Porsche 911 Carrera pictures and hands-on
When it comes to two-seater sports car there are few quite as iconic as the Porsche 911. Pegged as the ultimate daily driver sports car, each year Porsche refines things just that little bit more. The result is a car which is now 50 years old, but looks as modern as McLaren's MP4-12C or the Lotus Evora.
Each year since its launch in 1963 Porsche has tweaked and changed parts of the 911 in order to try to reach the perfect recipe for fun. Having spent a while driving it and, as you can see from the pictures, killed a fair few flies along the way, we have to agree: the 911 remains a classic.
Porsche opted for a slightly unusual Mexican or Swedish blue colour for the 911 we drove. Some might not like it, but in person it gives the 911 that road presence which Porsches tend to lack. It isn't because they are bad looking cars, more that there are just plenty of black and GT silver 911s on the road, bright blue ones, not so much.
Also fitted to the car was a set of optional gloss black 20-inch Carrera S wheels, the Sport Chrono package, PASM and Porsche's clever 7-speed manual gearbox. It struck us as the almost perfect combination of 911 options. You have the comfort and efficiency of the adjustable PASM suspension system and 7-speed gearbox, combined with the ability to switch things up and make them more exciting with Sport Chrono and PASM if you fancy. The 20-inch wheels might firm the ride up a touch, but we really didn't notice.
Build quality inside is absolutely excellent. Porsche knows how to put a car together and every stitch and piece of leather felt worthy of a car with a starting price of £73,413. You sit low down, yet have great visibility and the car has a knack of feeling smaller than it is. Never did the 911 feel unwieldy or difficult to control at slow speeds, further bolstering its daily driver credentials. We will say the clutch pedal was unusually long, but it's a Porsche trait that we would undoubtedly grow to love.
As for the 7-speed gearbox, it is a bit odd having so many gears, but it never gets in the way. In reality anything above fourth is really just for saving you money on petrol. You still get that same short and snappy shift that the 911 is known for and actually the seventh gear is placed in such a way that you don't accidentally miss gears because of it.
Ride is outstanding for a car of this level of performance. For many a Porsche may be their first introduction into the world of sports cars and as such they have a bit of a reputation for riding hard. Trust us, compare the 911 to a lot of other two-seaters and you will be amazed at how smooth it is.
As we said earlier, the 911 we drove had PASM fitted. Essentially a system for electronically raising and lowering the suspension, it is a £1,133 option worth ticking. PASM can smooth things out or stiffen things up depending on how you fancy driving.
The same can be said for Sport Chrono, which not only adds a rather cool -ooking, if fairly useless, lap timer to the dash, but also gives you things like launch control, different engine mounts and increased throttle response. Again all carried out by the push of a single button, we suggest going for the £1,084 Sport Chrono Package Plus.
On the tech side of things, Porsche has implemented what has to be a favourite use of in-dash navigation ever. Sitting directly in front of you, just to the right of the rev-counter, is a small high-resolution LCD screen. You can set the screen up to show everything from radio stations to your phone's Bluetooth connection. But what really makes it is the ability to view your satnav directions at a glance. Now you barely need to take your eyes off the road to see where you need to go, meaning the days of the irritating electronic satnav voice are long gone.
Really then, Porsche has yet again nailed it with the 911. The inevitability of this statement is what really irks us, as competitors like the Lotus Evora are just so good. The Porsche might not be quite as exciting as the competition to look at but, believe us, it's plenty exciting behind the wheel and that's what counts. Sounds good too.