► Porsche 992 ride
► More tech, but more aggression too
► Coming Feb 2019
After months of spyshots and rumours, Porsche has let us in the new 911 (992). Although we had to settle for the passenger seat this time round, we’ve been able to learn a lot about Porsche’s forthcoming sports car – and it’s shaping up to be a more aggressive, yet useable 911. And it’s using technology to do it.
The new 911 (992) exterior
Just as our spyshots have shown, the 992 is a conservative redesign – even for Porsche. All the traditional cues are there again in full force, but small details like the contrasting black bumper inserts front and rear – as seen in our spyshots – wider rims and a fancier three-part pop-up rear wing are noticeable. And more thing; as is sadly en vogue these days, the taillights have gone full-width for no real reason at all.
The revised aero package neutralizes lift, the new car is 20mm longer and up to 40mm broader. It would have been nice to keep the kerb weight where it was, but at the end of the day all those mod cons and the beefier footwear added 20kg to the tally. The no-surprise proportions are highlighted by dashes of innovation like trick lights and visibly different brake systems.
Just like the exterior, you’ll find the 992’s interior is familiar, but in fact a quite sophisticated brand-new design. The main 911 furniture is present though; a peep over to the driver’s side reveals the central rev counter still swings an analogue needle, and you must again insert and turn a key to switch on the ignition.
But the digitisation hasn’t been fought off completely; four of the five round dials are now digital, colourful, freely programmable and quite complex. A large rectangular display sits high in the centre-console, and just like the Cayenne and Panamera it features zoom, scroll and swipe functionality.
How fast will it be? Specs and performance numbers please!
The 992 can initially only be ordered as Carrera 2 and Carrera 2S. Marketing played long and hard with the positioning of the two models, eventually rating the lesser 3.0-litre engine at 377bhp, not 394bhp as we initially expected. The S is good for 444bhp. The twin-turbo unit is redlined at 7500rpm, maximum torque is a healthy 406ft lbs, and the consumption is claimed not to have gone up, despite the addition of an energy-sapping particulate filter for the stricter WLTP standard.
Performance? With launch control activated, the PDK version can accelerate in a brisk 3.7sec from 0-62mph. The top speed is 192mph, which should be plenty for most occasions. In a nutshell, the new Carrera S performs neck-on-neck with the outgoing unfiltered GTS.
What’s the ride like?
From the passenger seat, there’s a sense of the boost in power and torque, followed by a more muffled exhaust note than you’d expect. At first, it feels more cruiser than bruiser – but five settings and two chassis setups seem to sort that out.
They are labelled Wet, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. Gone are the direct access buttons next to the gear lever, so every single menu and submenu needs to be opened via the main display – not a setup over the steering-mounted rotary system.
Another issue that did not go away concerns the tuning of the PDK 'box, which is in normal mode a CO2-driven sleeping pill. In Sport and Sport plus, however, high-revving hooliganisms are once more the name of the overly hectic game. When the car is sitting at the traffic lights, flooring the throttle sees revs capped at 3500rpm sharp. Sour!
New Porsche 911 (992): verdict
The 911 is awash with tech, but from the passenger seat at least it looks like Porsche has directed the new technology for good. The new 992 is more compliant, techier and easier on the CO2 regs – but skip through a handful of menus and it’s arguably more aggressive than the car before. Cruiser or bruiser? Swipe left or right.