It’s no exaggeration to say that the Porsche 911 is one of our favorite cars. And the new 992-generation version that went on sale here in the States last year is every bit worthy of the breed; while bigger isn’t always better when it comes to sports cars, Porsche managed to make the newest 911 Carrera models as involving and fun as ever even while stretching their proportions to new degrees. The 992-gen 911 is quicker, more comfortable, and more innovative than the car that came before — attributes that helped it land a spot on our coveted Best Cars of the Year list last year.
The new model year sees the Carrera models score the 930 Turbo-inspired leather interior package that debuted on the new 911 Turbo S, which brings added cowskin trim and quilted leather to the door panels and seat centers. Like the 992-generation’s tachometer, it’s about as subtle as retro gets, bringing just a dash of classic style to the insides of the timeless sports car.
The biggest news for Europe and other markets, of course, is the arrival of a seven-speed manual gearbox in the Carrera S and 4S — but that’s less of a big deal for us in the United States, because Porsche brought that option to America during the 2020 model year in order to satisfy us slavering Stateside stick-shift fanboys. As it’s meant for those who really want to drive their Porsches, the manual comes standard with the Sport Chrono package, torque vectoring and automatic rev matching. It’s slightly slower than the PDK version, but really, you won’t care.
Everyone, though, benefits from the availability of a new Smartlift axle lift feature, which was first seen on the new 911 Turbo S. This clever add-on not only uses hydraulics to lift the nose by 1.58 inches to clear bumps, but it remembers where you push the button to raise the front end, then automatically does so the next time the GPS senses you’re closing in on the same spot.
2021 also sees the arrival of InnoDrive in the 911 family. This feature is effectively a smarter version of cruise control meant for winding two-lane roads that uses GPS data to read the road for up to a mile and a half ahead, then figures out the precise amount of gas and brake to apply ahead of time, as well as when and where to apply them. This lets the car safely control its own speed along winding roads, leaving the driver with nothing to do but steer.
The lightweight glass from the new Turbo S is also available, should you want an easier way to save nine pounds than a HIIT program; ambient lighting for the interior is also now available. Oh, and there’s an added color in the palette: Python Green. Porsche didn’t provide images of it on the new 911, but you can see what it looks like on the 718 Boxster here if you’re so interested.
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