THE LATEST 911 IS YET ANOTHER EVOLUTIONARY UPGRADE, DESPITE BEING 80 PER CENT NEW, BRINGING MORE POWER, PRECISION AND PACE. WE CHECK OUT THE CARRERA S. IS IT THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE HIGH-END SPORTS CAR AVAILABLE?
Is this eight-generation Porsche 911 (992 designation) the most affordably unaffordable sports car available on the planet at present? Could be. At a little under one-quarter of a million dollars, before options, it certainly doesn’t go for chump change but it comes so close to what the exotically expensive supersports cars offer that potential buyers will find it hard to overlook.
For it achieves most of what’s achievable in a performance sense for about two-thirds of the ask; in other words, it’s a bargain in its rarified area. Moreover, it blitzes the field in one particular facet of performance we measure. The eighth generation of the 911 has just dropped 56 years after the original launched.
Each generation has gotten quicker, more sophisticated, easier to manage on fast roads, and increasingly more fuel efficient and cleaner running. There’s even talk of a hybrid 911 arriving by 2022 but no 911 EV is on the horizon. The latest one we’ve been driving, the 911 Carrera S, isn’t bad on fuel use anyway, easily getting into single figures using optional adaptive cruise control (nearly $4k, ouch), and seldom getting out of the teens when pushed harder on the open road. Porsche reckons on 8.9 average.
Given how hard it goes these days, that’s pretty darn good. Before launching into just how quick, composed, relaxed, comfy, enlivening, and intoxicating a drive the new 911 is, a bit of background. Initially it arrives in rear and AWD configuration, as Carrera S Coupe models. In time the 911 family will grow, including GT2 and 3 variants. But for the moment, we were lucky enough to snaffle the rear-drive Carrera S, which has long been a favourite. Its list price is $248,100 and our one had a host of what Porsche suggests are typical cost options, taking the spend to $280,580.