The newly facelifted 991-gen Porsche sports car, though it’s not the more angular bumpers, lumpy rear lights and fresh wheel designs that make it controversial. This is the first 911 Carrera to be turbocharged. Not to be confused with the proper 911 Turbo, the new Carrera and Carrera S have lost their 3.4 and 3.8-litre naturally aspirated flat-six engines, in favour of an all-new, 20bhp and 44lb ft healthier 3.0-litre bi-turbo engine that develops 365bhp, or 414bhp in the £9,445 pricier S model.
For what’s basically the heartland everyman 911, the performance unlocked by the new turbo engine is crackers. The Carrera S is a supremely fast car, capable of a sub-4 second 0-62mph time, and overtaking performance that gives full-fat supercars sweaty palms, let alone the old 911. Throttle response is world class (an achievement in itself), and the 911’s inherent traction means all that extra torque isn’t wasted.
However because the engine’s characteristic yowl has been muffled, and you don’t need to work the car as hard to demolish a road, it’s not quite as gratifying, nor as memorable, as the older, more sonorous car when you’re driving flat-out.
The handling’s truly stellar though – revised electric power steering is Porsche’s best yet, and new damper settings needed to control the more rearward weight bias give the 911 clinical control and comfort. £1,530 of rear-axle steering from the GT3 is a particularly impressive new option.
There are two alterations to the new 911’s cabin that’ll make existing owners, smug about their better engine noise, pine with jealousy. The first is the smaller 350mm steering wheel from the GT3 RS and 918 Spyder, which does wonders for making the 911, which is a fairly big car now, feel agile and wieldy. It also features Porsche’s version of a Ferrari mannetino switch, with quick-access settings for Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and tailored individual settings, plus a fairly pointless ‘Sport Response’ button for max-attack acceleration.
The second newcomer is a revised PCM nav module, brandishing smarter graphics, quicker operation and support for Apple CarPlay. Just a pity there’s still no obvious cubby hole for your iPhon. And if you’re on Android you’re out of luck – the new 911 doesn’t connect with it.