"The latest Porsche 911 Carrera is lighter, lower and faster than the previous model, but also manages to be more comfortable."
One of the longest-running models of sports car in existence, the latest Porsche 911, codenamed the 991, features a lower roof, more bulbous headlights and sharper tail lights. The engines have received several tweaks, too, with the standard Carrera's 3.6-litre, six-cylinder engine is replaced by a smaller 3.4-litre that's more efficient but produces more power – 345bhp. The 3.8-litre found in the Carrera S now produces 394bhp, with both engines offering seriously impressive performance – particularly with the PDK twin-clutch automatic gearbox. There's a lightweight 911 GT3 version, and high-power Turbo version, but in all honesty the base model will be more than enough for most drivers. There will also be a Targa version in the future, which features an electric hard-top roof that slides away. The interior has received a major makeover, too, inspired by the Panamera but with fewer switches and a classier feel. Most owners will opt for the PDK gearbox but Porsche also offer a seven-speed manual option - the first of its kind in a production car.
MPG, running costs & CO2 emissions
Capable of returning 34.4mpg and emitting 194g/km of CO2 (incurring £245 of UK road tax), the basic Carrera provides impressive fuel economy for such a powerful sports car. The faster Carrera S models are capable of 32.4mpg when fitted with the optional PDK seven-speed automatic gearbox and stop-start fuel-saving technology. Opt for a four-wheel drive Carrera 4 or 4S model and running costs go up, but not by too much, while the high-power GT3 and 911 Turbo models are thirstier still. However, compared to rivals like the V8-engined Jaguar XK, the 911 carries significantly lower running costs.
Interior & comfort
The near-perfect driving position, fantastic seats and well-judged suspension settings mean that driving the 911 every day or over long distances induces very few aches and pains. Even the track-focused 911 GT3 is surprisingly comfortable, with the hugging sports seats a perfect fit for any occasion. The smart new interior is a big improvement over the old model, featuring fewer buttons and a design that's similar to the four-seater Porsche Panamera.
Practicality & boot space
The rear-engined Porsche 911 possesses a 2+2 layout with small rear seats suitable only for very young children. There is a tiny luggage area located under the bonnet but owners looking to accommodate a set of golf clubs will have to use the rear seats. However, if this is a concern then you'd best avoid the super-quick GT3 version, which removes the rear seats in an effort to lower weight and improve handling. Nevertheless, despite the lack of luggage space, and considering its sporting credentials, every 911 still offers enough practicality to be used on a daily basis.
Reliability & safety
Porsche has worked hard to create a more upmarket feel inside the 911, a feature you notice as soon as you enter the superbly designed interior. Taking inspiration from the Porsche Panamera, the new dashboard layout is easy to use, with all the switches and controls having a nice high quality feel. Every model is fitted with a host of safety features, too, including driver, passenger and side airbags, and PDCC traction control. Four-wheel-drive models are also available, adding extra all-weather dependability.
Engines, drive & performance
The Porsche 911 is one of the most capable sports cars on sale, the result of nearly 50 years of development and fine tuning. Offering very precise steering that responds to even the smallest of driver inputs, performance is equally as impressive. Carrera S models fitted with the optional Sport Chrono Pack can go from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds and reach 187mph. The 911 also makes a fabulous noise when driven enthusiastically, with a deep roar from the exhaust filling the interior under hard acceleration. The four-wheel drive ‘4’ and '4S' models are far easier to drive in the wet, but do cost a bit more to run than the standard cars. Basic Carrera and Carrera S cars come with a seven-speed manual gearbox as standard, but Porsche also offers an excellent seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox, with steering wheel-mounted paddles, priced at around £2,400. Move up the range to the GT3 and Turbo models and you'll find the smooth PDK gearbox is standard.
Price, value for money & options
All models are very well equipped and come with leather interior, sports seats and 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels as standard. Even entry-level Carrera models receive the comprehensive Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system, controlling audio navigation and communication. Optional extras are very expensive, however - electric seats, for example, cost an eye-watering £3,739. Four-wheel drive models command around a £5,000 premium, too. The lightweight GT3 version is arguably the best value option though – offering similar performance to cars costing almost twice the price.