RE: Porsche 911 (992) Carrera S: UK Drive

RE: Porsche 911 (992) Carrera S: UK Drive

Friday 22nd March

Porsche 911 (992) Carrera S: UK Drive

So can a 911 really feel like a £110k sports car over here? Oh yes...



Believe it or not, travelling around driving new cars is not all it's cracked up to be. Because for every launch event with loads of time driving the car on superb roads, there's another that involves reaching some far-flung location, only for a precious few kilometres on a plain bit of tarmac for dynamic impressions to be reached. Yes, yes, hearts shall not bleed. Point is, given they're all ostensibly the same - come here, drive the car, hopefully you'll write about the car - some new car launches are far more successful than others.

What does that have to do with the 992-era of 911 Carrera? Well, while the international launch event in Spain was good, the one specifically laid on for the UK was outstanding. Using the roads around Kielder and the North Pennines - location for our recent Dream Drive and 4WD Heroes features - it meant ample opportunity to drive the car hard and fast for a long time. Which is exactly what you'd want, right?

It also meant an opportunity to - hopefully, at least - answer a few of the queries that had arisen from that original drive. How big does it feel in the UK? How entertaining can it actually be when you can't legally drive at more than 70mph? Is the 992 really just a Panamera two-door? That'll sound disingenuous, but the overriding impression from early exposure was of a car complete if not compelling; one very good to drive yet lacking that certain something that made you yearn for another go.


Handily, the humble British A-road, combined with our famously fickle weather, has worked wonders for the 992. Not that it was in any way lacking before, obviously; only now an extended drive in the UK has allowed respectful admiration to morph into something not far off outright enthusiasm - it's a fantastic sports car.

Indeed, it's worth dealing with those minor (and scarce) drawbacks of the 992 first, because there's a lot of good to discuss. Yes, it can feel a big car sometimes, especially on more minor British routes. Though it should be said the 911 hasn't been a truly nimble, compact car for a very, very long time, reflecting customer demand for a more accommodating sports car in every sense. Moreover, it's hardly fair to single out Porsche for ever expanding dimensions when everyone is at it. An M5 feels big in Britain, as can an Aston Vantage, Nissan GT-R and others; once more wieldy models are now bigger than ever. It's disappointing, yes, but hardly unique to one sector or manufacturer.

Other gripes? They're qualms as much as anything. There is quite a bit of tyre noise at a cruise, the engine might sound a tad more exciting and, superb though the new PDK gearbox is, there are certainly points where a manual would make the process more enjoyable still. That feeling never emerges in certain cars - McLarens most notably, but also the AMG GT as another example - though it's definitely present here, perhaps with knowledge of how good Porsche manuals can be. For the dedicated few who are interested, it's due later this year.


In the weird launch bubble where every single car seen is the model being tested, it's hard to get any perspective on its real-world impact and presence. Park one of the first UK 992s up anywhere, though, and it's clear that, while familiar as a 911, this is a more dramatic and attention-grabbing Carrera than there's ever before. It's broad and assertive, new options like the gold wheel colour creating a sense of occasion that's too often been absent in regular 911s. That continues inside; previous cabins were fine, without being anything too remarkable. Now, however, it's a real showpiece environment, expensive, lavish and exciting. Again, the variety of options available for leathers and materials makes it feel a more special kind of sports car than ever. If you're one of the vast majority buying a 992 as a something everyday usable but sporty, desirable and inviting, this will count for an awful lot.

And if you're one actually buying it to drive? You're going to love it. More than a 991, crucially, and more than any rival that currently comes to mind. You expected something else to happen? Where an international launch route can (very deliberately) give the car an easy ride, a technical, demanding, unrelenting UK drive can really expose something that isn't up to scratch - not so here.

The new eight-speed PDK means closer ratios than the seven, giving greater scope to explore them; third will still take a 911 close to ban territory, but no longer right into it. Which is a bonus. The electric steering is exceptional for clarity of response and feedback, giving yet more confidence in every part of a turn. Further evolution of the driving assists means additional leeway and even more subtle interventions, the slippery conditions playing to this perfectly in both two- and four-wheel drive versions.


