All the glory & action of the 992.

“Let’s hit the road Jack”

Drive time on the road, laps around the Ricardo Tormo Moto GP circuit, and a few turns on a wet-handling course to show off the 911’s new “Wet Mode”, that’s how I like to roll on a Monday!

Since the release of the brand new 911, the 8th generation of its type, a few months ago I have been awaiting to finally hop behind the steering wheel of the 992. During the tech workshop in December I had the distinctive pleasure of experiencing a co-drive across the Hockenheimring, but of course this isn’t the same…

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The 911 history suggests the new version will, inevitably, be good to drive.

Here we are, me sitting on a plane to Valencia, where I will spend the next two days putting the “pedal to the metal” together with Porsche 😝 Everyone who has been following me on Social Media will know by now how excited I have been for this day. The 911 is one of those cars which touches my core. We used to own a 911 from 1967 (same colour combination as the Ur-901), the one I dream about up until today. It was a car which was driven, almost a daily driver, road trips were as common as putting the skis on the roof and racing thorough the alps towards the best ski resorts – it was our family car. Hence me being even more exited ever since I found out that all 8 generations will be awaiting me in Valencia today – a dream!

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The “Ur-911”, it’s first paint job is still coating the 901!

Since I have talked you through it’s technical and design updates in a previous article, today is gonna be all about the 911 experience.

So how does the new 911 feel?

The 992 has managed to step up in form of agility and lightness. It’s more powerful and quicker, with a broader set of skills, greater technological fitness, and more adaptable aerodynamics.

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Each new 911 generation has been more stable under acceleration, braking, and cornering—thus easier for civilians to drive—than the last, and this one doesn’t break with tradition.

The 992 Carrera S retains Porsche’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat six. But there’s new injectors, an asymmetrical valve stroke (one valve opens further than the other), higher compression, re-jiggered turbos. The intercoolers straddle the engine now, expanding their footprint and the car’s heat capacity. The net effect: 443 hp at 6500 rpm (23 more hp than the outgoing car), routed through a PDK transmission that grew an eighth gear.

Find a good road, dial up the Sport setting, drop the hammer, and the 911 attacks and slithers through corners, begging for ever quicker inputs from all limbs, and punching out of corners with railgun-like alacrity.

In Normal mode, it’s quiet and civilized to drive. The suspension doesn’t shake your bones loose, but they do a wonderful job of laying out the the road’s features straight to your ass, feeling planted and solid over bumps.

The 992 offer 7,1 % horse power (30 hp) and 6 % Nm (30 Nm) more in comparison to its predecessor the 992. The 992 puts full 450 hp on the road and therefore compensates cleverly the overall weight gain. The extra power, quicker steering, and chassis tune mitigate the liabilities of a heavier car.

Hitting the Moto GP track and entering the Sports + mode. At each corner, the car turns in with confidence thanks to the weighty, direct, and stable steering that works in symphony with the composed chassis. The 911 4S stays on its line, and carves a perfect arc through each apex to the exit point. It doesn’t matter if I go in a little too hot or get on the throttle a little too early, the 911 4S just hurtles ever forward. It does it all while the engine hangs behind the rear axle and only 39 percent of the weight sits up front. Physics be damned: Porsche has invested 55 years of engineering expertise into defying physics.

A rumour is causing a lot of talks around the max speed of the 992. Hence I got my own stopwatch running while a few us put the “pedal to the metal” at the circuit. It is incredible the 992 needs for the sprint of 0-200 km/h just 10 seconds and a little bit. In the data sheet it is written down as 12.1 seconds. These are a good two (!) seconds of a difference. It is true, the 992 is underrated on paper! 

This Carrera S model lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7 minutes and 25 seconds.

After a couple of rounds I start to get a feel for the 911’s grip limits through the slower corners; as before, this car instils immense confidence in its driver. I enter the corners at conservative speeds, allow the car to settle and accelerate hard on the exit, taking advantage of the weight sited over the rear wheels. I sense how those wide rear tyres are working hard to put all the torque down through the rear axle.

It’s an incredibly fun and fantastic experience! 

Porsche’s sophisticated raft of tech, including actuated anti-roll bars (PDCC), rear axle steering, and performance-tuned active dampers (PASM Sport) all show up here.

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The latest version of Porsche’s PASM active dampers, now with infinitely adjustable valving, continue to push the 911’s chassis in opposite directions simultaneously: more comfort and better high-performance grip.

The chassis is much more effective and improved and jet Porsche manages to add on in terms of comfort: fast on circuit and comfortable during the day to day drives. 

With a wider track, and 305-width tires over the rear 21-inch rims, the 992’s grip is ruthless on and off camber. The updated suspension and steering alone make the new 911 a fast and willing friend, but the 45 millimetres of wider front track, along with specially developed Pirelli tires on 20 inch wheels up front and 21 inches out back, give the new 911 an astonishing level of front-end grip — almost as good as a GT3. It all adds up to make the car equal parts fast and fun, as though it intuitively knows what the driver wants.

992 (102 of 130)The car feels much lighter, the driver receives direct responses and the 450 hp perform incredibly well on windy roads or track. 

