It means the 911 is now a large car, and this particular example has a very serious wheel-and-tyre package with which to dominate the road beneath it.
It’s equally serious in the engine bay, not only because 380bhp is still a hell of a lot even in 2019, but also because the compressor wheels in the symmetrical turbochargers are smaller. That’s not a typo. They deliver 300 millibars less boost pressure than those in the Carrera S but spool up even quicker, which practically eliminates lag and sharpens throttle response. With so much power and torque already at their disposal, that looks like a decent trade for the Carrera owner.
It means pick-up – which is occasionally accompanied by a faint metallic yowl reminiscent of old 911s – is therefore comparable to a naturally aspirated engine with a heavy flywheel, the intake tract gasping only momentarily before torque reaches the rear wheels. This new 3.0-litre is phenomenally responsive. The way it then spins to the 7500rpm red line is then somehow both thick-set and light-footed, but above all it’s relentless. The PDK gearbox also remains outstanding: shifts are cut-throat quick but effortlessly smooth, with just a little bite to them.
In short, the powertrain is excellent, and raw pace aside, more enjoyable than that of the Carrera S. What a coup.
Thing is, you might not realise quite how fast you’re travelling. These tyres develop a ton a grip but the stability of this chassis and the 992 cabin's impressive isolation from wind and engine noise disguises how hard they’re working. Worringly, you can slip into triple figures without really noticing. Again, not a typo.
But this is the way of the modern 911. Considering almost two thirds of the mass lurks behind the driver, the Carrera S and this Carrera are freakishly composed. Even to the point of seeming inert. Porsche's decision to go with a staggered wheel set-up – larger at the rear – has had the desired effect of pushing the car's balance point forward, and wherever you point the neat little 360mm-diameter steering wheel, the car simply goes, and goes effortlessly. Is the steering a touch heavy? Maybe, but that doesn't translate into slow responses, and anyway it's an intuitively geared rack.
So what's new? Because in all these respects the basic Carrera is just as impressive as every other 992-generation we've so far tested. Accurate, neutral, phenomenally quick.
What's new is that the entry-level 911 doesn’t take itself as seriously as its siblings. The standard ride-height makes it appear a little perched at standstill, at least compared to cars equipped with PASM Sport suspension (which, in terms of global stock, is most of them), but the more generous travel introduces some extra fluidity into the body movements once you're on the move.
And if you want to interact with your 911 at real-world speeds, that's invaluable, because the difference is clear to see – or in this case, feel. The suspension breathes more freely and that unlocks some personality by allowing the car's natural weight distribution to come to the fore a little. The terms ‘oversteer’ and ‘understeer’ are largely anathematic to this generation of 911 – even one driven with reasonable commitment – but what the basic Carrera does so well is to hint at those kinds of movements as it transitions through corners. And rear-wheel steering? Didn't miss it, though it does make a very agile car more nimble still, and lightning fast through second-gear hairpins. Personal preference.