Porsche 911 Carrera S : Green and Bare It [COTY2019]
You always know what you’re going to get with a Porsche 911. The cars may get bigger and accumulate more tech through the generations, but the driving feel remains constant.
In today’s hypebeast world, it’s easy to get swept away by the furore around the scintillating GT and thumping Turbo (note the big T, because the Carrera models are all turbocharged since the 991.2) variants, but our favourite flavour for daily-drives and an occasional B-road run is still the rear-drive Carrera S, especially since it can even decently accommodate two in the rear in a pinch.
(Click HERE to read our first drive of the type 992 911 Carrera S)
We’ve always favoured the rear-drive Carrera as a driver’s car. The notion of an all-wheel-drive Carrera like the C4 never had the same appeal, not least because Singapore doesn’t see the type of weather conditions that will let the C4 shine.
Nature has a way of marking the most dangerous creatures in bright colours to ward off potential challengers (or predators). The Lizard Green hue on this C2S may be cost-optional, but it’s brightly marked for good reason; it certainly looks the part of dangerous creature with its phat, widebody stance.
We’re of the group that still believes a 911 should be rear-drive in its purest form, because that’s how the cult automotive icon started life.
(Click HERE to read our intro to the 2019 Cars of the Year)
Of course, these days, some owners prefer the perceived security of all-wheel-drive, given engine performance figures of the latest 911s are many times that of the original 356s and early 911s from over half a century ago.
For instance, the turbo’d flat6 3.0-litre in this 992 C2S puts out a 996 Turbo-rivalling 450hp and 530Nm, which is plenty for fast, winding road use, because it is on such roads that the C2S really shines.
(Click HERE to read about a 996 Turbo owner driving the 992 C4S)
Driving enthusiasts will know that the fun isn’t about going fast in a straight-line – any one can put their foot down and do that – but going fast enough to carry ample speed into the corners to start pulling some serious gs to work the chassis.
With the latest 992, there’s no longer a distinction in body-styles between the Carrera 2 and 4 S models – the 4 used to have the wider body. Also, for the first time in the Carrera’s storied history, the 992 gets staggered 20-inch and 21-inch footwear for front and rear respectively, which helps with initial turn-in for a light-footed, nimble feel, especially if the optional rear-axle drive isn’t specified, as is the case for this car.
Porsche even poshed-up the door handles, which sit flush within the doors until they sense the key approaching and emerge for you to tug on. Modern Porsches have a distinctive rear light signature and the 992 hasn’t been left out.
A continuous horizontal light-bar accentuates the width of the car’s plumply padded rear, and can be spotted from far away – it also helps that the ‘Porsche’ script at the back sits vertical now, and is back-lit by the light-bar for easy legibility… you know, just in case non-petrolheads have difficulty identifying the car.
With all the fancy-schmancy bits, there are the nods to nostalgia as well, if only to attempt to draw the early Porsche-philes back into the fold. The bonnet recess is a throwback to classic air-cooled 911s, although we should qualify that in those earlier cars, it drew air into the cockpit, whereas modern cars are comfortably climate-controlled!
You can see the similarities in cabin architecture to the Panamera and Cayenne, with a touchscreen as centrepiece (10.9-inches in the 992), but the 992’s is thankfully minimalist in comparison, and offers very little distraction to the driver.
All but the analogue rev-counter in the centre of the familiar five-dial configuration of instruments has been digitised, so it’s same-same-yet-different, but in a progressive way.
The controversial talking point is the ‘Braun’-looking gear selector, but we sort of see the point to that. After all, once you’ve selected D, you can use the paddle-shifters to up/down-shift the 8spd PDK and forget completely about the selector – this isn’t a stick-shift you need to keep stirring. The only other time you’ll have to look at it again is to Reverse and/or Park…
Like the 991.2, the 992 features a rotary dial to select drive programmes, which is included when you spec the optional Sport Chrono Package. A nondescript ‘trigger’ button (or Porsche Sport Response Button, if you want to be precise) in the middle lets you engage an overboost mode for up to 20secs – great for safe overtaking on B-roads and highways, or just literally shooting the breeze.
A new ‘Wet’ mode has been added to help less experienced owners cope with the car’s performance on wet roads, and this is invaluable for newcomers to sportscars who may not be familiar with the side-effects of giving full throttle to a 450hp/530Nm sportscar on a wet road.
A bank of five ‘retro’ toggle switches adds to the air of nostalgia in the cabin, but there’s never any doubt the 992 is a product of the present, which is the way it should be. As much as we wax lyrical about missing the good ol’days, sportscar brands like Porsche are all about looking forward and ahead, as it constantly challenges the limits of technology and performance.
It’s always amazing how Porsche manages to enhance the drive experience through technology. As a driving enthusiast, you don’t feel alienated or side-lined by the driving assistance systems, which work to aid and abet you in going fast, rather than overpower you like the nanny-aids found in the hotter models of lesser brands.
Best of all, the systems work so seamlessly you’re always the main event and never a spectator, and the best indicator of this is the big grin on your face after every intense drive in the C2S.
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S
Engine 2981cc, flat6, biturbo
Transmission 8spd PDK dual-clutch
Top Speed 308km/h
Fuel Consumption 8.9l/100km