Porsche 911: Is new always better?

The new Porsche 911 has a long history to live up to. Can the 991 match its predecessors' greatness?

A new 911 is always cause for excitement. The German firm has been fettling the iconic motor pretty much nonstop for the last five decades -- a nip here, a tuck there, and a bit more power in its bum happens every time.

The latest 911, as well as having more power, is also more efficient than ever before. The 3.4-litre engine in its rump boasts 350 bhp but will also manage over 30mpg. Emissions-wise you still squirt out over 200g/km CO2, but considering you can hit nearly 180mph, we're not complaining too much.

One of the (many) reasons for the 911's frugality is the new electro-mechanical steering setup. Rather than using a hydraulic set up, Porsche has used a more eco-friendly doodad. The result of the change has been shouted about by the purists. They hate the idea that a 911's steering isn't as "pure" as before. They also, unless they're a racing driver, won't notice the change.

To drive, the Carrera we had was simply lovely. The PDK gearbox was a little confuzzled in town, but on the open road with "sport" mode engaged it simply flew; 0-62mph happens in just 4.8 seconds, not much at all, and the noise that flies out of it is intoxicating. However, I did feel that 350 bhp left the base car wanting. That may be the power freak inside me yearning for more, but the car felt as though it could take more before it met its potential. That said, it wasn't slow by any means.

The 991 looks like a 911 should, sounds like a 911 should and certainly goes like one. Its become more of a GT than a balls to the wall sports car, though. You can still get your sports car thrills in it as well as taking your family along for the ride, but I get the impression that a 991 would be more at home crushing continents than honing around a B-Road...

Specs
Engine 3.4-litre six-cylinder
Power 350 bhp
Torque 287 lb. ft.
0-62 mph 4.8 seconds
Top speed    178 mph
 

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