Given the 911’s long-lived reputation for changing shape at the rate of an Antarctic glacier, the current 991 has proven itself a sprightly setter of milestones.
Not content, in its first iteration, with providing Porsche’s icon with only its third-ever new platform, now this facelift adds turbocharged engines to a line-up previously (and emphatically) wedded to the concept of naturally aspirated flat sixes.
Endlessly aware that its purist contingent takes a dim view of such landmark alterations, Porsche is pitching its powertrain revision less as a functional necessity (which it was) and more of a logical step in the brand’s endless pursuit of sporting perfection.
Its latest commercials feature, among others, Ali versus Ali, the conceit being that the best can only be bettered by a better version of themselves. In a number of concrete ways, the second-generation 991 outstrips the first. But whether it has actually resulted in a superior 911 – in all its broad-batted brilliance – is the question we’ll endeavour to answer.
Unless you’re the kind of devotee who still laments the passing of air cooling two decades ago, there are plenty of initial reasons to be cheerful. Porsche’s experience with turbocharging its engines is, after all, extensive, the 911 line-up having fielded a forced-induction version for the past 40 years.
However, where the mighty 911 Turbo always made a conspicuous virtue of its blower, the Carrera’s new 3.0-litre unit must rev, respond and scintillate as though it were unencumbered by the effort of turning two turbines.
That’s not an uncommon technological feint these days, but it’s essential to the car’s success as a driver’s machine nonetheless. As, of course, is the superiority of the surrounding package, which, in detail, has changed too. We tested the Carrera S, now starting at £85,857.