as well as a new WET mode, a system for recognising wet road surfaces vital seconds before you might.
Lighting is another area where clarity means safety: the LED main headlights with matrix beam include Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus) and Main Beam Assistant. Thanks to 84 individually controlled LEDs, the light cones are optimally configured for any driving situation yet without dazzling oncoming traffic.
|Dimensions||Porsche 911 Carrera S|
|Vehicle Length||4,519 mm|
|Vehicle Width||1,852 mm|
|Vehicle Height||1,300 mm|
|Unladen Weight (DIN)||1,515 kg|
|Engine / Cylinders||6|
|Max Torque||530 Nm @ 2,300 - 5,000 rpm|
|Max Power||450 PS @ 6,500 rpm|
|Top Speed||191 mph|
|Acceleration||3.5 Seconds 0-62 mph (with Sports Chrono Package)|
|Combined Cycle||31.7 mpg|
|Urban Cycle||26.4 mpg|