The new dash binnacle really starts growing on you the more you experience the interieur. It is a gorgeous blend of analog and digital, with configurable TFT screens canted slightly inward to accentuate the cockpit-like feel, and a striking new rev counter sitting dead center.

Aluminium works, one hardly marks the weight to the vehicle. 992 follows narrow country roads as if it’s stuck on rail. If the driver at the bend exit completely slouches along on the gas, the front axle pulls, before the vehicle shoots against the next bend – without looking primitive.

Brake Pedal

I have been asked by several people to pay special attention to the brake pedal and wheel, so I did.

Brake Pedal

Lightweight Brake Pedal

The organic, lightweight pedal saves 41% weight towards its predecessor and is rooted back to the 918.

It is incredible how precise and immediate the brake pedal responses. One can feel the pressure point in a way it’s almost difficult to believe. The 300 gram less weighing pedal, made of a composition of steel, carbon fibre and plastic, creates a firm connection between the driver and the car. One can feel direct feedback, can response in a quicker and more intuitive way and can therefore step up the game towards the whole driving experience. Especially racing across the race track, these improvements come in handy.

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The 992 Cabriolet.

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Aerodynamic

Another technology one can clearly feel is the improved adaptive rear spoiler. The 25% increased surface does make a huge difference. At high temperature climates or sporty driving the rear spoiler is already extended at 60 km/h, supporting the air cooling system and lowering the charge air temperatures and therefore preventing the loss of performance. This works fantastic, hence the driver not experiencing any lack of performance and active aerodynamic braking is a nice add on while driving hair pins or on track. It’s 45 % larger aerodynamically effective area helps in exactly those situations. The 992 manages to find the perfect balance between drag and reduce lift.

The air brake system manages to safe up to 1,5m brake distance!

The 992 is a beast on road and track and can convince on various levels:

Heritage

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The design of the new 911’s dashboard mimics that of the F-Series (first generation) 911. It’s more horizontal and featured on earlier 911s until the introduction of the 996, when a strong vertical element was introduced thanks to the adoption of a proper infotainment system.

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They’re all lined up. The Ur-911, the 901 is the first in the line, a beige ’67 coupe, golden lettering, tiptoeing on skinny tires and covered in first paint – my personal favourite!

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Then a G-body car from the ‘70s, frog-faced and wider than the last. The 911 entered its tenth year in 1973 – with the most far-reaching changes that Porsche had made to its successful model series so far. The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer used powerful turbo engines in its top model and a galvanised body for every vehicle, and additionally launched a Cabriolet version of the 911 and the Speedster on the market in addition to the Targa. Its path to becoming an icon was now already clearly laid out at the latest.

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The 964 beside it, broader still, is all eggplant-purple hips and nineties optimism. The third generation of this sports car, known internally as the type 964, combined the traditional silhouette of the classic model with state-of-the-art technology. It was also a bet on the future of the company, which was experiencing economic challenges – a bet that this third generation would win.

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The 993: Pinnacle of the air-cooled era and the last of its kind

One thing is certain, and not just for fans of sports cars from Zuffenhausen: the fourth generation of the 911 – the 993 – is one of the most desirable editions in the history of this classic vehicle. Although practically only the roofline remained unchanged, the new model impressed with an exciting interpretation of the 911 design DNA beginning in 1993

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The 996: First 911 with water-cooled flat engine. With the fifth generation of the 911 introduced in 1997 – the type 996 – Porsche took the bold step to stop using air-cooled engines. After 34 years, the sports car manufacturer completely revamped its icon with the new 911 and in doing so solved a number of urgent challenges. As part of a process that had started with the predecessor, the focus was on reducing production costs through maximum compatibility of parts with other model series, such as the Boxster, as well as on meeting updated safety and emissions regulations. Porsche found its path into the future with the 996.

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The 997: Technology offensive, new design and great variety for the 911. From 2004, the Porsche 911 was available in more different versions than ever before: Customers could choose from a Coupé or Targa, Cabriolet or Speedster, rear- or all-wheel-drive, narrow or widened bodywork, with water-cooled naturally-aspirated and turbo engines, a GTS or the GT2, GT2 RS or GT3 sport versions, or either of two GT3 RS models. Including special models, the range had a total of 24 model variants – supplemented by a wide range of personalisation options.

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The 991: the 911 passes the one million mark. From 2011 onwards, the Type 991 represented the most technically advanced 911 model to date. The 991 looked more powerful than any other 911 before – an effect that was heightened by the wider track and a wheelbase stretched by ten centimetres. It also featured adaptive aerodynamics: the 911 was the first series sports car from Porsche to adopt this technology from the 918 Spyder hybrid super sports car.

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Clearly improved sportiness and dynamic driving experience, while adding a few points to comfort too, through the new PASM damper technology.  The result is much better and stable handling, no matter at what speeds, while keeping its agility. 

The 8th generation 991 manages to collect the essence of over 60 years of history. It’s a shame so few Carreras will spend time on a circuit, because it’s here the car feels most at home.

Conclusion

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