The Porsche 911 is the definition of a usable sports car. It’s devastatingly quick but also easy to live with everyday just so long as you don’t need proper rear seats
This is the eighth generation of the Porsche 911, which first went on sale back in 1963.
It’s all-new, built to be easier to live with and – more importantly – to be even quicker than the car it replaces. The latest evolution of the company’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-six engine has that particular requirement covered.
Revised turbos and a host of other revisions mean the Carrera S – the only 911 available from launch – now produces 450hp (30hp up on the old model). It’ll get from 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds and crack 190mph, while it’s wide powerband means you always have oomph when you need it.
The way the Porsche 911 deals with corners is as impressive as its performance in a straight line. The powerful brakes give you bags of confidence to barrel into bends, cornering grip in the dry is almost infinite and, even when it does eventually run out, you get fair warning because the steering feels hard-wired to the front tyres.
But the 911 is just as good at rolling up its sleeves and getting to work on the dirty business that is normal driving. On the motorway it’s a quiet cruiser, has plenty of standard safety kit and is available with autonomous driving aids that pretty much do your job for you.
The excellent forward visibility that helps you place the 911 perfectly in bends pays dividends in town when you’re inching through width restrictors. It’s even a piece of cake to park thanks to the large back window and standard high-definition rear-view camera. It’s this all-round ability that marks the Porsche out from uncompromising sports cars from the likes of Ferrari.
The Porsche 911 could give Darwin a lesson in perfect evolution
The Porsche’s interior might not look quite as exotic as a Ferrari’s but it feels miles better built and comes with no less than three infotainment screens that include a sat-nav system that’s as good as you’ll find in the best executive saloons from BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Infact, the infotainment screens are used for most of the car’s controls – you only get nine physical buttons on the top half of the dash – leaving the way clear for a flash of trim that runs the width of the car. Leather upholstery comes as standard (you can extend it onto the rest of the interior at extra cost) and a wide range of interior colour options make it possible to have a 911 with its own unique feel.
It’s even hard to find fault with the space you get inside. Up front, there’s loads of room even if you’re a towering giant and the range of adjustment offered by the seat and the steering wheel lets you get all controls exactly how you want them. Admittedly, only small kids will be happy in the back but then alternatives like the Ferrari 488 and Audi R8 have no rear seats at all. Even the Porsche’s boot has enough room to cram in a few days’ worth of luggage.
And that pretty much summarises what’s good about this 911. It might be an entirely different car to the original model but what hasn’t changed – its ability to fit your life, rather than you fitting around it – is the reason why you can expect this car to be as popular as every generation that came before it.