As you can read in the mag this week and watch on video by following this link, we’re rather impressed with the all-new Porsche 911. In just about every department, it improves upon a predecessor that wasn’t exactly wracked with problems in the first place.
It’s so good to drive in so many ways, in fact, you wonder if Porsche really needed to go to quite so much trouble. After all, how many owners of regular 911s – and by that I mean not the uber-versions like the GT3s or the various Turbo models that will arrive in due course – are ever likely to use even half as much performance as the new car can summon on the public road?
The Carrera S model that we filmed on Monday is so rapid in a straight line yet so well resolved in its ride, handling, steering and braking etc, it’s hard to think of any car, at any price, that could leave it behind in give and take conditions. Even the mighty Nissan GT-R, you suspect, would struggle to do so unless there was a complete and utter maniac at the wheel.
Yet at the same time, the new 911 has a maturity to its cruising refinement, allied to a brand new level of noise insulation, that makes it a genuine long distance touring car as well. Which is where the Nissan, in particular, begins to fall apart.
In light of which, the £81k asking price no longer seems quite so outrageous as it did when Porsche first announced what the new 911 would cost. The more time you spend with the car, in fact, the more apparent its worth and value become.
Even so, and to play the heretic, I still think it’s massively over-engineered for its target audience. How many times have you seen a regular 911 being properly lent on in the UK in the last 10 years, let alone in the USA, which remains one of the car’s key markets? Not often, I’d wager, yet the latest 911 has been engineered to beat pretty much all comers from A to B.
That makes it one heck of a car, of course, but also one that most of its owners will never get to fully appreciate on the road. T’was ever thus in the world of ultra high performance motor cars, I suppose. And the funny thing is, I’m happy to admit that another part of me hopes it always will be.