A 911 that’s more 9 than 11 Cheapest 911: not cheap, not quite brilliant
Is there a Head of Venn Diagrams at Porsche, whose sole job is to ensure the 911 range fills every conceivable segment of sports car? I do hope so.
From madcap GT heroes to in-betweener specials, maximum Turbos to open-top Speedsters, the product footprint is always expanding – and now one year after launch the circle casts wider again with the arrival of the cheaper, more accessible Carrera 2.
Not that this is a cheap 2020 Porsche 911 992, mind. With a C2 Coupe ( Carrera 2) costing £82,793, you’d hardly call this entry-level. For that outlay you get the same aluminium-intensive platform as the S, a shared 2981cc flat six slung out back, the same wide-hipped shape as all new-era 992s, an identical techfest cabin with large touchscreens and more toys than you can shake a selfie stick at. The two turbos are smaller than in the S, running lower boost to restrict power to 380bhp, while torque stands at 332lb ft. Hardly piffling outputs, hence the startling 4.2sec 0-62mph time and 182mph top whack. It feels every bit that fast on the road, with instant, forced-induction shove available across the rev range, and peerless rear-engined traction. No manual gearchange is yet available (the seven-speed stick-shifter comes next spring) so it’s PDK eight-speed twin-clutch changes for now; this is no hardship, since you can schlep around town in auto-slusher mode or go all-out race-spec with finger-tapping instant upshifts if you’re living out your Gran Turismo fantasies.
The new 992 has something of an arcade game quality to it: the engine note is never loud enough, and even with the Porsche Sports Exhaust fitted that inner flat-six fizz is muffled as you wring it out to the redline, as if somebody wrapped the horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine at the bottom of a pile of coats at a student party.
This junior 911 is now a damn fast sports car that’ll make you question the need for more. I often prefer the lesser Porsches with their more accessible pace, greater value and less extreme vibe. The Carrera 2 is all the 911 you’ll ever need and has the comfort, gadgetry and refinement to make a superlative grand tourer.
The problem is, if you hanker after a 911 you may wish for more character, more edge – and you’ll find that further up the Porsche foodchain with the current S or forthcoming GTS, Turbo and GT3 models. If the S didn’t exist, or if this basic Carrera were significantly cheaper, then there would be less of a quandary. But as it stands, it’s well worth finding the extra 10 grand or so that will get you an S.
Starter-spec Carrera is brilliantly polished gateway drug to more serious 911s, but it prioritises luxe over athleticism
Drive-My rating ★★★★★
If you want the look and most of the dynamic excellence, this is your 911
PLUS + More polished than ever; very quick; hugely desirable
MINUS – Is this entry-level 911 a little too sanitised for its own good?
THE FIRST HOUR
1 minute Coupe or Cabriolet? We settle for the tin-top, and pocket £10k
5 minutes Trip computer range says 450 miles. Yep, we’ve got the optional 90-litre fuel tank
30 minutes Can’t see two outer dials: sportier GT steering wheel blocks instruments badly
48 minutes This or an S? I can’t imagine needing anything faster, yet still yearn for more
PRICE £82,793 Coupe (£92,438 for Carrera Cabriolet)
POWERTRAIN 2981cc 24v twin-turbo flat-six, eight-speed PDK twin-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
MAX POWER 380bhp @ 6500rpm,
MAX TORQUE 332lb ft @ 1950rpm,
MAX SPEED 182mph
ON SALE Now