There are still tangible sports car bits that make it feel like a 911 (and therefore not like anything else, which is nice), at a time when it looked like that baby might have gone out with the bathwater. So sometimes the front end goes just a little bit light, sometimes the traction is even better than expected, and sometimes it'll just wiggle about under power but never feel like any is being wasted. That it'll do all that with damping of just supreme quality - the normal mode allowing fluidity, the stiffer one ruthless yet still relaxed- excellent brakes and all the performance anyone could ever want leaves the end result as hoped for: a consummately talented, immensely enjoyable sports car.

Which should hopefully say almost all that there is to say about the new 911. The changes wrought to create that lavish new interior have made it a lovelier everyday proposition and, on this experience at least, the changes underneath have made it even better to drive. It's a formidable combination, then, the 992 immediately out of the blocks fighting in a way the 991 probably wasn't. It feels like all the technology introduced to such dismay in that generation - the electric steering, the turbos and so on - has come of age, creating a sports car as capable as it is endearing and as technically adept as it is subjectively desirable. It'll come as little surprise, particularly (and frustratingly) not to those in charge of making the rivals, but this 911 has to be the best sports car that £100,000 currently buys. Again.


SPECIFICATION - PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S (992)
Engine:
2,981cc, twin-turbo flat-six
Transmission: 8-speed PDK auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 391@2,300-5,000rpm
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Top speed: 191mph
Weight: 1,515kg (DIN)
MPG: 25.7-27.2mpg (WLTP combined)
CO2: TBA
Price: £93,110 (as standard; price as tested £109,187, comprised of Slate Grey/Crayon two-tone leather interior for £422, Electric folding exterior mirrors for £240, Sports exhaust system for £1,844, Sport Chrono package including mode switch for £1,646, Porsche Active Suspension Management (lowered by 10 mm) for £665, Wheels painted in satin aurum for £842, LED main headlights with matrix beam including Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus for £2,054, Auto dimming interior and exterior mirrors with integrated rain sensor for £387, ParkAssist for £1,196, Adaptive cruise control for £1,203, Night Vision Assist for £1,650, Light design package for £336, 14-way electric sports seats for £1,599, Fire extinguisher for £135, GT sport steering wheel in leather, heated for £383, Crayon seat belts for £312, Porsche Crest embossed on headrests for £161 and Bose surround sound system for £1,002. Phew.)












Author
Discussion

RB5_245

Original Poster:

65 posts

156 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
I should be the target market for this car I think. Instead my thought is, that's not a 100k car and general apathy toward it at that price. It's a stark contrast to driving home in a normal 997 thinking I'd just bought pretty much the best car in the world. Nice that they've sorted out the interior though.

Interesting comment about the size, one of my few complaints about owning a gtr is the sheer size of the damn thing. I'm sure if I could figure out how to access the wasted space in there I'd be able to make a fortune smuggling immigrants across the channel.

aston addict

224 posts

101 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Like the new cayenne coupe, it looks decided odd with the rear spoiler deployed, at least from the angle in the photo- like a beetle raising its wing covers...

The sensible arrangement on the Panamera looks far better IMHO.

Nerdherder

965 posts

40 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
RB5_245 said:
Interesting comment about the size, one of my few complaints about owning a gtr is the sheer size of the damn thing. I'm sure if I could figure out how to access the wasted space in there I'd be able to make a fortune smuggling immigrants across the channel.
Or smuggling Brits out of the UK in the near future...

PGNSagaris

2,116 posts

109 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Amazing car. Great value for what if offers.

Ultimate daily as a convertible

Tim bo

1,387 posts

83 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
The 992 is certainly growing on me, after initial meh over the single rear light across the back of the car. I've yet to see one in the flesh however.

This combination, Guards Red with gold wheels - it really works too.

