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992 Carrera S

The 2020 Porsche 992 Carrera S Is Quick But Isn’t Much Of A Track Star

Give a car to Steve Sutcliffe and he’s bound to flog it within an inch of its life. He extracts every iota of performance from the car, and in addition to giving a good thrashing, gives it a fair judgement. For that reason, he’s one of the best. How many journalists can run times similar to an F1 test driver in that test driver’s regular F1 car?

Of course, he prefaces his critique of the 992 Carrera S with the acknowledgement that it’s first and foremost a road car, and not a racing car. That said, it does wear an S on its rear hatch, which holds it to certain expectations.

The front end is reminiscent of the 959’s, isn’t it?

It has to be said that, as a car optimized for road usage, it’s a success. More power, 391 lb/ft of torque from 1,900 revs, and an exquisite exterior make it a hit. However, its added heft make it a less involving car. Add a small amount of girth, and it’s immediately noticeable on road or track; the car is just not as placeable.

Still, it managed a 1:16.00 around Anglesey, which is nothing to sniff at. Considerably quicker than the 991 Carrera S, and even faster than a Nissan GT-R, there’s no denying its pace. Only being 0.8 of a second off a 991.1 Turbo, especially at a circuit that rewards the punchier motors, speaks to the power this mid-tier 911 offers. It’s a staggering amount of performance for a car that isn’t truly made with the track in mind, and as civil as any two-door Porsche on the market.

Still, Sutcliffe is underwhelmed. Noticeable heft, a less incisive front, and a less characterful motor make it « quick with a lower-case q. » While his standards for track performance probably exceed most owners’, it’s still refreshing to hear a blunt, reasoned, and fair take on a car that will undoubtedly stretch a smile across the face of 95% of its users.

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What Is The New 992 Like To Drive? Ask Chris Harris

There are very few people who have driven the newest version of Porsche’s iconic 911. One of those lucky few is Top Gear host Chris Harris. He’s been an incredible car reviewer for as long as I can remember, and his is an opinion worth trusting. When you give him the keys to a new 911, he’s going to hang the rear end out a bit and tell you the hard facts of how it compares to the competition.

While a track test isn’t going to do much for on road feeling, as roads tend to be considerably bumpier and unforgiving than race tracks, it’s encouraging that Harris is still impressed with the new 911’s handling and dynamics. It’s bigger, heavier, more powerful, and allegedly better on fuel, but is it better? Well, it’s nicer. The interior seems to be an improvement still over the 991 while providing a throwback to prior generations of 911.

The car is really fast, but it doesn’t bristle quite the way an older 911 did. It’s still a sports car, says Harris, but it’s too comfortable and competent to really inspire. It’s not a revolution, but a sensible and clever evolution. All of that might seem like a big negative, but in Harris’ eyes it’s a nice piece of kit. I think it looks properly good in Speed Yellow, too.

Complaints? The cupholder is ugly and hardly useful. The door handles are fiddly little pop-out deals. The engine is, as before, hidden under a couple of fans and a plastic cover. And, despite being a brand new 8-speed PDK, the gearbox is « a little lackluster » compared to the unit in a last-gen GT3. If you can live with that, the new 911 might be a really good choice.

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