Porsche 911 Carrera S by Kenny Yeo
AT A GLANCE:
ENGINE 6-cylinder boxer engine, twin-turbocharged
MAXIMUM POWER AND TORQUE 420hp / 500nm
FUEL CONSUMPTION, COMBINED 7.7l/100km
PRICE $508,888 excluding COE and options
The Porsche 911 is a motoring institution. In production for over 50 years, it has become the yardstick by which all other sports cars are measured. It’s fast yet practical, insofar as sports cars are concerned; and it’s equally at home trotting about in shopping center carparks as it is blitzing down race tracks.
The 911 recently received a midlife upgrade and its one of the most controversial updates yet. In the past, only the “Turbo” models in the 911 line-up had turbos. Now, the entire 911 range has been turbocharged - save for the purist-only 911R and the trackfocused GT3 RS.
Purists are unhappy and say that it will affect the dynamics of the car. However, Porsche argues that the bene ts of the turbos will far outweigh its disadvantages. For a start, the new 911s will be faster yet more fuelefficient.
The 911 Carrera S that we tested, is powered by a 3-liter twin-turbo flat-six and makes 420hp and 500nm of torque. Despite the smaller engine, that’s an improvement of 25hp and 60nm over the model it replaces. But more impressive is the fact that maximum torque is available from as low as 1,700rpm. Porsche also claims that fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 13%.
When you put your foot down, it is apparent that the new Carrera S is a markedly faster beast. There is some hesitancy from the get-go, but once the revs climb and your vision starts to blur, you will start to appreciate the twin turbos that are nestled in the engine behind you. Acceleration is almost brutal and 0-100km/h happens in just 4.1 seconds - 3.9 seconds if you turn the mode selector switch into the super racy Sports Plus mode.
Inevitably, there’s some loss in aural excitement. The characteristic flat-six howl is still there, but it’s harder to hear it over the whine of the turbos. Fortunately, the optional Sports Exhaust package helps alleviate matters. Activating it, livens up the exhaust and gives you crackles and pops when you liftoff during heavy acceleration.
The 911 is still a great drive, whether on the road or on track. And with the optional Sport Chrono Package, owners will be able to choose from Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Custom driving modes to suit their mood and preference.
Normal is most suited for daily driving and sets the car up in its softest setting. Here, the ride is firm, but still fairly comfortable. In Sport mode, the attitude of the car changes entirely. The car now wants to hold on to lower gears longer, ride is firmer, and throttle response is noticeably sharper. Sport Plus puts the car in its raciest setting, and is, in my opinion, best reserved for use on the track.
On top of being a fun to drive sports car, the new Carrera S is also a heaven for gadget lovers like readers of this magazine. The Porsche Communication Management system has been thoroughly updated. The interface is controlled by a 7-inch multi-touch touchscreen, and it features great graphics and runs speedily.
Nestled under the armrest is also a compartment with a USB port. Owners can play music directly from a USB flash drive, or even from their phones. Apple users will also be happy to know that the latest Porsches now support Apple CarPlay. There’s even a built-in internal hard disk that owners can use to store music.
Speaking of music, our test car came fitted with the optional Bose surround sound system that has 12 active speakers and a 100W subwoofer that’s integrated into the body shell. As you would expect, it’s really loud, but it also sounds very good. If you like thumping bass, this sound system serves up bass in spades. And because the subwoofer is integrated into the body shell, you’ll feel it too.
So far, we’ve established that the new 911 Carrera S provides driving thrills, and lots of entertainment and connectivity, but it’s also a fairly practical car - relatively speaking, of course. One of the 911’s party tricks has always been its modest boot. Because the engine is mounted in the rear, there’s space for a fairly sizable boot up front. The new 911 is no different and according to Porsche, the boot will easily accommodate two carry-on pieces of luggage, making the 911 suitable for short getaways.
And since it has a 2+2 seating con guration, the small seats behind can also be used to stow your belongings like small bags, groceries, shopping loot, and more. It’s also large enough to accommodate children on short trips.
All in all, there’s little to complain about the new 911. Purists preferring the old naturally aspirated engines will look on with scornful eyes, but Porsche has always been about progress, and there’s no lack of evidence to suggest that the latest 911 is a faster and more complete everyday sports car.
Twin turbochargers improve efficiency and provide even more performance.
The in-car entertainment and navigation interface is smooth, responsive and pretty user-friendly.
The optional Sports Chrono package gets you this nifty switch, which totally changes the characteristic of the car.
The latest 911 is very different from its predecessors, but it remains to be the definitive everyday sports car.