An article by Porscheist
When Porsche introduces a new model of the 911 series it is always something very special, because the 911 is nothing less than the holy grail of the brand.
No other model has marked Porsche so much and no other embodies the essence of the brand more. It is hardly surprising so, that enthusiasts appraise of any changes like hawks and respond with the greatest skepticism on innovations first. Although it is only a facelift to the latest model - intern also better known as the 991.2 - it's nothing less than a small revolution, taking place this time. Roughly the same size of change, which took place with the model change in 1999, when Porsche passed from a purely air-cooled boxer engine and changed to a water cooled engine within the 996 model. Also the new 911 is still powered by a water-cooled six-cylinder boxer engine - located in the rear of course - but it has a capacity of only 3.0 litres now and is ventilated by two turbos. Porsche thus breaks with two taboos at the same time.
On the one hand, turbocharger had always been reserved for the highest performing 'Turbo' models only and on the other hand, a turbocharged engine is still fraught with prejudice for real racers. But in times of increasing environmental concerns, also a sports car manufacturer like Porsche is forced to reduce its fleet consumption and CO2 emissions permanently. So, from now on you will find a 3.0 litre engine in the rear of the current series, instead of the previous 3. 4 litre 'Carrera' engine and a 3.8 litre version in the stronger 'Carrera S'. The only difference between the standard 'Carrera' and the 'S Version', are different turbochargers today. Nevertheless, Porsche promises more performance and driving pleasure combined with reduced fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions of course.
Whether the new 'Turbo' Carrera can hold what Porsche promises?
We tested the new 911 in a direct comparison with its predecessor!
It is a dreary Wednesday morning. Gloomy clouds hang low in the country and reflect in the impeccable metallic paint of our two test cars. The thermometer shows only slightly above zero degrees. Actually far too little to bring the sport tires up to operating temperature, so we take the time to assess our two test cars in detail. Right away a modified front spoiler and modified rear lights fall forward to the new. The strips of LED daytime running lights have become significantly narrower, whereby the front end looks more aggressive and broader. The rear lights now adorns a three-dimensional structure, similar to the one already known from the 'Macan' models. The slats of the rear ventilation grille now extend vertical and are painted in contrasting colours. Here the new 3.o liter engine suck the air for the ventilation of the two intercoolers. The air escapes afterwards through small holes, mounted directly behind the rear wheels.
In the interior only small
changes become noticeable. The dashboard now adorns a new steering
wheel, which is strongly reminiscent of the super sports car '918 Spyder'. It is a little smaller
and lies a bit better in the hand than its predecessor. In addition
with the Sport Chrono Package, you can get a so-called "Mode Switch" now. Similar to Ferraris famous "Manettino" different
driving driving modes can be changed via a small cog, directly on the steering wheel now. In the previous car, Mode changes happened via push buttons on the center console exclusively.
You can choose between Normal-, Sport-, SportPlus- and an Individual Mode now. In our test car this detail was waived unfortunately.
Also the Infotainment system has been improved
now. It adorns a larger touch screen
and comes up with all sorts of new features, so that technology geeks should be satisfied now too. But we are not really
interested in all that stuff. To us a Porsche 911 should still be a driver's toy! Gradually our toes freeze now. So it is time to get in the cars and finally hit the road.
After some leisurely road kilometers through the foothills of the Alps, our two test cars reach its operating temperature of 90 degrees and we can find a few suitable switchbacks. Time to test
the new engine and modified chassis setup to their paces. Vigorously
the new 'Carrera' is pushing the driver in the seat even at low speeds. Unlike its predecessor with a 3.8 liter naturally aspirated, its full torque of 500Nm is fully available at 3.000r/min
already now. 60Nm more torque than the old one! - The influence
is apparent and thus it is more comfortable in everyday life especially. Also in spontaneous overtaking on country roads, the new engine clearly has its virtues. The previous 3.8 engine acts hardly weaker,
but it needs more revs to produce the full power
it requires spontaneous downshifting more often. It builds up its performance more continuous, on what is likely to be more adventurous on racetracks especially. If you want to increase speed from corner to corner, always looking for the optimum performance, the naturally aspirated engine seems to be far more controllable. For this it was built and with every downshift, it rewards us with the typical sawed Boxer sound, which merges into a screech towards the end of the speed range! - Just lovely. The new One cannot quite keep up with that sound, despite its two powerful looking, widely spaced tailpipes. Certainly the 991.2 still sounds like a true sports car and comments switching operations with a neat pop and babble, but unfortunately its pitch is fare more subdued now. So, if you can't live without the unbridled sound of a sonorous sawed Boxer engine, you will have to choose one of the GT variants in future. According to Porsche, the GT3 variants will continue to be powered by naturally aspirated engines only.
Concerning suspension, Porsche has now done the spread between comfort and racetrack even better again. Bumps swallows the new scion almost as confidently as a luxury sedan. Just another proof for the hardcore fans, that Porsche has finally rinsed the 911 too soft. However, just one touch of a button is enough to turn the tame kitten into a full-grown tiger! - Suspending bumps soft as a litter, the tires bite in the asphalt now almost like a race car. Curves are driven through at crazy speed, without the vehicle tending even a millimeter aside and long straits suddenly appear quite short. The laws of physics seem levered and one always wonders who probably leaves at first. The courage, the own abilities or the adhesive forces. However, this question can solely be answered on a dedicated circuit.
No doubt! - In everyday life, the Porsche 911 still belongs to the fastest cars you can meet on public
More than ever, Porsche gets the balance between daily usability and a genuine sports car pointed out even better, with their new 991 Version. It impresses with more power, in all situations of daily life. Nevertheless, at moderate driving - to which a Porsche not necessarily misleads, of course - it needs a half litre of petrol less than its predecessor. For this it is finally on the latest state of technology now, concerning the Infotainment. A drawback however remains.
The Sound. We will have to say goodbye to the free trumpeting fanfares of a Porsche Boxer engine more and more unfortunately. Also a manufacturer like Porsche cannot refuse to go with changing times, concerning a growing environmental awareness and stricter CO2 emissions. Furthermore you can mourn - as this will certainly do one or the other cast iron - but you don't have to. Even the current model has become a real and worthy recipient of the title of nobility - Porsche Nine-Eleven - again.
PS: A big THANK YOU to the Porsche Zentrum Inntal for the disposal of our test cars!