2020 Porsche 911 Coupe Review
We drive the new entry-level Porsche 911.
Porsche sells, for want of a much better term, the entry-level 911 sports car. Fact is, this is the go-to model in the 992’s line-up.
It’s the cheapest new Porsche 911 you can buy, the Carrera Coupe. It takes the 3.0-litre biturbo flat-six of the Carrera S models and detunes it slightly, to figures of 385hp and 450Nm. Like its S-badged big brother, the Carrera can be had in rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive formats (the latter gaining Carrera 4 nomenclature), and also in the Coupe body style or the slightly more expensive Cabriolet. For now, the seven-speed manual gearbox recently announced for the Carrera S derivatives is not available at the base point, so the only transmission offered is the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch auto. Prices for the Carrera begin at around €150,000, which is more than €18,500 cheaper than the equivalent Carrera S version.
How is it to drive?
Wonderful, and in truth it’s almost every iota as beguiling as the more potent 911 Carrera S. The only instances where you’ll feel the difference between the 385- and 450hp versions of the Porsche is at high revs and in higher gears, whereupon speeds would be illegal for the road – so, unless you’re planning on regularly brining your six-figure 911 onto a racetrack, the cheaper Carrera makes more sense for buyers. It loses none of the marvellous steering feel, sweet handling balance nor fabulous soundtrack by being the less powerful engine, while a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed north of 290km/h ought to be enough performance for anyone’s needs.
It also looks excellent and has a top-notch cabin, the latter of which you can appreciate all the more when you’re not exploiting every last ounce of the Carrera’s performance. As a pseudo-GT, this 911 is the best of the lot: tyre, wind and engine noise are not pronounced at all when the car is cruising along in eighth at low revs, while the ride quality on the standard-fit Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is deeply impressive across the board. In short, the Carrera feels luxurious, effortless and cosseting when you want it to be, and on the other hand it can be thoroughly visceral, noisy and exciting. Everything a good 911 should be, in other words.
When is it coming to Ireland?
It’s available now. The 911 Carrera has dual-zone climate control, heated front sports seats with partial electric adjustment and leather trim, 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels, a 150-watt, eight-speaker Sound Package Plus audio system, exterior LED lights all round, Warn and Brake Assist, Keyless Go, Park Assist front and rear, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifts to control the PDK gearbox. Even with some choice options, it should still work out as cheaper than a basic Carrera S.
Any juicy technology?
The Porsche Communication Management infotainment, presented on a crystal-clear 10.9-inch touchscreen in the centre of the 911 Carrera’s dashboard, is one of the finest human-machine interfaces of its type and it has a superb degree of configurability, as well. Beyond that, there’s Porsche Wet Mode on the new 911. This is a system that senses the amount of water in the wheel arches and can advise the driver to switch to a special Wet driving mode in damp conditions – and, in heavier rain and through lots of standing water, it will automatically switch to Wet mode itself.
Carzone.ie rating: 5/5
The Porsche 911 has become an icon of the motoring world for good reason and there are very few ‘bad’ models in the sports car’s 56-year history. Yet there can be few finer all-rounders produced by Porsche than this current 911. It’s expensive in the grand scheme of new vehicles, but it’s worth every penny of its asking price and we think it’s the first model of 911 you should be looking at if you’re looking to treat yourself to a Porsche.