It's been a few good months since Porsche revealed the 992 generation of the 911 but only now is the Zuffenhausen-based sports car maker making the entry level variant available. Prior to this, the more powerful Carrera S and 4S were the headline attractions.
Now that, here, the lesser non-S Carrera has joined the fray in both coupe and cabriolet forms, we can observe how they differ and how they seem to offer almost indistinguishable experiences. To start, all these cars now come with a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six petrol engine, though it’s predictably tuned differently based on how much you’ve paid.
In its least potent guise, we now know the 992 produces 283kW and 448Nm, a small but not insignificant improvement over the facelifted 991 Carrera and Carrera Cabriolet that these replace. Somewhat more substantial is the overall performance benefits that the all-new model takes advantage of over its predecessor.
For example, assuming all cars are equipped with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission, the new Carrera can accelerate from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, beating its forebear to three digit speeds by 0.6 seconds. The deficit on power over the 992 Carrera S, meanwhile, has only amounted to a 0.5 second gap.
Throw in the optional Sport Chrono Package, which adds Launch Control and an overboost feature among others, and that number drops to 4.0 seconds dead. From that perspective, the step-up Carrera S seems superfluous (is that why they released it first?).
Before turbocharging utterly swept through the 911 range, the performance gulf between the Carrera and Carrera S was obvious. The engines tended to differ not just in pure output, but also in displacement as well as feel and behaviour. No longer.
Of course, as the entry variant to the new 911 range, the Carrera does feature a smaller wheel and tyre package compared to the S. This is also echoed in the smaller brakes with black painted callipers where the S receives larger rotors and red callipers.
At the rear, the car’s rear engine exits via two round tailpipes in contrast to the quad arrangement of the Carrera S - this, besides the badging, is really the only obvious visual indicator that separates the two variants. However, if you do really want the upgraded exhausts, Porsche will sell you that in the form of the optional Sports Exhaust system.
Inside, both the Carrera and Carrera Cabriolet are very well appointed with leather and a medley of other high quality material accents and trim, most of which can be specified individually. A single analogue tachometer is portioned centrally within an otherwise all-digital instrument cluster, supplemented by a 10.9-inch widescreen infotainment system panel at the centre.