The 8th generation of the Porsche 911 has been let loose on the streets, and I thought it would be good fun to give it a go, especially with the recent experience from the 911 Carrera T fresh in mind. Porsche themselves call the new 911 a “Timeless Machine“, and seeing how they have worked on perfecting the somewhat unexpected concept of a rear-engined sports car for more than 50 years, that’s in fact not such a silly expression. The design and silhouette of the 911 are long since household elements of the high performance sections of car history.
I was met by a striking Racing Yellow 911 Carrera 4S at the dealership and soon returned outside with its keys in hand. As with the Carrera T, finding a comfortable driving position was a breeze, and the 3.0-litre flat six behind the rear axle awoke with an audible grin. The new gear lever can best be described as cute, seeing how small and inviting it is, standing not much more than five centimetres tall on that floating gearbox island (how tricky will it be to keep the gap around the latter clean?) in the centre console. Anyhow, the feel of said lever when selecting drive left me in no doubt that it would stand up to years of use, cuteness and whatnot.
Along the way to my destination, I noticed a steep and twisty road, the shape of which made out the words “drive me” in some ancient language, probably. With newfound linguistic proficiency, I manoeuvered this small road towards its highest point and stopped for a quick photoshoot, which included a less-than-impressing look under the engine hood. The text “3.0 S” on a metal plaque must have been placed there to reassure us that there is in fact an engine tucked in there somewhere. Truth be told, it’s not just any engine – the Porsche 911 flat six is one of the best engineered engines around, and it spoke eloquently in highly capitalised letters in that ancient language during the frisky second take of the twists and turns of that road.
At several points in time, countless small and large rocks tumbled from the mountain sides in Gloppedalen, creating what is known as the Gloppedalsura scree, the largest of its kind in northern Europe. If it hadn’t been for the clouds, the people aboard the ISS would probably have mistaken that yellow German for a beacon, standing out like a canary bird in a Chernobyl concrete store. The size of some of the humongous rocks would dwarf just about anything you could throw at it, and the 911 Carrera 4S was no exception, imitating a Matchbox car with flying colours.
On the inside, the Porsche 911 makes you feel welcome, and overstaying your welcome is not a term this car knows. The seats offer sublime support, the menu system is just enough German Ordnung muss sein and the outwards visibility is plenty satisfactory. The five round dials in the instrument panel look great and offer a plethora of information via the many display options. However, the two outer dials were obscured by the steering wheel, which was somewhat surprising in a car with such a pedigree.
The new Porsche 911 is a joy to drive. Quite simply. It feels just right, it sounds excellent, it changes direction and velocity like a champ and it has the looks to match. In the Carrera 4S, the 3-litre engine hands out 450 hp and propels more than one-and-a-half tonnes of German engineering from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, making occupants and onlookers grin like silly in the process. So, I hear myself ask; why did Porsche stick with that backwards concept of a rear-engined sports car? Because they very well could and still very well can.
A big thanks to Porsche Center Stavanger for choosing yellow!