‘A chassis to die for’ were the words we used to describe the previous 911, and by and large that sums up our sentiments today. If anything, this is an even more competent set-up than that of the 991.

The wider front track now fends off understeer seemingly indefinitely on the road, and certainly until the point at which the turbochargers have spooled and begun to overload the rear tyres with torque. Whether you have the stability control completely switched off or in its lenient midway setting, it’s at this point you realise just how well-balanced the latest 911 is, and how forgiving the handling attributes are when driven either skilfully beyond its considerable grip levels or just overdriven full stop.

Richard Lane

Road tester
Apex speed on track is simply sensational for a ‘normal’ 911, where the four-wheel steering seems to prevent understeer from brewing. GT-division wares such as the upcoming GT3 will move the game on considerably, too

This is an enjoyably exploitable car but hugely stable with it, and happy to carve quick, neat lines along undulating, tortuous roads with supreme accuracy. With the dampers in Sport mode, vertical body movements are brought deftly to an end almost as soon as they have begun to develop, and the resistance to pitch or squat is uncanny.

However, if you will excuse the old cliché, there is a feeling among some road testers that the new 911 has become almost too competent. This is a chassis of rare precision and panache, but the commitment levels required to properly indulge in its standout characteristics have never felt greater. A partial lift of the throttle will still dramatically tighten the car’s line, but otherwise its neutrality when only making ordinary progress can count against it. We can hardly hold Porsche to account for developing a more rounded machine, but the rear-engined essence of a traditional 911 does seem fainter than before.

Top 5 Sports cars

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Porsche’s electrically assisted steering – now with quicker gearing that, along with the expertly calibrated four-wheel steering, makes for whip-crack reflexes through tighter turns – also seems unnecessarily heavy given the light loadings and gentle spring rates at the front axle, but is at least supremely linear.

For a view on how faster and more capable a track car the ‘ordinary’ Porsche 911 Carrera S has become after the addition of turbocharging, four-wheel steering and the like, consider this: it is now only half a second slower around MIRA’s Dunlop dry handling circuit than a 2015 991 GT3 RS. Being almost 200kg lighter than its nearest rival from Aston Martin, meanwhile, helps explain the lap-time advantage there.

The 992 feels amazingly adhesive, controlled and secure even on the limit of grip. The car’s rear-axle steering is subtle enough to make handling feel intuitive and forgiving, and its widened tracks make it turn in, hunker down and stick to the apex with real tenacity. Handling isn’t as playful or readily adjustable, either on or off the throttle, as 911s have been over the years.

COMFORT AND ISOLATION

Over time, Porsche has broadened the 911’s dynamic repertoire to the extent that many now consider it too much a grand tourer and too little an out-and-out sports car. They point to the inexorable weight gain and a more muted aural character, and old road-test data does duly show that, since the ‘997’, the 911 has not only become dramatically quieter at idle (measured from within the cabin) but also noticeably more so at a cruise.

Mind you, this still isn’t an especially peaceful car at speed. The weight of the steering and the 911’s planted stance convey their own sure-footed brand of comfort, and the driving position is largely flawless, but if you want to view this car as a GT-type device, then tyre roar is an issue. This is largely down to the rear axle. Porsche stiffens the structure and uses higher pressures for the vast 305-section tyres to support the weight of the engine, and the combined effect is to transmit coarser road surfaces into the cabin.

Both a Vantage and the V10 Audi R8 we tested in 2015 are quieter on the motorway, and rarely is the 911 without its breathy, rubber-generated din. That said, even with the 10mm ride height drop that comes with the PASM sport suspension option, the 992 flows along conspicuously well.

For the same reasons that tyre roar is a factor, there’s a faint business underfoot on anything less than a perfectly smooth road, but that’s forgivable given the car’s stellar body control. Visibility is excellent and linear responses for all the driving controls seal the deal: there’s never been an easier 911 to live with and drive every day than the 992.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week