With the new 992 upon us, what to make of Porsche’s latest 911? Ultimately, there are two ways of looking at the new model. On the one hand, it’s bigger and more tech-infested than ever. With the 992 generation the 911 has surely completed its journey from compact sports car to capacious grand tourer.
After all, just look at those wheels. 21-inch rims on the rear? The new interior doesn’t exactly communicate unadorned functionality, either. And consider all the newly added technology that has nothing to do with what Porsche refers to a ‘puristic’ driving experience. It’s probably a stretch to call the latest 911 semiautonomous. But equally the 992 has clearly taken a step in that direction with its new adaptive cruise control.
What’s more, Porsche is on the record with plans to introduce a hybrid model when the 992 gets its mid-cycle facelift in around four years. That’s why the 992 has pinched a version of the latest Panamera’s eight-speed PDK gearbox. It’s been engineered to support hybrid implementations. Indeed, were prevailing battery technology a little more advanced, Porsche would likely have made hybrid part of the 992 mix right from launch.
It’s all an awfully far cry from that first 911 model, all two litres, 130hp and 1080kg kg of it. But what of that other hand? Well, the core proposition remains remarkably faithful to the original, which isn’t a total shock given the 992 was developed from the 991, rather than being a true clean-sheet design. There’s still a combustion flat-six hanging out over the rear axle. The layout remains 2+2 and the basic silhouette and signature side window graphic are absolutely recognisable without falling into the trap of retro pastiche.
Likewise, you can be almost certain that whatever you make of the 992 in outright terms, compared to its competitors, such that they are, it will be more engaging, more driver focused, more competent and more transparent than the lot. Sure, the likes of Aston Martin and its V8 Vantage have upped their game. But it’s almost certain the new 992 will expose it for the shoe-string lash up that it comparatively is.
Mercedes’ AMG GT? It almost certainly won’t truly rival the standard 992 Carrera as a driver’s car, let alone the full-on GT models. With all that in mind, it’s perhaps best to celebrate the 992 while we still can. After all, the auto industry is going through tumultuous changes, currently. The new 992 might be a very different car from its earliest progenitors. But it’s still incredibly faithful to the original 911’s ethos given the limitations of modern motoring.