"The latest 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. 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. Performance, when fitted with the PDK twin-clutch gearbox in particular, is very impressive. The standard Carrera sprints from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds, while the Carrera S does it in just 4.3 seconds. The interior has received a major makeover, inspired by the Panamera but with fewer switches. 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.
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. The four-wheel drive ‘4’ models are far easier to drive in the wet, but do cost a fair bit more than the standard cars. All cars come with a seven-speed manual gearbox as standard, but Porsche also offers an excellent seven-speed automatic gearbox, with steering wheel-mounted paddles, priced at around £2,400.
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. 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 Panamera.
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 cabin. Taking inspiration from the Porsche Panamera, the new dashboard layout is easy to use, all the switches and controls are also very high quality. 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.
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. Nevertheless, despite the lack of luggage space, and considering its sporting credentials, the 911 still offers enough practicality to be used on a daily basis.
Value for money
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.
Capable of returning 34.4mpg and emitting 194g/km of CO2 (incurring £245 of UK road tax) in Carrera PDK form, the latest 911 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. Compared to rivals like the V8-engined Jaguar XK, the 911 carries significantly lower running costs.