Whenever Porsche 911 is brought up only two models really stand out: The 911 GT3RS and the 911 Turbo. However when I got the opportunity to test a 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera S, I set out to determine if it is just great as any other 911.
The 991 model marks the end of Naturally Aspirated engines for the Porsche Carrera with new models being turbocharged. Just like most 911’s, the Porsche Carrera S makes use of 3.8L flat six motor which produces 400hp/300KW. Combined with the rear mounted engine is a seven speed twin-clutch sequential gearbox. All this allows the car to rev till 7400rpm and produce a torque of 440 Nm. With the amazing launch control the car manages to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.1 secs.
The car tested is loaded with a ton of useful extras. Among them is a sports exhaust and the sports chrono package. Sadly it was not fitted with ceramic brakes but then again the car doesn’t really need it.
I am extremely fond of the way the 911 looks, especially the rear end. There’s just something about those tail-lights and the quad-pipe exhausts that makes the car look aggressive. However it still doesn’t look aggressive enough, even with it being wider and lower than the previous gen. The front of car looks pretty much the same as the old 911 but it’s more pleasant to look at thanks to the new design day time running lights and the lower lip. The black 20″ spyder wheels makes the car stand out even more. The rear spoiler,when raised, is probably my favorite part of the car as it makes the car look more beefy.
Like most German cars the interior is quality. The car was fitted with Porsche’s standard leather sports seats which do a great job to support you when powering the car around corners. The one thing I love about the interior in a Porsche is the rev counter which sits right in the middle of the cluster. The rest of the interior is pretty boring apart from the sports chrono dial and the cup holders of course. The Carrera has four seats but only things those seats are good for is storage space and a baby seat.
In order to find out if the Carrera S is not just for looks I embarked on a journey to one of South Africa’s heritage sites, The Cradle Of Human Kind. The route consists of a series of ups and downs as well as numerous fast corners making it the perfect testing grounds.
You know that excited feeling you used to get as a kid before you received your birthday present, that’s the feeling I had when the exhaust roared and woke up my entire house. Nothing beats a cold start.
Lets start with the drive-ability of the car. The throttle response is great and the power delivery to the rear wheels is extraordinary. The car picks up speed so fast and you don’t even realize it. To reach the top speed you’ll need an open road because the acceleration is just mega. Activate the launch control and it becomes even faster. When I stepped out of the car after using the launch control my legs had that jelly-like feeling in it. The car I tested had the PDK gear shifts which means the shifts are super quick.
The car has three modes : normal,sport and sport plus. Normal mode feels slightly boring and it’s more for when you in a lazy mode. Sport plus however sharpens the gear changes and firms the suspension but the Sport mode seems to be just the right one. Activate it with the sports suspension and it becomes the perfect sports car. Rev-matching is done for you and the exhaust crackles every time you downshift.In Sport mode the ride is just perfect, not to stiff and not too soft. The electric steering does manage to take some feel away from you but the turning is still on point. The problem with Sport + is that the gear changes are too harsh and the car is always in a low gear at high rpm.
On the fuel side the car is both good and bad. If you have a heavy foot you’ll average around 26 to 30 L/100 km but if you drive sensibly it manages to achieve an decent 15-17 L/100km. Not too bad for a sports car.
Overall the car is great to drive. The acceleration is one of the best parts of the car as well as it’s ability to quick round corners but there are some negatives. The car just feels too big and that makes you a little hesitant to push the car to the limit and it just has the appearance of being a luxury car.One thing for sure is that the Porsche Carrera is definitely a car I wouldn’t mind driving every day.
For the price of the Porsche Carrera S you can get a full specked Cayman GTS which in my opinion looks much better and apparently handles better too.