What is it?
By now you’ll have read Andrew Frankel’s full back story and an early track test of the new 992-generation Porsche 911; or if you haven’t, you’ll find it here.
But otherwise it’s quite different. With so little steel in its body, it’s now officially an aluminium monocoque, as Porsche tries to offset the weight of new technology and crash protection it has brought with it. Among other things, there are bigger turbos, more efficient intercoolers, piezoelectric injectors and uneven intake valve opening distances, so that in the Carrera S form in which it’s launched, the new 911 makes 444bhp.
It can be had in two- or four-wheel drive, with both versions having the same width (2WD Carreras used to be narrower). The front track of both cars is up by 46mm, with the rear track on the 2WD S up by 39mm, now that it’s the same as the 4WD car. Tyres are massive: 245-section fronts, 305-section rears, on 20in and 21in wheels respectively, as the standard 911 adopts different-sized front and rear wheels for the first time, like GT 911s already have.
And now we’ve driven it on the road, for a reasonable stint, and in both 2S and 4S specification. First, though, came a few laps of a race circuit just in the 4S, where the 911 proved itself to be just as compelling as in our earlier test. The new 992 is a ridiculously fast and, in 4WD form, incredibly stable 911, with the kind of integrity to its feel that suggests you could lap one for hours and its only complaint would be when it ran out of fuel.
It’s the kind of feel that can make a car feel over-specified for the road. See also: most modern sports cars. The trick is to get something so fast, so capable, and which only gets better as you go faster, to feel engaging when you go slower; as you must in a modern 911. Consider that if today you drove a first-generation 911 as fast as it could possibly go on the road, the speed would probably still raise a passer-by’s eyebrow. Porsche had just such a 1963 car on display on the 992 launch. It has only 130bhp and wears 165-section tyres on 15in wheels. Gosh, it looked lovely. A 992 would be out of its sight before it was out of first gear.