Porsche 911 coupe performance
Both the Carrera S and 4S deliver crushing straight-line pace; the former hitting 62mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds and the latter in just 3.2. But more impressive than that initial hit of acceleration is the way the 992 keeps building speed when it’s up and running. With peak torque (391lb ft to be precise) arriving at just 2300rpm, you could be mistaken for assuming this is a car that doesn’t like to be revved. However, unlike how so many modern turbocharged engines run out of puff higher up in the rev range, the 992’s twin-turbocharged flat-six engine feels utterly relentless all the way to its relatively heady 7500rpm redline.
It’s so quick, in fact, that you quickly become grateful for Porsche’s new eight-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, which responds so impeccably smoothly and quickly on both upshifts and downshifts that the car never feels unbalanced, even if you happen to change gear mid corner. It really is in another league compared to traditional auto ‘boxes such as the one found in Aston Martin’s latest Vantage.
Porsche 911 coupe ride
As standard, both the Carrera S and Carrera 4S come with a rather unusual staggered wheel set-up, with 20in wheels at the front and massive 21 in wheels at the rear. Surprisingly, despite the large wheels, the electronically controlled dampers that come as standard do an impressive job of cushioning you from battered road surfaces – as long as you avoid the firmer Sport setting.
True, big ridges or bumps will still unsettle the ride, but for such a focused car the 911 is surprisingly comfortable. Confronted by a series of challenging crests and dips, it remains remarkably flat and stable, whereas many rivals would throw you around in your seat.
This is even more impressive when you consider we have so far only driven the latest 911 with the optional sport ‘chassis’, which drops the ride height by a further 10mm.
Porsche 911 coupe handling
Where the 911 really stands out from the competition is through the bends. With beautifully weighted steering that’s both communicative and linear in its responses, you can can push the 911 right up to its limits of adhesion with utter confidence – something that can’t be said about the Vantage or Mercedes-AMG GT. And with electronically controlled dampers fitted as standard, body control is simply exceptional; it’s supple enough to deal with sudden crests and compressions, but firm enough that body lean is virtually non existent.
However, keener drivers will find the rear-wheel drive Carrera S a fractionally more engaging steer; its steering is that little bit smoother and more consistent for being unburdened by having to transmit power to the ground. The S is also that little bit more animated in its movements when you’re pushing on, as it doesn’t have the front wheels trying to pull you out of the corner every time you get on power.
Porsche 911 coupe refinement
For all its dynamic ability, the 911 isn’t the most refined choice for covering lots of miles. The wide tyres create a lot of noise over coarse surfaces, although wind and engine noise are both relatively well suppressed.
Versions with the PDK automatic gearbox rifle through the gears quickly in normal mode, keeping the revs down and the engine hushed. Engage Sport mode, though, and the 'box will kick down a gear at the merest hint of pressure on the accelerator.
Similarly, cars fitted with the optional sports exhaust make a full-blooded and thrilling noise when you put your foot down. Alternatively, for those moments when you’re not in the mood, you can switch this feature off to ensure that the engine never gets too boomy or intrusive.