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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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N’achetez pas la nouvelle Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Ne commettez pas l’erreur d’acheter la nouvelle Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Pourquoi ? Tout simplement parce qu’il serait proprement stupide de ne pas se contenter de la Carrera S. Même si vous ne faites pas partie des adorateurs de Porsche, la découverte de la dernière mouture de cette éternelle GT allemande dans un cadre aussi […]

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Comparing the 992 Carrera S Against a Rawer Rival

While its undoubtedly true the latest iterations of the Carrera have softened their image, expanded their midsection, and grown more commercially appealing, they still retain a level of performance that wows the enthusiast. Especially when considering the gains brought by modern turbocharging and PDK gearboxes, there’s not much the typical user is left wanting for—at least in terms of straightline speed.

However, at what price do the electric steering, heavier transmissions, forced induction come? To get a better sense of the tactile, visceral losses caused by modern technology, Henry Catchpole staged the 992 Carrera S against another European 2+2 with comparable power, price, and weight.

Its rawer rival is the Lotus Evora GT410 Sport, and simply by posing the two cars beside one another, we see how their designs speak volumes. In comparison, the Evora looks like a child’s plaything, whereas the Carrera S is a subdued, sophisticated sports cruiser. Perhaps it’s just the shade of Smurf blue adorning the Lotus’ hide which causes that perception, but the dated interior doesn’t help that view much.

Looks aside, what we’re truly concerned with is that elusive trait of connection. With that occasionally irritating but always informative feedback through the wheel, the Evora’s steering feel bests the subdued and smoothened electric steering in the 992. There’s simply more information coming from the front axle.

Additionally, the V6’s bark barges into the Evora’s cabin in a way that the Porsche’s softer note sneaks into its cabin. Though musical, the Porsche’s muffled exhaust note fails to give it the same sense of occasion.

The 450-pound difference between the two makes the Lotus a much more wieldy car on narrow country roads; there’s no escaping weight. It’s clear that liveliness seems to come with some setbacks, especially in this price range. That’s quite interesting considering both cars, at 73″, are equally wide—and that the Evora has a longer wheelbase. There really is no escaping heft.

Though as quick, it lacks the some level of involvement that makes its blue rival so appealing.

While the plush Porsche is a better car for most, and is by no means a Panamera in athletic garb, it has undoubtedly lost something. The pared-down, straightforward, honest car that made its predecessors such involving cars is still very much alive in the Evora. The tinny, shed-built brawlers like the Lotus are such stimulating driver’s cars largely because their focus is on connection, and not mass consumer appeal. While the Porsche might be as fast if not faster over a stretch of country road, the Evora is the one that will leave its user buzzing.

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Test drive Porsche 992 Carrera S: un essai au sommet

Essayer une Porsche 911 est toujours une invitation qui ne se refuse jamais mais tellement stressant parce qu’une 911 ça ne se conduit pas, ça se respecte, ça se pilote surtout. Alors, malgré mon expérience, c’est avec une certaine appréhension que nous nous sommes rendus au centre Porsche Annecy pour prendre le volant de la …

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2019 Porsche 992 Carrera S vs 4S first drive review

We’ve been here before, right? A new 911, which among our fraternity will forever be known as the 992. In Porsche’s model line there’s nothing more significant, even if today 911 sales are a mere support act to the SUV bottom line. Simply put, the 911 remains the company’s icon, the car that defines the firm. The 911 represents success on road and track, a million-selling sports car that’s instantly recognisable; unique in the automotive world.

Which is why replacing it is about as difficult a task as Porsche has. Time doesn’t stand still though, and the 911 has to evolve to work in the world it finds itself in. That evolution has unquestionably allowed it to endure and succeed, but the transitional points in its lifecycle will always be significant and debated ad-infinitum among drivers and the likes of me in titles like this.

The 911 matters to people then, more so than any other car. It doesn’t actually seem like that long ago I was reviewing the then new 991, or indeed 991.2; in the time since they’ve gone on to become the 911, after the usual difficult transition period where everyone is looking dewy-eyed about the outgoing model. I’ll do that now, the Carrera T manual that I’d borrowed off the UK press fleet in anticipation of driving the new 992 feeling pretty much perfect to me. That 991 should be good though, it being at the end of its development cycle.

Everything learned from that and more has been adopted here with the 992. There are two of them here today, a Carrera S and Carrera 4S. They are, as all will be until the standard Carrera arrives later this year, PDK, and pulling the right paddle shifter here can now be done eight times. “They’re the same,” is the reply when I request that both cars feature in the same shot.

Visually, that’s true; the Carrera S and Carrera 4S are identical, even more so when they’re painted the same Racing yellow. The only clue to the 4S’s additional drive is the badge on its backside. Choose the model delete option, or better still the simple 911 numbering, and you’d not know it’s a four, Porsche’s decision to make all Carreras widebody removing that go-to identifier of drive. It’s big, this new 911, as wide as the outgoing GTS and GT3, a bit longer and taller, as well as heavier. We’ll get to that later.

The dynamics engineers certainly weren’t complaining when the decision to go widebody was made. You might think that it was the chassis engineers that dictated it, but the 992’s a widebody for different reasons, key among them being the cooling. The 992’s 3.0-litre twin turbo flat-six has to pass ever-tighter laws for economy and emissions, and an efficient turbo engine is a cool one. That defines not just the physicality of the 911’s shape, but the large cooling intakes fed by active vanes at the 992’s nose. Here, now, in natural light and in the pitlane of the Hockenheimring, I have to say it looks good. It’s unmistakably 911, as it should be, design boss Mauer’s team having dipped into the 911’s past to bring it forward. From the cut-out recess on the bonnet to the SC-aping font for the rear 911 badging, via the large headlights sitting upright (cut exclusively out of the wings rather than puncturing the bumper), there’s no mistaking its lineage.

That expansive rear is spanned by an LED strip light across its entire width, the slightly recessed lighting and three-dimensional Porsche badge across the back leaving you in no doubt that you’re following a 911. The pop-up rear wing that aids stability now also acts as an airbrake when stopping from speed. It’s better integrated than that on the 991, but is still arguably an inelegant if undeniably effective solution to the 911’s aerodynamic Achilles heel. It’s the other pop-out element to the new 911 that’s causing the most debate here today; the door handles. They look neat, but their operation isn’t perfect, feeling insubstantial and not always popping out to greet you. That you have to lift and pull rather than simply grab counts against them too. A small thing, perhaps, but they feel like the answer to a question nobody asked, particularly in comparison to those on a 991.

Once inside, this is clearly a 911 for a new era. The quality takes a leap, the build feeling substantial, the materials, too. It’s an attractive cabin, the centre dash coming with a near 11-inch screen containing all the info and entertainment functions. It’s a touchscreen, adding connectivity and configurability to your nav and entertainment that you probably never knew you wanted or, arguably, needed. Choose the Sport Chrono and you’ll be able to select the driving modes…

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