Porsche 911 Carrera S (2015) in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Porsche 911 Carrera S (2015) in the test
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D the traditional approach to The test of a new 911 consists in styling up the rhetorical question of whether this 911 is still a real one, as if it were deciding the continued existence of the West. Then it's time to get up to the folklore, from admiring the old (here naturally aspirated engines) to leg-slinging legends to the (now a bit rusty) cast iron.

In the end, the all-clear would be given that the new 911 would get the title of the best 911 that Porsche has ever built. But first, the West has more pressing concerns at the moment. And because you don't want to read the same thing for the 127th time, we immediately realize: Yes, best 911 ever.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Off to the racetrack with the Porsche 911 Carrera S.

And thirdly, friends, the golden autumn is once again wandering around Hockenheim this December afternoon. Such a racetrack comes in handy when it comes to exploring the capabilities of this car. After all, the 911 shifted its limit range over the decades far beyond the speed range that you drive on country roads. This applies even more to the test car: S-GO 4015 brings with it a dual clutch transmission, roll compensation, sports chrono package including overboost, ceramic brakes and rear-axle steering. These extras alone add up to 19,563 euros and 60 cents.

New turbo boxer engine develops 420 hp

Although such surcharges have long ceased to bother us with the 911. This is more likely if the new engine starts two meters behind the driver's ears. The six-cylinder boxer, 2,981 cm³, has one fuel pump per cylinder bank and - you were actually waiting for this - one for each bankTurbocharger.

In the 420 PS strong S, modified compressors, the special exhaust system and the engine control ensure the 50 PS lead over the Carrera without S. In addition to VarioCam, the hub and the intake side take care of the optimal responsiveness of the charger Opening times vary, now a variable exhaust camshaft. Then we still have direct injection at 250 bar pressure, low-friction cylinder surfaces coated by plasma jet and basically: the end of the naturally aspirated engine era in the Carrera.

Because we have to look for something that was better before the facelift we get the sound tepid. So that the load-damped barrel sounds like something, the suction noises are transmitted into the interior via a sound channel and digitally processed, which we find strangely unworthy for this century-old sports car. Selector lever on D. Throttle. Without the earlier sawing, but with the force from below, the Carrera rolls onto the track.

Sporty driving made easy

As far as the handling qualities are concerned, the 911 didn't exactly stand out acute need for improvement. He can still do better - also because of the rear axle steering from the GT3. It uses electromechanical actuators to replace the toe links. Up to 50 km /h, the rear wheels turn a maximum of two degrees against the front wheels, reducing the turning circle by 0.5 meters. From around 80 km /h, the rear wheels turn parallel to the front wheels, thus increasing driving stability. At the same time, the translation of the electromechanical steering (i.e. the one in front now) is ten percent more direct. With all this, the Carrera S bends in even more greedily, remains neutral longer with an enormous amount of grip on the front axle, then pushes out powerfully with torque vectoring simulated by braking intervention.

Hans -Dieter Seufert
This 911 also proves its handling qualities.

This only pushes the rear into oversteer when ESP is deactivated - or is working in the new intermediate stage, with a raised control threshold for small drifts. The engine always responds sensitively, develops the power homogeneously, doesn’t seem so very turbo-charged, but rather huge. Above all, however, the new 911 is capable of racing-proven drivers and enthusiastic normal drivers alikemeet. Some can balance even more rampant, easier and faster along the border area. For the others he is more sociable than before, who does not punish mistakes, but iron them out.

Taking off the gas in the curve? Too high-spirited on the boost button (switches the engine and transmission to attack for 20 seconds)? It doesn't matter as long as ESP (PSM) is active - or brake hard and it switches on again. In this way, the 911 achieves what one does not expect from such a self-confident, actually elitist sports car: It gives you the feeling of being a terrific driver, even if you drive it far below its capabilities.

A racer for everyday life

As we set off towards the Neckar Valley, we noticed again that such a 911 is a sports car for all occasions. As you sit inside, deep but upright, with the best view ahead. The steering wheel is there for steering - yes, also for switching and changing modes, but not for on-board computers, adjusting radio stations or telephoning. The Porsche has all the everyday stuff on it with astonishingly enough space, trundles through the rush hour without any ado.

This whole everyday driving around is more relaxed because you don't always have to tour around 6,000 to get the engine to bite. From 1,700 rpm, 500 Nm push forward. If you think the 911 has forgotten how to turn: nominal speed six-five, it is limited a thousand later. Everything is more sovereign now. Always irritated that the kick-down threshold in the accelerator pedal is now missing, and it is sometimes annoying when the transmission engages seventh gear at a leisurely 60 km /h or jumps to idle at 190 km /h when taking off the accelerator to sail. To do this, PDK now also simulates intermediate stages by means of clutch slippage between two gears.

The gearbox on 'D' always hits the right gear, adapts to style and mood at the same time. So the 911 flows long along the river. Afterwards it will whiz across the autobahn, bouncing easily (adaptive dampers are now standard, the normal and sport characteristics are further spread), only rumble on transverse joints with the rear axle.

Hans- Dieter Seufert
Even everyday trips can be easily mastered with the athlete.

Porsche 911 accelerates to 100 km /h in 3.7 seconds

We should also mention that the Carrera S brakes perfectly, accelerates from 0 to 100 km /h in 3.7 seconds - seven tenths faster than the old, 430 hp GTS. But now we are where we were once at home and where familiar curves wind through a lot of hilly area.

Everyone has a route from the past, on which today you would rather not meet anyone who drives like yourself 15 years ago in the Peugeot 205. This is where the magic of the 911 works: You don't have to drive around your head, collar or other relevant body parts to get it excited. It can be positioned with centimeter precision in the curves, swirls through them, pushes itself out, the short straight up to the crest, behind which it goes down blindly to the left.

The engine kicks up the revs, just a few, pushes but already so strong at half height that you snap into the next gear. Braking with the subtle, perfectly balanced steering into the curve, with gentle pressure from the turbo out again. All good? All the best, but that was actually clear from the start.

Finally, real-time traffic jam alarms

Porsche has expanded its PCM infotainment system with a whole range of useful functions, without the previous strengths to water down. Porsche also ignites the turbo in the center console: the somewhat dusty PCM (Porsche Communication Management) has been made fit for the second half of the 911's life with a modernized seven-inch touchscreen and many online functions. In order not to obscure the map view unnecessarily, a proximity sensor only fades in additional control panels when the driver's hand moves towards them.

Fortunately, the fixed buttons for the main functions have remained, as well as two handy rotary controls that let it feel blindly. The most important innovation, however, is likely to be the real-time traffic information: Via an LTE data module with its own SIM card, the navigation system receives traffic jam information every minute, regardless of connected cell phones, and marks the road occupancy in color on the map. Google Earth and Street View views help with orientation.

But the smartphone can also make itself useful: With the Porsche Connect app, destinations can be taken from the address book or web radio programs can be played back Taxes. iPhone owners can also use Apple CarPlay to mirror other apps on the vehicle display. Unlike infotainment from other VW brands, Android Auto or MirrorLink are not supported. At the first check, we liked the new PCM with its fast-reacting touchscreen, clear menu control and intuitive voice control. The coupling of the test smartphones was also successful straight away.

Up-to-date

The developers have managed to integrate useful online functions without operating themto complicate. Those who just want to navigate, make calls and listen to music will get along with PCM straight away, while the smartphone generation is happy about additional mobile phone interfaces.

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