What is it?
The Porsche 911 Carrera, the ruination of which, by the desertion of naturally aspirated engines and the adoption of turbochargers, has been one of this year’s hottest talking points – and, inevitably, quite needlessly feared.
Rest assured, the 911 is alive and kicking. Still rich, rev-hungry and sabre-edged under your right foot; still precise, tactile, characterful and responsive in everything it does. Not totally unchanged, granted, but still special. Just dandy, in fact, thank you very much.
If last month’s five-star review of the new 414bhp Carrera S wasn’t proof enough of that, take this one as bankable certainty. We’ve now driven the car in right-hand-drive form, on UK roads and in bottom-of-the-pyramid Carrera manual trim.
And while it represents a bit of a departure for one of the world’s longest-serving and biggest-selling sports cars, the new 911 remains one of the very finest and most complete driver’s cars on the planet. Progress is writ large throughout this car, whether you like the idea of what’s gone on inside the engine bay or not.
Using the same 3.0-litre flat six as the Carrera S but with smaller turbos, the new entry-level Carrera is two-tenths of a second faster than old from standing to 62mph, as well as 20bhp more powerful, 44lb ft torquier (with peak twist made almost 4000rpm sooner in the rev range), 45kg lighter and 10% more fuel-efficient - although the list goes on. And it still revs to 7500rpm – just 300rpm shy of the 3.4-litre motor’s cut-out.