New Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (992): A Twin-Turbo-Powered Evolution
by Martin Green
911: there simply isn’t a stronger, more powerful number in the world of high-performance cars.
It represents a car that has successfully proven the power of evolution. For decades its slowly evolving image has decorated the rooms of teenagers, planting the seeds of growing desires: when their paychecks are finally substantial enough, they are destined to spend them at their local Porsche dealers.
By making the car not only good looking but also injecting it with what the Germans so beautifully call Gründlichkeit, it became a reliable partner for drivers, providing enjoyment mile after mile . . . after mile.
High-mileage 911s are not the exceptions in the car world; they simply confirm the rule that this is one of the best and easiest-to-live-with (if you don’t get one of the more extreme versions) sports cars in the world.
Even the Porsche 911’s excitement evolves
The presentation of the 2020 Porsche 911 is not that different from the keynotes that Tim Cook gives when he announces a new iPhone.
And not only the automotive press holds its breath, but also owners, potential owners, and future owners (some still at very tender ages). The beauty of the 911 is that Porsche never changes it enough to warrant the term “revolution.” The brand always makes sure that even the latest version is familiar, but also new enough to make you want to reach for your checkbook. Even if there is a fairly new 911 already parked in your garage.
The eighth (!) generation of this legendary car, designated the 992, does not disappoint, heading into a direction that we were kind of already expecting. It is more muscular, powerful, faster, and more connected than any Porsche ever dressed in the Carrera S trim. And as is the case with evolution, not everything is new.
About 20 percent of the 992 comes from the previous generation, the 991. And the vast majority of those parts are found in the engine bay. Here we see the now-familiar turbocharged flat-six engine, but Porsche reworked the air-cooling system and the turbochargers as well as improved the fuel injection.
This results in more power, which the German brand brings to wheel by means of a completely new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The result of this is mind-blowing acceleration. Both the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S beat the 0-100 km/h acceleration times by 0.4 seconds, putting them well under the four-second mark for both.
Go for the optional Sport Chrono Package and it knocks off another 0.2 seconds. That means that this daily driver – and many people use their 911s as such – can keep up, if not beat, the vast majority of the sports cars and even a decent number of super sports cars in a sprint.
Mind you, this still is a relatively modest Carrera (4)S we are talking about, not a Turbo and not a new GT3.
911 technology evolves as well
If you go looking for the battery that makes these impressive acceleration times possible, you will be looking for a long time as the new 911 is not a hybrid!
However, clever as the engineers at Porsche are, there is some unused space in the PDK-transmission. Here they can insert a battery to turn the 911 in a bona fide hybrid.
This is the ace up the sleeve of Porsche to easily accommodate demands from the market as well as government regulations.
This also ties in with another feature that is new in the 911: Porsche Impact, a sophisticated program that calculates the carbon footprint created by enjoying your new 911. It converts this into a suggested financial contribution for which you can select one of many certified environmental projects around the world.
In the Middle Ages, the church sold these to absolve sins and guarantee entrance to heaven; these days, car manufacturers sell something similar to give customers the peace of mind that they won’t (completely) ruin the planet for their grandchildren by enjoying their 911s.
As part of the evolution strategy, some things also stay the same. And in the case of the new 911, this is the manual gearbox! Quite a surprise as even Porsche has a growing number of clients with no idea what to do with that wobbling stick and extra pedal.
People who still do know how to drive a stick will be delighted as it also reduces the weight of the car.
Porsche 911 (992): the look of love
While the wheelbase of the 992 is identical to that of the previous generation, the overhang on each side is more, making the car longer. Because it is also 45 mm wider at the front and 44 mm at the back, it is beautifully proportioned.
Porsche sculpted the body with a bit more muscle, which is amplified by the well-stocked fenders with 20-inch tires at the front and 21-inch tires in the back, giving the new 911 a very powerful appearance.
The back – the part most of your fellow drivers on the highway will see most often – carries over some design elements that we are already familiar with from the Panamera. After all, the Porsche lineup is one happy family, ensuring that the parents of two teenagers don’t feel too badly when they have to opt for a Porsche with two more doors.
Inside, the new 911 is still delightfully German. Everything is there, exactly where you want it to be, and every button gives you the feeling that you are touching quality.
Overly exciting it is not, though. The term boring comes to mind, but fortunately the driving experience itself is such an attraction that you don’t need any unnecessary frivolities in the interior that would only distract you from what really matters.
Of course, there is a huge screen right in the center of it all, but at least Porsche integrated it quite nicely so that it doesn’t look like somebody lost an iPad.
It is used to utilize the many settings, options, and other technological gadgets, many of which now come standard with this generation.
They are nice, fun, safe, or even all of the above, but fortunately this evolution doesn’t take away from the fact that the new 911 is still what it has always been: a fabulous driver’s car!
For more information, please visit www.porsche.com/international/models/911.
You may also find the new watch that Porsche Design introduced to celebrate this new car at Motor Meets Rotor: Porsche Design 911 Chronograph Timeless Machine Limited Edition Revs It Up In Honor Of The New 911 Carrera 4S (992).
Quick Facts Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (992)
Engine: 2981 cc twin-turbocharged flat six
Power: 443 bhp and 390 lb ft of torque, rear-wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch transmission
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds
Top speed: 307 km/h
Base price: €120,125 (Germany)