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Porsche 911 review - why turbocharging hasn't ruined the Carrera
The 991-generation 911 broke with five decades of heritage in some major ways – turbocharged Carrera models and electric power steering being the headline revisions. Nonetheless, it remains the most rounded sports car on sale and with an expansive model range there’s a variant to suit all tastes.
Fans of old 911s might be a little nonplussed by the devastating, vice-free (arguably character-free?) competence of the latest 991 generation range, but there can be no denying that Porsche has moved the game on in a number of crucial areas. Turbocharging across the Carrera line-up and electric power steering in all models were unpopular updates – and they undoubtedly do erode some of the charisma of earlier models – but they weren’t enough to spoil what is a truly great sports car.
We’ll miss the old normally aspirated models, but the new range of turbo engines are among the most impressive forced induction motors on sale anywhere. Performance ranges from strong to ballistic, quality is high and even running costs are respectable. The half-century lineage has had its ups and downs, but there’s never been a class act quite like the 911.
In the hardcore GT3 and GT3 RS Porsche delivered thrilling driving experiences right out of the top drawer, while the Turbo models are consummate everyday supercars with enormous straight-line performance. For those buyers who are less concerned with outright performance and more interested in turning heads, the Cabriolet and Targa versions are stylish, refined and still good to drive.
One option that is exclusive to the higher-powered models is Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). It uses variable anti-roll bars to cut body roll during hard cornering. It’s a clever system, but since roll is how the driver feels the loading of the chassis in corners, we think it’s best avoided.
‘No sports car in history can match the continuity of excellence delivered by the Porsche 911. Its fusion of old and new is unprecedented. The rear-engined layout has hardly changed since the car was launched in 1963, but the latest car can rightly claim to be the most charismatic and technically accomplished in its class. Over the past half-century, the rear-engined Porsche has evolved into one of the most complete, thrilling and rewarding sports cars you can buy. The latest 991 model was launched in 2011, and is faster and more capable than ever.’ – David Vivian, Contributing Road Tester
Performance and 0-60 time > The entry-level manual 991 manages a 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds. More than a match for the competition.
Engine and gearbox > With a wide range engines to choose from, there will be a 991 to suit most tastes. Both the auto PDK box and manual 7-speed are fantastic.
Ride and handling > Signature levels of grip are always present, with range topping GT3 and GT3 RS offering incredible performance and feedback.
MPG and running costs > If running costs are your top priority then you shouldn't be in the market for a Porsche. Most Porsches like the Turbo use high quality parts. Make sure you put aside £1,000 for each service.
Prices, specs and rivals > With prices ranging from £73,509 for a plain white Carrera to £150,857 for the Cabriolet Turbo S there is a Porsche to suit most top-end price ranges.
Interior and tech > The Porsche's cabin still adheres to the slick and simple family design and features impeccable build quality.
Design > The 911 boasts arguably the most iconic sports car shape in the world. Evolved since its inception in 1963, you can still see hints of the original in the 991 generation all these years later.