I’m pretty sure, that many of you, like me, have a little bit of a problem distinguishing between each generation of the Porsche 911, however, that in essence is its genius. In so many ways, Ferdinand Porsche ‘got it right first time so why change it’ seems to be the 911 mantra, a standpoint that’s hard to argue with. Anyway, Porsche invited me to a close-knit event in Auckland to introduce me to the eighth-generation, 992 and I have to say, I’m hooked.
With each year, and, specifically, each generation, Porsche evolves the 911. They tweak a little here, add a little there, upgrade the power, slim down the weight, increase the aerodynamics and improve the technology, all while staying true to Ferdinand’s winning blueprint. The 992 is absolutely no exception to this rule.
First and foremost, that iconic flyline and minimal overhang. It’s a car that for over 50 years has cast an unmistakable and ultra-desirable shadow, and thus the 992 has them both. However, this new generation sits wider than ever before, with broad rear haunches that are, for the first time, shared with both the Carrera 2S and 4S. While we’re talking about sharing, for the observant among you, there is a fair chunk of 993 re-introduce to the design while apparently the Panamera and Cayenne’s tech’s doors have evidently been left open or been jimmied. But don’t think for one moment that this new 992 is just a Porsche, midnight cabinet raid.
Up front, the headlights come with a matrix option while the 992’s rear end is resplendent in LEDs. The new light bar runs from bulging wheel arch to wheel arch and split the difference between the double or quad tailpipes (depending on which exhaust system you choose, seriously go for the sports) and the multi-functional rear spoiler — body hugging at rest and low speed, elevated at 90km/h, raised further at 140km/h and will act as an airbrake when required (basically when the virtual speed needle is bent around the virtual stopper).
The wheels are now in different sizes, 20” up front 21” at the rear. This increases the 992’s cornering prowess extensively and Porsche’s attention to lightening the frame’s load extends to only having 30% steel and even taking 4kg out of the leather seats — don’t worry I put way more than that back in.
Under the bonnet, oops, I mean under the boot lid, lies a highly tuned 3L synchronised twin-turbo powerhouse that produces 331kW/530Nm and when strapped to the new eight-speed PDK will have you up to 100km/h in 4.5 second (4S) and 0.1 of a second later in the 2S.
The cabin has been refreshed and revitalised, it’s less ‘cluttered’ (I’m not so sure it ever was) and now has a horizontal flow to it. The PMS is delivered via a 10.9-inch touchscreen, with Apple and Android connectivity and the instrument cluster is digital and quite personalisable.
Those used to Porsche driving modes will be thrilled to know that the Sport+ mode still has the 20 seconds of overtaking boost button, however they will now have, for the first time, a ‘Wet mode’ option to play with. Located behind the front wheels is a microphone that detects the sound of water off the road. This tells the PSM to inform the driver that maybe they should consider engaging wet mode. Once engaged, the throttle response and gear changes durations are lengthened which in turn, increases safety and driver confidence in the wet.
But undoubtedly, you want to know how it drives. My response to you is: “Simply brilliant.” Normal mode is great for around town and the 992 is so easy to drive. If I was braver (or richer) I’d say that trips to malls or stores would be a breeze. Visibility is good and parking aids are ample. But it’s on the open roads that both you and the car come alive. Sport and Sport+ have the car singing. The exhaust note is mighty fine and the speed is thrilling, treble figures coming way too soon. We took a wide arching drive from Auckland City to Sandspit that included the outskirts of Kumeu, through Kaukapakapa and over the Matakana hills. The straights were good but the bends were better. The 4S felt stoic and firm, the 4S with four-wheel steer felt more playful while the 2S offered true delight. It sounds like the latter was my favourite and in many ways it was, but it would be after much deliberation and maybe a few rainy day drives.
Launch control is easy to engage (Sports+ Foot on the brake, foot on the accelerator) refined savagery. Three-point five seconds 0-100km/h gives you a mind shift but it’s addictive — on ramps beware.
Now in its eighth generation, the iconic 911 (992) is an evolutionary marvel. It’s super quick and yet so very well poised on the road. It includes elements of yesteryear but is also very much in the here and now. Ultra-modern technology with classic-style and materials. It’s easy to drive in the city, great on the open roads and I feel will be equally at home on the racetrack (hint, hint Porsche). Simply put, the 992 is a timeless time machine.