Externally at least, the second-generation 991 reverts to type. When Porsche talks of the elimination of door handle recess covers as the most ‘eye-catching’ feature of the new car’s profile, you can be certain of the facelift’s sensitivity.
Marginal items – the front spoiler lip, front and rear lights – have been tweaked, but it’s subtle stuff that would take a side-by-side comparison to spot.
Predictably, the more significant alterations have been forced on the designers by the requirements of the new engineering challenges beneath.
The two low-mounted turbochargers require plenty of additional cooling, so at the rear there’s a substantial and entirely new air intake system complete with a new grille and the extra vents required to chill the intercoolers now stationed at the extremities.
Even the new active aerodynamics – a tech carryover from the 918 Spyder – can be deployed to assist with heat management, the variable rear spoiler being extendable at low speeds so that more air might find its way inside the engine bay when operating temperatures are high.
The lump within, while retaining a horizontally opposed cylinder layout, is all-new. The higher specific power of forced induction means its predecessor’s displacement can be reduced even as outputs are increased.
Turbocharging also lends itself to tuning, so whereas 3.4- and 3.8-litre engines were previously required to offer differentiation between the Carrera and Carrera S, now the job may be done by a single twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat six, albeit one with slightly larger compressors in S trim.
In base format, it develops 365bhp; as tested here, it’s at 414bhp. Both are a 20bhp improvement over their forebears and are capable of revving to 7500rpm (although their performance peaks at 6500rpm). The real boon, though, as you might expect, is in torque delivery.
Here, a 44lb ft advantage is rendered across the board, with the Carrera S now delivering 369lb ft – 30lb ft more than Porsche extracted from the previous engine even in its exotic 4.0-litre GT3 RS guise.
Crucially, all this extra impetus appears much sooner. Where the previous 991 required 5600rpm in order to maximise its potential, the new unit, now endowed with a centralised injector, lightened valve train and variable exhaust camshaft, conjures its greater yield from just 1700rpm.