Mmm ... might have to pop into Porsche for a look and a test drive. This is turning into an itch.
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Baldchap

1,207 posts

35 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
I really like this new 911.

Have to admit to speccing a GTS cabriolet on the configurator t'other day. Might be time for a test drive...

Never had a Porsche, are OPCs as awful as they say?

garyhun

27,072 posts

171 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Love it!

LaurasOtherHalf

15,065 posts

139 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Crikey that looks good.

Bigger, heavier etc etc

If it means people and their kids can walk away from a serious accident it's not necessarily a bad thing.

dinkel

24,933 posts

201 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
I love the four box in a 930. So: why 8 gears PDK?

Tim bo

1,387 posts

83 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
Never had a Porsche, are OPCs as awful as they say?
No. The one I've dealt with - main Porsche dealer (not a franchise) in London - were very good.

Burwood

12,720 posts

189 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
It looks much better in other colours. Would appear to be good value considering its performance

Nerdherder

965 posts

40 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
PGNSagaris said:
Amazing car. Great value for what if offers.

Ultimate daily as a convertible
Funny you mention the ragtop as the most desirable one.
Did a big run through Germany NL>Cologne>Frankfurt aM yesterday. Lots of expensive machinery on the road, what struck me most is that only one out of the 8 911's I spotted was not a convertible.


WJNB

1,826 posts

104 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Best interior I've seen for years. Beautiful.
Maybe it's the poor angle of the photo but the steering wheel does look a bit cheap & plastic though.
Yes spoiler looks very odd when raised.
The cars width would get on my nerves though & would be a deal breaker as it would be used on rural roads a lot.
Kept shiny it would be a magnet for the envious.
Could rarely use the performance.
Nice to own but apart from being a pose & penis substitute what is its point?

FN2TypeR

6,067 posts

36 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
The interior looks both modern and retro at the same time IMO, if you follow me. It looks fantastic.

What a machine, too cloud9

Burwood

12,720 posts

189 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
FN2TypeR said:
The interior looks both modern and retro at the same time IMO, if you follow me. It looks fantastic.

What a machine, too cloud9
Residuals are great too. Overall ownership costs, bang or buck is unsurpassed in this segment.

AmosMoses

3,280 posts

108 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Still not a fan of that rear end, it has all the aggression of the GT2 RS but without the wing and diffuser it just looks odd? Also its a shame all 911s are now the widebody.

Robert-nszl1

373 posts

31 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
I think I prefer it when the rear number plate is in the higher position. Makes the rump look less bulbous.

Clearly a very accomplished car, and love the colour /wheel combo. Just not sure it's tempting enough to swap out of my manual 997.2 4S, and not practical enough as a daily now my kids are bigger.

MDL111

3,530 posts

120 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
visually speaking, that car needs smaller rims (probably would also have other benefits/ride better) or much bigger brakes (even the front discs look lost in that pic)

wab172uk

1,338 posts

170 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
WJNB said:
Best interior I've seen for years. Beautiful.
Maybe it's the poor angle of the photo but the steering wheel does look a bit cheap & plastic though.
Yes spoiler looks very odd when raised.
The cars width would get on my nerves though & would be a deal breaker as it would be used on rural roads a lot.
Kept shiny it would be a magnet for the envious.
Could rarely use the performance.
Nice to own but apart from being a pose & penis substitute what is its point?
There's always one.

big_rob_sydney

2,350 posts

137 months

Friday 22nd March
quotequote all
Wow. 110k for a carrera.

I saw a comment about being in a bigger car being good if you have an accident; geez. Why dont we all drive around in an Abrams Tank then? Point being, the 911 used to be tiny. Park up an early one next to the latest one, and you'd think these current fat bds actually ATE the early one.

Must be just me, but cars are getting bigger and heavier, and I'm being turned off more and more by "sports" cars getting fat. I think they're growing older disgracefully, but with a sly intention to open space lower in the range for new models to take their place. EG 911 displaced by Box and Cay.