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Porsche 911 Carrera

CALL 911 (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

A base Porsche 911 Carrera is probably all the sportscar you'll ever need, thinks Jonathan Crouch.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 84

The subtle exterior re-design of this '992'-series Porsche 911 clothes a body that's lighter and stiffer thanks to a doubling of its aluminium content. Plus there's a new 8-speed PDK auto gearbox, a higher-class cabin, re-designed suspension, even better brakes and (for the first time) different-sized wheels front-to-rear on mainstream models. Plus you get a lot more technology, including a clever new 'Wet Mode' which adapts the drive dynamics to suit slippery conditions. Here we check this car out in base 385PS 'Carrera' form.

Backgroundword count: 200

Porsche doesn't need to fundamentally change the 911 formula, for in its Cayman model, it already offers a more conventional performance coupe. But it does need to finesse it in the face of growing competition from increasingly desirable high performance alternatives from Jaguar, Mercedes, Maserati and Aston Martin. In short, it does need this rejuvenated '992'-series version, available as ever primarily in Coupe and Cabriolet forms, with most sales based on Carrera-series variants like this one, offering a choice of two or four-wheel drive derivatives. Despite what the exterior looks might suggest, this is a lot more than simply an evolved '991'-series car. We've already had that back in 2014, when that previous MK7 model got an update package and an all-turbo engine line-up. So yes, what we have here is pretty much completely new, though it doesn't feel like the kind of completely fresh direction in 911 model development that characterised some previous models - its 2012-era predecessor for instance or, say, the '996'-series model of 1998. The mainstream engines are basically carried over from the revised version of the '991', albeit with more power. And the wheelbase length is the same as the car this one replaces too.

Driving Experienceword count: 226

This base Carrera model now puts out 385PS, which is 15PS more than before. For reference, the alternative Carrera S model puts out 450PS. But do you really need the 'S' when this base 911 is already so startlingly quick? There's a gutsy 450Nm of torque and rest to 62mph occupies 4.2s - or 4.0 seconds dead if the optional 'Sport Chrono' package is fitted. Either way, this Zuffenhausen sportscar wouldn't let up until it reached 182mph, were you to be on the main straight at the Nurburgring. Just like with the Carrera S, you can have a four wheel drive version of this car. The performance stats for that (in Coupe form) are the same, but the top speed is fractionally reduced (180mph). The twin turbo 3.0-litre flat six may have a very different sound and feel to the bigger-capacity units served up by rivals, but you still get a delightful howl from the 'boxer' motor. With so much low and mid-rev torque from this powerplant, you can drive it as lazily as you like. As before, there's a manual gearbox available, but most buyers will want the PDK paddleshift auto, which now offers eight speeds. Plus the usual selection of drive modes has been added to with a 'Wet mode' that senses excess road surface spray and can adapt the handling for slippery conditions.

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Category: Sporting Cars

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
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