Porsche 911 Carrera S 991
Following its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was immediately clear that things had changed for the 911 in a big way. Where the 997 could still be considered relatively compact, the new 991 model had grown in both length and width, not to mention by 100mm in the wheelbase, and this bigger, more luxurious 911 wasn’t met with universal acclaim. Had it gone soft and become nothing more than an opulent cruiser? Of course not, but there is one other elephant in the room that needs addressing. The GTS was a fitting last hurrah for the 997, a special model that featured a power-kitted engine and a lavish specification, but come 2014 Porsche made it a regular part of the 991 range. Costing an additional £7,000 over the substantial £81,242 asked for a Carrera S, itself around £10k more than a base Carrera, it was no surprise that some asked whether the S had become superfluous. It’s not an unreasonable question: a 991 Carrera GTS represented better value than a Carrera S, and more theatre to its drive, too. In the used market today values have reflected the experiential difference at the wheel of a GTS, where a five-figure sum can separate an S from it.
In used terms that difference in value of more than 10 per cent certainly doesn’t render the C2S superfluous, and when you consider the specification on offer, it becomes clear that the Carrera S is hardly lacking in desirability. The normally aspirated 3.8-litre engine – that also features a two-stage resonance intake system – is a peach, one that boasts an additional 50hp and 50Nm of torque compared to the Carrera, while still managing to be more efficient compared to the 997. Headline figures are 400hp and 440Nm, and the result is the sort of sledgehammer performance that should silence any doubters. In seven-speed manual form 62mph is reached in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 188mph. Both are useful increases, but the improvements didn’t end there.
Once again PASM was standard, but spending that extra cash on the S also brought Porsche Torque Vectoring and Monobloc front brake calipers with six pistons for the first time, the Carrera making do with just four. Buyers of the entry-level model were also denied access to some tasty options, including the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control anti-roll system.
Externally it could still be identified by the twin exhaust outlets and bigger 20-inch wheels, while inside the changes were minimal. Not that the cabin really needed further enhancement, the impressive build and material quality backed by advanced digital instrumentation that included a TFT screen within the dials for displaying a trip computer, audio and navigation information.
In terms of the used market now, the Gen1 991 C2S doesn’t suffer one iota from having the GTS sitting above it, and remains a hugely impressive package in its own right – devastatingly quick and with a real depth to its handling repertoire, it’s a fitting continuation of the Carrera S bloodline. There’s a beauty to its slim, narrow-bodied appearance, too, particularly among the ubiquity of widebody-only 911s today – a real case of elegance through simplicity. The 991 has aged well, both inside and out, and though the popular PDK transmission is a little primtive by today’s standards, the 991.1 C2S is a delight to drive. It’s a worthy component of the 911 line-up, bridging the gap beautifully between the GTS and base Carrera.
Model 991.1 Carrera S
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Maximum power 400hp @ 7,400rpm
Maximum torque 440Nm @ 5,600rpm
Transmission Seven-speed manual or seven-speed PDK
Front MacPherson strut; coil springs
Rear Independent with LSA multi-link
Wheels & tyres
Front 8.5x20-inch; 245/35/ZR20
Rear 11x20-inch; 295/30/ZR20
0-62mph 4.5 seconds
Top speed 188mph
ABOVE The 991.1’s PSE soundtrack was the best on test. PDK is best for exploiting the S’s 3.8-litre engine, though it’s not as clinical as 992
“There’s a beauty to its slim, narrow-bodied appearance, particularly among the ubiquity of wide-body-only 911s today”
ABOVE Sleek, narrow-bodied 991.1 C2S is the 911 form at its unfiltered best. 3.8-litre engine was more engaging than 991 Carrera’s 3.4, too.