Porsche 911 coupe
The latest 992-generation Porsche 911 is the best yet; fast, fun and hugely capable
- Fantastic performance
- Huge fun to drive
- Decent economy for a luxury sports car
- High list price
- Expensive options
- Updated styling not to all tastes
The Porsche 911 is the flagship model in the German manufacturer’s range and is perhaps the most well-known sports car on sale today. The current model, referred to by enthusiasts as the ‘992’, is the latest evolution of a car whose recipe has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years – its rear-mounted six-cylinder engine, great performance and genuine everyday usability are as important now as they were in the 1960s.
Today’s model represents a meaningful step forward from the 991-generation, which was first introduced in 2011. Based on new modular underpinnings that will allow for electrification, the latest car also gets a refreshed engine, a new interior packed with technology and styling that’s modern yet still faithful to the model’s impressive heritage.
The Porsche 911 coupe is available in five main trim levels; Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera S, Carrera 4S and flagship Turbo S. The 911 Carrera coupe is the starting point of the range, using a 380bhp 3.0-litre flat-six petrol engine with rear-wheel drive. The Carrera 4 has the same power output but four-wheel drive. Even with its entry-level billing, the 911 Carrera can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, with the Carrera 4 taking 4.4 seconds. It’s also the most economical model of the 911, returning up to 28.5mpg.
The Carrera S and four-wheel drive Carrera 4S are both powered by a 444bhp version of the same twin-turbo flat-six petrol engine; the Carrera S manages 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, while the Carrera 4S is a tenth faster at 3.6 seconds. Economy is quoted at up to 28mpg for the Carrera S and 27.7mpg for the Carrera 4S, with CO2 emissions ranging from 229g/km to 253g/km for both cars.
As the range-topping model, the Turbo S is the most powerful 911. It has a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre litre petrol engine producing 641bhp. This means it can sprint from 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds, with a top speed of 205mph putting it on a level billing with supercars like the McLaren 720S and Ford GT coupe.
Porsche also offers a soft-top 911 Cabriolet, which we've reviewed separately.
As should be expected, the Porsche 911 is fantastic to drive. The engine has plenty of power at low revs, while the excellent new eight-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox offers near-instantaneous gearchanges via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Buyers can choose a seven-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option. It can only be specced on Carrera S and 4S cars, and comes with the Sport Chrono Package as standard.
In corners, the 911’s quick, responsive and communicative steering inspires confidence, as does its excellent chassis, especially when fitted with optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Testing the car on track, we found that the 911 felt genuinely and effortlessly fast – impressive given that even high-performance road cars can so often feel slow in such a setting.
On British tarmac, the 911 feels amazingly composed, even when faced with awkward cambers, deep ridges and potholes, which it shrugs off with ease. Its 'Wet' driving mode will also be useful on soaked roads, giving the rear-wheel-drive Carrera S almost as much traction as the four-wheel-drive 4S.
The Porsche 911’s interior is fitting of a car with a starting price north of £80k. There’s huge scope for personalisation, with a number of leather and trim colour options, while build and material quality are excellent. Porsche’s latest infotainment system dominates the otherwise minimalist dashboard and is easy to use, boasting Apple CarPlay, DAB radio, sat nav and Porsche Connect Plus app support as standard. A 132-litre luggage area is located under the bonnet and there’s space behind the front seats if the rears aren’t occupied – the 911 isn’t the last word in practicality, but it’s still usable every day.
The Porsche 911 has a history of sitting at the very top of its class and the newest model is no exception. Rivals like the Audi R8 and Jaguar F-Type may be more exciting to look at or cheaper to buy respectively, but the 911 is a highly evolved, high-quality product that thrills its driver like no other, all while offering space for two and their luggage.
For a more detailed look at the Porsche 911, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.