2019 Porsche 911
Car Tested: 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S; Road Test No. 1089; Test Location: Buddh International Circuit
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 2.12 - 2.29 crores
The Porsche 911 is a true delight to drive, one can just not get enough of it!
Porsche 911. The name brings out the car enthusiast in each one of us. Touted to be one of the greatest sports cars of all time, the 911 has been the default choice of wealthy petrolheads for years. In 55 odd years, the Porsche 911 has set a standard for other supercars to follow and has exceeded it with every generation without changing much of the car’s core credentials. The new Porsche 911 has a huge task of maintaining the tradition of sheer motoring excellence of its predecessors. Can it live up to it? Let’s find out.
Motor Quest: The first Porsche 911 was introduced in 1963 and it was also codenamed as the ‘911’. The code names have changed but Porsche decided to sell the car with the ‘911’ tag since then. It’s instantly recognisable silhouette, raspy sounding flat-six engine, it’s brilliantly judged dynamics have made it an icon of sorts over the years. It is also one of the best selling sports cars at the moment and has enjoyed great success in India too.
Exteriors - The Porsche 911 is one of the most recognisable cars ever built. Credit goes to how little has the car departed from the original despite boasting of many modern elements. The eight generation 911 is no different then. Some people will find it tricky to distinguish the changes but that is exactly what has made the 911 special for all these years. The changes are super minimal and they are intended to make the already stunning car be more with the times. The front is more aggressive with more pronounced spitter element and larger air ducts. The LEDs below the headlights are slimmer and like the older car, they double up as turning lights. The bonnet is flatter and more squarish than before with subtle creases. The headlights remain as round as ever with the quad-DRL set-up, a trademark of modern Porsches. The headlight is beautifully detailed with neat ‘Porsche’ badging on the inside.
Porsche has always hit the nail on the head with all of their cars' styling
The side is very elegant and the wheels, nearly all the styles of it, look stunning. The car has the same wheelbase as the previous generation, so it looks nice and tight from the side. There is a flow to the car’s side profile which is only complimented by the smartly executed wing mirrors and prominent wheel arches. Also worth noticing are the deployable door handles which some people may find a bit gimmicky but they add that effortless feeling to the car’s side. The rear is the most busy looking but by no measure ugly looking. The continuous strip of LED taillight is another signature Porsche design touch.
The black valance that houses the air-ducts for the engine, the oval exhaust pipes and the heavily structured rear bumper give the hint of the power underneath. The new 911 is slightly wider than before and as a result all the elements at the rear feel in sync with the rest of the design. Porsche has yet again managed to subtly yet effectively redesign the 911. It is a beautiful looking supercar that will look equally stunning in an office parking lot as it would on a race track. We would prefer the brighter colours in Porsche’s extensive pallet for the 911.
Interiors - The cabin of the 911 is very inviting with minimalistic and fuss free design. Unlike the exterior, the changes to the interior are extensive. Whereas the last generation Porsche 911 had a conventional layout, this one seems to be breaking the norms. Like all the new Porsches, the screen takes the place of pride, right in the centre of the dashboard. The infotainment screen is neatly housed in the contoured dashboard and has a brilliant resolution but in a car like the 911, the large size of it feels like a tech overload. Since everything can be controlled by the touch-screen infotainment system and a few controls on the steering wheel, the cabin is far less dependent on buttons. The major criticism of the previous few generations of the 911, that is of having too many buttons, has been finally sorted. Below the screen, you have usual controls and the AC-vents. The toggle-controls for changing modes and the climate control switches look and feel very premium to operate.
A lot of buttons have been replaced by the touchscreen with a variety of functions
However we did not like a few things. There is only one deployable cupholder on the passenger side instead of two, like in the previous car. The driver’s cupholder is placed far-back on the centre console and it is not as practical or as well designed as the openable twin-cupholders of the last-gen 911. What stands out like a sore thumb is the gear selector that is the size of a key. It looks too small and does not feel special to operate. It changes gears. Shouldn’t it be more substantial?
But those are the only negatives we can hold against the cabin of the 911 and they are not at all deal breakers. The quality is utterly impressive and it feels incredibly polished and well appointed for a sports car. Cupholder aside, the ergonomics are simply terrific. The driving position is superb and everything falls to the hands easily. There is also a variety of steering and seat adjustment to suit your needs. The seats are very supportive and long journeys will be comfortable. The rear seats is what makes the 911 more versatile than other sports cars but the rear seats, though larger, are still only suited for really small kids.
