AT AGE 55, the Porsche 911 is still able to make heads turn and elevates the pulse as it delivers a combination of power, control and thrill.
The iconic Porsche 911 takes a comfortable step into its eighth generation with a refreshed look with noticeable nips and tucks, and a sense of confidence in its pedigree built up over the decades.
Sporting sharper lines, the new 911 is more powerful and more efficient than its predecessors. The folks in Stuttgart have been only too aware of the reputation of their trailblazer model and have ensured its values and sporty luxury have been carefully guarded. While the overall look is unmistakably that of the 911, there are elements that show how this luxury sports car has kept pace with the times.
The Carrera 4S tested here presents a bigger profile than its predecessor. It stands wider and has a more beefed up look. Time well spent in the gym as its lines neatly define its form factor.
While the earlier versions were more rounded, the shift has been steadily directed towards sharper lines and enhanced performance, without compromising the unmistakable 911 profile.
While it used to be all about the drive, today’s 911 takes into consideration passengers. At least the front passenger. Those winding up behind will be hardpressed for head- and legroom. While it may come across as a feeble attempt at being less self-indulgent, you can use the back to store things, since boot space is not available in abundance.
The Sleek Controls
The straight lines from the exterior follow into the car. The dashboard spans the front, like the original 911, except with heaps more dials on screens offering a wide range of information. Some may be repeated — you could have the navigation map in three places — depending on how you set things up.
But in today’s world, there’s nothing like personalisation to win over a customer! You can do a fair bit to customise the screens and have them in sync with your mobile device.
There’s an overkill of safety features in the 911 — from surround view when parking to camera-assisted warning and brake assist to reduce collision. Or, you could be alert and watch the road. Adaptive cruise control maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front and also detects any vehicles cutting into your path. That’s not appreciated when motorbikes weave in and out during rush hour….
That said, a head up display would have been nice, but is still not considered vital.
The centre console has been dramatically restyled with a short shifter that fits in with the overall look and feel. A discreet 911 is debossed to fit in with the overall subtlety of the design.
It’s also good to see that not everything requires stabbing at the touchscreen. Knurled switches and knobs allow you to change the temperature and some of the safety features, the hazard light and the suspension setting.
The seats are set lower — there go the knees! — and while less material is used in their manufacture, it’s not at the expense of comfort. Unless you’re in the back….
Over the generations, the 911 has been tamed, not so much into submission, but more to display a greater measure of self-control. While negotiating city traffic, it displays no agitation at travelling slowly; something the driver might feel. But keep the accelerator depressed and it transforms into a pacy, revving enthusiastic runner.
Hit the power button on the steering and enjoy the rocket ride. There’s also a wet weather mode, though there was no rain to be had!
The new bi-turbocharged six-cylinder flat engine has been built for enhancing performance. The larger turbochargers are redesigned to deliver responsiveness, power, torque and loads of thrills.
The 911 is nimble and dances around bends. That throaty growl is neither overbearing nor obnoxious, keeping you company as you wend your way through the curves. Depending on the mode you’ve set, it will also burble and keep chatting with you as you shift gears or slow down.
On straight runs, a bit of wind noise penetrates the cabin at around the 90kmh mark. While not annoying, it shouldn’t be there. One way around it is to turn on the Burmester sound system and let your music rip.
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4S RATING
Engine: Twin-turbo 6-cylinder aluminium
Max Power: 331kW @ 6,500rpm
Max Torque: 530Nm from 2,300 – 5,000rpm
VES Band: C2
0-100kmh: 3.6 seconds
Top Speed: 306kmh
Retail price: *$584,088
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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