► Lease a Porsche 911 Carrera S from £852
► Here's four reasons why you should
► Part of CAR's guide to 2016's top lease deals
1) No sports car drives better
Contrary to popular opinion, Porsche did not put the 911’s engine in the wrong place. Instead, the arse-mounted flat-six lays the foundations for dynamic perfection, endowing Porsche’s icon with exceptional traction, and helping the front end pivot into bends like a kid swinging round a lamppost. The rest of the 911 driving experience is equally polished: you twist the fast and accurate three-spoke wheel without shifting hands from quarter-to-three, the pedals have deliciously tactile and intuitive weighting, and the powertrain zings with mechanical precision; even the optional PDK paddleshifters can’t diminish the sense of interactivity.
It might have grown in recent years, it might be more comfortable than ever, but the 911 remains the benchmark sports car. Make ours a manual with sports suspension and rear-wheel steering, please.
2) You can pass it off as practical
You don’t buy a sports car because it’s sensible, but once the lustful honeymoon period has fizzled, the 911’s versatility worms its way into your affections like a hot dinner after a hard day’s work: the suspension is as plush as the excellent seats, it’s as happy carting the shopping as pounding Silverstone, you’ve got a chance of breaking 30mpg, servicing is every 20,000 miles or two years, and it probably won’t explode if you ping it off the limiter all day. And then Porsche plays its joker: you can get kids in the back. The +2 seats might be small, but for many they’ll transform a sports car into a viable second family car. The best bit? None of this detracts from the 911’s driver-centric focus.
3) The flat-six is the stuff of legend
The bad news is that Porsche has finally ditched its naturally aspirated Carrera flat-sixes. Natural aspiration’s only refuge now is the GT3 models, leaving Carrera and Carrera S to downsize to 3.0-litre twin-turbo engines. Some of the old 3.4- and 3.8-litre engines’ howling character and instant low-down response has been sacrificed in the transition, but the new motor still sounds great – we suspect our test car’s optional sports exhaust was crucial.
It also demolishes the old car’s mid-range and gives you a huge hit of extra torque so you can play with that stubbornly sticky rear end. It loves to rev, too; unlike the top-of-the-range Turbo models, the newly turbo’d Carreras have a more linear lunge to the redline, which doesn’t cut the fun until gone 7000rpm. It’s a different kind of flat-six, but it’s still one of the best ways to mix fuel and air.
4) You can fly under the radar
Life can be tough for supercar owners: taps on the window when you park, demands that you rev the engine or do a burnout, people constantly filming on smartphones. The 911 is almost as exciting to drive as a supercar, but its instantly recognisable silhouette is familiar enough to draw admiration without standing out like a bright pink sore thumb. It means you’ll be left alone to concentrate on one of the sweetest driving experiences ever crafted.
One we found
Finance type: Manufacturer PCP
Monthly fee: £852.79
Terms: 35 months /10,000 miles per year
Optional final payment: £46,542
The specs: Porsche 911 Carrera S
Engine: 2981cc turbo flat-six, 414bhp @ 6500rpm, 369lb ft @1700-5000rpm
Performance: 4.3sec 0-62mph, 191mph, 32.5mpg, 199g/km CO2
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Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine