P-brained connoisseurs who indulge in that primitive side of Porsche can continue celebrating, although the 991.2’s latest instalment has greater appeal to new adopters and even the semi-haters. I’ve been an avid devotee of Porsche cars since forever, but never really appreciated the odd driving attitude of yester-911s. Yes, it is sophisticated and it is rewarding to drive but I just didn’t fully understand what the craze was all about.
A New Hope
As i enter this gorgeous Graphite Blue C4S, i’m greeted by matching shagadelic blue suede & leather interior paired with matching white stitching and seats. Driving the all-new bi-turbo 3L C4S in its default electronic configuration through KL city – Karak reveals the original, all-time exclusive yet practical side of the 911 we’ve come to love. The new gen 991.2 is supple, just as inspiring at every inch travelled and feels synthetically unadulterated, if that make any sense.
Almost every significant feature of the rear-engined 911 has been retained, although each of these aspects are markedly polished and much more well managed. These substantial changes include repositioning of the engine, active this and electronic that, thus bringing the current 991 generation closer to the dynamics of a mid-engined coupe. Anything from the distinct weightless front nose, to the pendulum rear end is still there, but kept in check and optimised to perfection.
2016 / 2017 991.2 Porsche 911 Carrera 4s
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six
Zerotohundred: 3.8 seconds
Transmissions: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic PDK
Dimensions: 4496mm (L), 1880mm (W), 1295mm (H)
Weight from: 1,251kg
Fuel consumption: 7.9L/100km
Price: RM1,040,000 excluding options
I can clearly remember the moments in a midship 2010 987 Cayman S where I felt was some of the best driver’s car in the world. It’s got a brilliant chassis, a full fat 3.4L flat six that sings and is incredibly precise. Then on a separate term, i lived with a highly desirable 997 GT2 for a couple of weekends.
Needless to say, the 3.6L twin turbo, manual, rear-drive only 530hp beast was thoroughly extreme, incredibly savage but more importantly, wildly inaccessible at the same time. Even on the circuit, it’s painfully difficult to be precise in the GT2 if you’re not someone like Walter Röhrl or @earlbamber.
The aptly named widowmaker was literally a bespoke inverted hot rod that threatens to take it to the skies if the landing strip was long enough. Its nose was so light that when on full boost, you’d lose about 30 degrees in frontal perspective. Operating a GT2 require actual guts, sweat and core muscles. Thankfully the fully evolved, new 991.2 platform like this 2016 Carrera 4s we have today is miles more cultured and approachable.
Forced Fed Ex
Speaking of forced induction, the sensation of boost surge in this new engine is virtually non-existent. If anything, Porsche’s remarkable engineering has resulted in an engine response that is as NA as can get, while preserving that historical flat six character and mechanical symphony.
Boost sensation is so well concealed in the new 991.2 that the only underlying hints are the occasional turbine whistles and swishes when the windows are down. Power delivery is super linear as well and even despite this being a turbocharged engine, the revs reaches a class leading 7,500rpm.
Yes, we’ve seen even the RB26DETT orgasmically overcoming past 8,000rpm whilst in the 1990s, but the Godzilla’s got nothing on these new-gen force fed Porsches. Not in engine response and definitely never in efficiency. Plus, it was a time when emissions didn’t matter and that turbo lag was cool.
However, power does taper off somewhere in the high 6K range, signifying the full capacity of the rather small, but strategically specced turbochargers. Does this still mean it’s better than the previous atmospheric engine? I’d say hands down yes. If anything, there is more immediacy in the previous 3.8L NA boxer throughout, as the needle swing by that eclectic last couple thousand revs.
The new boosted 3L does feel a hair less instantaneous, but makes up with more available torque in almost any gear and achieves similar results as its predecessor. The new engine also feels much more effortless. Torque delivery in this new engine is extremely well panned and mesmerisingly NA like.
There’s the cool Sport Response Button integrated into the steering. Fashioned in form of knurled metal knob, it acts as an overboost trigger that we used to see on tuner cars. For duration of 20 secs, this inclusive feature within the Sport Chrono packaged will strive to provide everything the Porsche is capable. Anything from boost pressures will be raised to as the PDK readies itself in the optimal gear for maximum getaway.
Imagine operating a supermarket trolley. That’s how agile the C4S is. Change of direction is one, but the ultimate prize here is in the sharp hairpins, such as those of Genting Highlands. So unreal is its ability in carving corners, the 911 even matches nimbleness of the purest hot hatches. Such instances usually plague large GT type platforms with scrubs of understeer but never in the C4S.
This rear-wheel-steer feature is new in the current 911 C2S and C4S. It is adopted from pièce de résistance 991.1 gen GT3 and Turbo S. So, apart from enabling the 911 with godlike agility, the Active Rear Axle drastically improve everyday low speed manoeuvres ranging anything from car park to 3-point turns.
Fitted on this particular C4S are the optional Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes. Bright yellow callipers signify the presence of these babies at RM37,198.15 extra. They are no doubt the pinnacle of automobile anchors and are exceptionally robust when used vigorously, like on the circuit. Even at full attack, these PCCBs can easily remain fade-free lap after lap, non-stop.
However, it is a tad overkill for a road going C4S or any 911 in general. I’d reckon the base steel discs are more than sufficient in most cases. Furthermore PCCB begs to be caned to even access its true ability. Truthfully, to only use it on the road is akin to shaving ice from an iceberg. Then again, there’s no harm in having and flaunting the yellows if you have the chump change to spare, after all these exotic carbon rotors will probably last a lifetime.
PASM & PDCC
Yet another superb feature is the active suspension that are fitted as standard in all current 911s. But in this unit, it gets the optional PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control) where it actively anticipate and reduce body roll in the corners.
In this In its default setting, be it skimming through the undulating Karak highway or chronically crater plagued KL city roads, ride quality is excellent. There’s almost no reason to switch channels even in enthused conditions as the intelligent PASM optimizes its electronic damping for that perfect ride quality. Even while rolling on massive 20s all round.
But when you actually do hit that PDCC button, the electronic suspension goes into beast mode and readies itself for whatever epic battle that may come. Damping in this mode gets pretty serious and ride like concrete on bad b-roads such as what we have currently in GH. These days, the roads here are so littered with patches and dips that it just aggravates the C4S’s ride quality quite substantially. This mode should best be reserved for better roads or the circuit where it’ll truly shine.
Today, the 911 is eons more drivable than ever before, it entertains even when driven nonchalantly. This C4S is talented at being a sports car, everything from the bi-turbo engine, to the 7-speed PDK is spectacular in operation, highly enjoyable to be precise. The 4WD system is seamless and never intrudes with the driving experience, it also very likely help make the C4S drive in a midship-manner.