The 5-gauge layout of the instrument cluster on the 911 is a true beauty!
The instrument cluster is almost completely digital showing you a ton of information but Porsche has tastefully kept the rev-counter analog and, like always, is placed at the centre. The rev counter with the 3D effect is a thing of beauty in itself. The whole instrument cluster looks fantastic upon start up and we love how Porsche has kept the traditional 5-guage layout and not made it into a plain and continuous digital display. And if you opt for the Sport Chrono package, you also get a nifty stopwatch atop the dashboard.
The equipment list is vast but there is so much more that you can add. In addition to the usual navigation, leather and electrically adjustable front seats, climate control, you can choose a fancy Burmeister sound system, more Alcantara, brushed aluminium, sportier seats as part of the options list. Mind you, the options are exorbitantly priced and will increase the price of your 911 by some million rupees quite easily. Overall, we are thoroughly blown away by the near-perfect quality and feel good factor of the Porsche 911’s cabin. It is one of the best interiors we have seen in a sports car and certainly betters the generation it replaces.
Performance - The Porsche 911 Carrera S is powered by a 3.0-litre flat-six engine which produces 444 BHP of power and 530 Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-100 km/hr time of 3.7 seconds (or 3.5 seconds with the Sports Chrono package). The motor is very refined at idle and feels smooth even when you get into the mid-range, it's only in the top-end that it absolutely screams all the way to its 7500 RPM redline (amplified by the centrally placed analogue tachometer). Low-end has some lag, mid-range is strong but it's really the top-end which is the forte of this high-revving motor.
The kind of performance the Porsche 911 has can make anyone giggle in joy
The 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox (PDK in Porsche speak) offers slick shifts and is supremely aggressive with downshifts too, even though you have steering mounted paddles, you will never really feel the need to use them. The motor sounds amazing as you whack open the throttle and the tacho needle climbs with great urgency to the rev limiter, this car is not only fast but it feels that way and excites your senses when you whizz past 4000 RPM. The top speed is 308 km/hr and the fuel economy is around 5 km/l.
Driving Dynamics - The Porsche 911 Carrera S channels power to the rear wheels or you can opt for the 4S which has 4-wheel drive. This car has a lot of electronics, some of them are optional like the rear wheel steering which gives it even better precision around the corners. The steering is beautifully well weighed, offers great feel and feedback and the chassis is so well calibrated that the 992 feels laser guided through the corners, offering you more than enough feel of each of the super grippy tyres. The ride is hard to judge on a smooth race track but yes, everything is on the stiffer side but can be softened a bit for bad roads with a touch of a button. Cabin feels silent other than the turbos singing their song and a bit of wind noise too.
Safety - The Porsche 911 is as safe as it can get. You get a plethora of electronics including a sensitive traction-control system and stability programme to make sure the 911 stays in place. The 911 is also gets 6 airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchorages. Factor in the tank-like build quality, the 911 is incredibly safe. Talking about service, Porsche has presence in metros in India and service costs are expectedly on the higher side since parts are also imported.
Verdict - The Porsche 911, for the eighth time, has shown us the meaning of a truly great sports car. It has got exceptional performance and sensational dynamics. But in its pursuit of being an incredible driver’s car, it looses very little on comfort and convenience. The gorgeous design and phenomenal interior is just the icing on the cake. The Porsche 911 has been launched in India with a starting price of Rs. 2.12 crores (on-road, Mumbai). This makes the car enormously expensive but experience the sheer depth of abilities and you begin to understand the high-price. We have no doubt that the 911 remains an invincible motoring icon and one the finest examples of German engineering.
* Styling continues to remain beautiful
* Well laid out cabin is impressive and functional
* Flat-6 engine has superb performance, pulls cleanly!
* Handling and the way the car drives is astounding
What's Not So Cool
* Certain ergonomic quirks
* Optional extras are too pricey
Alternatives: - Mercedes-AMG GT, Audi R8 V10, Aston Martin Vantage, Jaguar F-Type
2019 Porsche 911
2019 Porsche 911 Review
The new Porsche 911 comes across as a very impressive machine. The car looks outstanding, gets all the latest tech and features on offers, drives extremely well and the engine is a hoot too. We drove it on the BIC F1 track and came out thoroughly impressed with this. There are minor negatives like the expensive options and a few quirks here and there but there’s no denying to the fact that this car is truly ludicrous.