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The new generation Porsche 911 packs new equipment and a refreshed design, but its fundamental dynamics and everyday brilliance still hasn't changed.

23 May 2019


Ah, yes, the brand new Porsche 911. Looks rather the same, doesn't it? Well, it isn't. This 992 model is the brand new eighth generation model, replacing the 991 model launched in 2011 and facelifted in 2016.

"Oh, but it looks just the same." "Once you've seen one 911, you've seen them all." "That's just a very expensive and posh Beetle." Trust us, we've heard all the 911 cliches and jokes before.

So, just how different is this new 911 really?

The new 992 model is the eighth generation of Porsche iconic sports car

Body building

On first glance, the new 992 still evokes the unmistakable 911 design and silhouette. But, specific elements of the car's design have changed.

The grille at the front has evolved and merges with active air vents on either side. Especially when equipped with the LED matrix head lights with its distinctive quad-beam look, the new 992 bears more than a passing resemblance to the Panamera.

There are more changes at the rear. There's a new one-piece LED light strip that runs across the back end, as well as a centrally located third brake light on the vertically arranged air intake louvres.

The new 911 is notably wider than before, accentuating its muscular new design

However, there are even more changes under the skin. The body is now 70% aluminium (compared to just 37% in the 991), contributing to significant weight savings.

And, if you break out a measuring tape, you'll realise that the car is longer and wider than before: 20mm longer, 45mm wider at the front axle and 44mm at the rear axle. The car also comes with staggered rims (20-inch front, 21-inch rear).

The new 992 also trades some evocative sensuality for added muscularity, but there's no doubt that the design is still iconic and recognisable. It's not immediately beautiful, but we reckon it'll grow on you over time.

The rear end is dominated by a single LED light strip

Even after just a day spent looking at the new cars, I already found myself liking them better than I did in the morning.

Mindfulness

The cabin is where the changes will be felt the most. The entire cluster display is new - now instead of five discreet analogue dials, you have just the one central analogue tachometer, flanked by LCD screens on either side.

This can be configured to display a variety of information in the style of two smaller dials on either side (as in other Porsche models), with the exception of the map display that uses the entire right screen.

The new cluster display features digital screens on either side of the analogue central rev counter

The centre console is also different. There's a new 10.9-inch PCM infotainment display, a big step up in terms of both size and functionality compared to the previous generation model. Underneath that are five buttons to access key functions.

There are two programmable quick function buttons, but you'll notice that in this particular test car one button is dedicated for the front axle lift function (an optional equipment). Move on downwards and there's a new gear lever.

All in all, the cabin feels technologically and functionally improved from the previous generation model.

The cabin now features a 10.9-inch display to operate the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system

Thankfully, the cabin still feels immediately comfortable and familiar. The seating position is spot on (there's a ton of adjustability), the view out is good, and the cabin just fits like a glove, albeit now a pretty high-tech glove.

Heart and soul

Ah, but what remains the same, you ask? Simple - the way it behaves on the road. There are of course improvements, undoubtedly.

There's more power (23bhp and 30Nm of torque more) for one, the steering is meatier and more communicative (steering ratio is now 11% more direct) and the car now comes with a wealth of safety and assistance systems that will certainly make your day-to-day commute less stressful.

The reworked standard adaptive dampers also do an excellent job of soaking up bumps in the road, making the car a tad more pliant and comfortable than before.

Five buttons below the central touchscreen gives you quick access to key vehicle functions

Also, the 911 now comes with a new eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission that offers greater cruising comfort and efficiency.

But, get onto an open stretch of country road, put you foot down and one thing becomes clear - this is still a quintessential 911 experience. Engaging, exciting, effervescent and just excellent.

In this Carrera S guise, the engine kicks out 443bhp and 530Nm of torque in a very linear and smooth manner. The chassis is communicative yet planted, and the balance unflappable even on some of the poorer paved roads in New Zealand. And the wider track and bigger tyres deliver even more grip than before.

A new eight-speed PDK gearbox offers improved cruising comfort and efficiency

Perhaps, a professional driver on a race track could tell you that this 992 model handles however many percent better than the 991. I can't possible tell you that, because I would just be guessing at a vague number.

What I do know is that it handles exactly the way you want it to. The front end responds with immediacy and accuracy, the tail will get a little lively if you get on the throttle early out of a corner, and the car behaves in a manner that is consistent with the 911's remarkable dynamic abilities.

Modifications to the engine's intake system and wastegate valve control help bump power up to 443bhp and 530Nm of torque

Right once more

Expectedly, the conclusion here is that this 911 is yet another evolutionary step forward for the brand's iconic sports car. The changes won't make the same kind of headlines as the move to water-cooled or turbocharged engines, but they are important nonetheless.

This new 992 model brings a lot of equipment and technology updates that will certainly appeal to customers.

Behind the wheel, the 911 continually excites and delights

Thankfully, eight generations on, the core essence of the 911 hasn't changed. This is still very much the benchmark sports car - get behind the wheel and you absolutely know you are going to be rewarded. Not simply when going fast, but any time you are using it.

The 911's ultimate magic is its ability to meld both the mundane and the thrilling into one complete package that just… works.

There is, however, one development that may bear out significant change for the future. This new 992 has been specifically developed to accommodate hybridisation, if and when it happens. But, you shouldn't be too worried.

The new generation 911 continue to be a benchmark for all sports cars

Over eight generations, Porsche has proved that time and time again, it just knows how to get things right. So why should the future be any different?

The new Porsche 911 Carrera S will be launched in Singapore in mid-July, and will be priced at $546,588 (not including COE). Interested buyers can already pre-order the car, with first deliveries expected to take place after the launch of the car in July. 
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Car Information

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Porsche 911 Carrera S PDK 3.0 (A)
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Price

: $546,588

Engine Type

:

6-cylinder 24-valve horizontally opposed Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2981cc

Horsepower

:

331kW (444 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

530 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) PDK

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3.7sec

Top Speed

:

308km/h

Fuel consumption

:

10.5 km/L

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