Every now and then, a brand new Porsche 911 comes around and sparks a breath of fresh air to the automotive world. A new 911 is never a completely brand new car because the philosophy of the vehicle remains unchanged since 1964. It’s always been small incremental changes that makes this rear engined sports car just a tad bit more delectable than it ever was before.
I’ll always consider a new 911 as a reincarnation of the old. Just new and improved. Porsche themselves know that we enthusiasts never truly want a radical change in cars anyway. Our tastebuds lust after the exact same thing, however improved in areas such as comfort, drivability, and maybe a tad bit more too in terms of performance. But stepping into the new 992 generation nine-eleven feels like a whole different realm.
On the aesthetics, at least it still looks like a typical Porsche 911. You get the sloping roofline, you get the family large hanging butt and round shaped headlights. Zuffenhausen learned their hard lesson with the unloved 996 when they went a little too experimental, and they fixed that with the 997 which was, I think, the best generation 911 there ever has been till today. But every generation since has grown exponentially large that the whole car that once felt miniature, now feels like a huge GT cruiser.
When you step into the 992, other than the whole size of the thing, what you immediately notice is how modern yet simplistic the cabin is. Everything is digital now in the new 911 and that includes the iconic 5-dial cluster setup that is attuned to all 911s since day one. But in the 992 the adaptation of modern elements may feel a little extreme for the purist, however still a pleasant and simplistic place to spend a lot of time in.
The 992 on the outset looks much larger than the 991, but the growth spurt is only 40mm wider and 20mm longer. However due to the squarish curvature of the 992’s front bonnet line it makes the car look bigger overall. But that small increase really truly makes a big difference in feel inside the cabin. It’s bigger, with much more space to move around in the car for both the driver and passenger.
And with the width also comes the whole sculpture of the interior which is so pleasant to be in, yet so perfectly 911. Depending on preference, you have a lot of adjustability from behind the wheel. As a driver you get to sit pretty low, the steering can come right at you for that perfect control. That alone gives the opportunity for you to find the best kind of adjustment, for just about any driver. Many things come pretty standard these days – like electric memory seats, a good sound system and the addition of Apple Carplay as standard gives the car that edge that every modern 911 driver needs as a daily-able sportscar. Personally however, I’m more interested in the Sports Exhaust button which is sadly optional.
For starters, I think the 992 is an amazing machine for what it stands for. Even before driving it I already had this inclination that being a 911, it has its own magic on the wheel and without even driving it you can already have a pre-empted thought in your mind of what a 911 is like as a driving machine. The thing that many non-911 enthusiasts never understood is that the 911 platform is based on an imperfect ideology that has been perfected over time.
The 911 platform has well acquainted characteristics that make it quintessentially nine-eleven. With the engine on the rear, the feel of the steering is always a crucial part of the car. The way the traction builds through corners with throttle input, the way the steering goes light mid-corner on load, and how you can easily get the weight shifted around. It’s all the character and charm of driving a Porsche 911.
With the 992, for starters the steering is now well, properly weighted. With the shift to an EPS system in the 991, Porsche has had a whole generation to work on finding the perfect balance of feedback on the wheel. Many purists nitpicked on the shift to the electronic steering, but I’m happy to report that this isn’t really a worry. In fact, even in the 991 generation the steering felt pretty tort.
I think the 992 generation 911 has taken more of a GT-like credentials with the way the whole car is now set up. Being a bigger car, the whole package feels softer and more comfortable. The whole car feels grown-up overall and I personally think that maybe it has lost a bit of the 911 drive focus thanks to all the electronic gizmos like the lane assist system and the likes that are fitted into the car. The whole thing feels like a superb place to be in, especially if you’re looking for something to drive everyday or even take on a long journey over a weekend.
Underneath the rather small rear engine cover, is just some fan. But behind all that sits a 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six power unit that came from the 991.2 generation, however improved now with 444bhp and 530Nm with a power band accessible all the way through. What’s new on the 992 though is the 8-speed PDK gearbox, taking a step up from the old 7-speed PDK in the last generation. Is it better? – Truly, you don’t really notice if the ratios are much shorter with an extra gear, but you can truly understand that the additional gear gives the 992 a chance to be efficient on a long-journey cruise. It’s efficient yet delivers all the performance you need. Naught-to-sixty in just 3.5 seconds and will keep accelerating to a top speed of 306km/h.
That’s just biblical. And I say that because once upon a time, that acceleration figure was only seen on the top end 997.2 Turbo S. With everything turbocharged these days, a car’s straight line performance is so expandable in many ways. And I’m sure as well some company out there will definitely be able to unlock another 100bhp from that flat-six with a new uploaded tune and some free-flowing exhaust headers.
Over the years, the 911’s platform has been growing so much that it’s easy to lose track of the original ideology that Porsche always wanted. I think the brand has gone overboard in making the 992 generation so competent, that it is now too well-sorted and perfectly easy to drive on the road. The performance on the 992 is so accessible, that I think anyone can get into it and drive it fast. Something not so straightforward on older generation 911s.
I think the 992 is a brilliant sports car. It serves so much purpose, beyond just being a 911. It’s comfortable, competent, practical and with every said and done, delivers a great drive at the end of a journey. But because it’s brilliant in every possible way, it has also lost the essence of being a Porsche 911. Is that a bad thing though?
Perhaps not. This obviously shows progress not just in terms of performance, but also the way a 911 has grown over the years and how the brand positions it today. Where the price point now is at for the 992, I think the 911 Carrera S is not the car for the same market it was made for 10 years ago. Today, a brand new Carrera 2S will set your back RM1.15 million which is over RM200k more than the outgoing 991.2 Carrera 2S. And of course, this same value now is also the same price a 997 generation Turbo was 10 years ago.
The new 992 generation Carrera S isn’t for the 911 enthusiasts anymore. I believe it is made for people can jump in and experience the whole idea and concept of a Porsche 911, especially for first time buyers. Porsche knows this too, because Porschephiles won’t be buying a standard Carrera model anymore. They’re all anticipating to only jump into the more desirable, more driver focused GT-product.
So, if you’re looking for a brilliant sports car to drive, then the 992 generation Carrera S is a perfect choice that will tick all your checklist boxes. But if you’re looking for a 911, then maybe a previous generation 991.2 GT3 will be more up your stream. Or hey, perhaps you should get on board the new upcoming 992 generation GT3 for 2022 delivery!
Check out our review video of the 992 on our YouTube channel!
Written By | Qhalis Najmi