Porsche 911 Carrera

Editors' First Take

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It wasn't even the first proper corner, it was just the curving exit of the pit lane at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. But that bend was all it took for a wave of relief to wash over me and a smile to materialize. I'd been nervous about this moment, because the very first time you add some lock and really feel what the steering is like in a new car is a big one. Particularly in a Porsche 911.

Just to recap briefly, the 992 is the eighth generation of Porsche's iconic, rear-engine sports car. Manual-equipped and base models will come later, so right now there is just a choice of the $114,250 Carrera S or $121,650 4S, with a new, eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. The engine remains broadly similar as the one in the car it replaces, albeit with more power and torque. The 3.0-liter, twin-turbo flat-six now produces 443 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 390 pound-feet of torque between 2,300 and 5,000 rpm. A dash to 60 miles per hour from a standstill can now be covered in as little as 3.2 seconds in a Carrera 4S packing the Sport Chrono pack, although a standard Carrera S only lags 0.3-second behind that. The steering is 11 percent quicker -- 6 percent if you spec the optional rear-wheel steering -- and the front track is noticeably wider, while the adaptive dampers (PASM) are now infinitely adjustable with a broader operating window.

That's all very impressive, but until you get behind the wheel you don't know what sort of driving experience these facts and figures will all add up to. And I didn't want another 991 moment. I remember driving the previous iteration of the 911 across Wales for the first time when it was new and thinking, "What have they done?" The 991 improved with time, but you want it to be right from from the get-go.

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