‘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.
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.
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.