New Porsche 911: Is this now the best car in the world?

Whether or not you’re a fan of Porsche’s most enduring model, it’s impossible to ignore just how influential it has been in the world of motoring (and motorsport). At 48 years young, it might be getting on a bit and yet it shows no sign of stagnating. The 2010 911 GT3 R Hybrid became the world’s first hybrid to compete in an international GT championship. But the crowning glory of Weissach’s most iconic car is the role it plays as a benchmark for every other manufacturer to reach and (try to) beat.

So when Porsche released details of its new 911 earlier this week, you can imagine the attention it must have received in the boardrooms of Maranello, Gaydon, Munich and Stuttgart.

The salient points which will have gained most attention from their rivals include:

  1. Wider, lower, more spacious and lighter..

    The wheelbase of Porsche’s new 911 is 100 millimetre (approx. 3.9 inches) longer than its predecessor whilst the car’s overall height is reduced, but perhaps more telling is the fact that it’s 45 kg lighter than the outgoing 997. The front track has also been extended which further emphasises the visual impression of the 991 being a lower and wider car.

    Despite the increased footprint, the new 911 is significantly lighter, thanks mainly to the extensive use of aluminium-steel in its construction.

  2. An interior reminiscent of the Porsche Carrera GT

    Most observers have referred to the 991’s Panamera-inspired interior, however Porsche take a different view. They say the new 911 takes its cue from the Porsche Carrera GT supercar with its centre console rising up to the front of the dashboard and the high-mounted shift/gear selector located close to the steering wheel in typical motorsport fashion.

  3. Interior reminiscent of the Porsche Carrera GT


  4. The alchemy of Porsche Intelligent Performance

    al·che·my – noun /ˈalkəmē/ – the practice of trying to transform common materials into gold.

    Whilst it may sound a bit far-fetched to describe Porsche’s achievements with its new 911 as magic, I was struck by the similarities (at least metaphorically) with witch-craft in the Middle Ages.

    Take the following for example: the entry-level 911 Carrera now comes with 10 bhp more power at 345 bhp, despite the engine size being reduced from 3.6-litres in the 997 down to 3.4-litres. With the PDK transmission it accelerates from 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with Sport Plus) and yet consumes a mere 34 mpg – 6 mpg less than it’s predecessor. Also, at 194 g/km CO2, it is the first Porsche sports car to make it below the 200 g/km mark. See what I mean about the witch-craft?

    Before you conclude that the 3.4-litre Carrera is the token ecoModel in the range, take a look at the Carrera S with its 3.8-litre boxer engine that now produces 394 bhp (up from 380 bhp in the 997) accelerates from 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds (4.1 seconds with Sport Plus engaged) and yet consumes only 32 mpg with CO2 emissions of 205 g/km.

    These stunning figures are achieved by systems and functions such as auto start/stop, thermal management, electrical system recuperation, new electro-mechanical power steering, the world’s first seven-speed manual transmission and a special ‘sailing’ mode in conjunction with the PDK transmission.


Porsche have also developed new active control systems such as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilisation system, which is available for the first time on the 911 Carrera S.

Despite these improvements Porsche have chosen to price the new 911 at a 3-4 % increase over the outgoing 997, although they have not as yet confirmed the new car’s standard level of specification. In Germany this translates to 88,038 euro for the 911 Carrera and 102,436 euro for the 911 Carrera S (incl. VAT), which is bound to give Aston Martin plenty to worry about.

So is the new 911 the best car in the world? Well I can’t think of another car which balances the seemingly contradictory elements of performance, emissions, dynamics and usability within such a well honed package. It’s certainly not cheap, but this might just be all the car you’ll ever need.