992 Down Under

Last week, the first 992s arrived on our shores and have been revealed through a number of gala dinners around the country at Porsche dealerships. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the dinner in Melbourne but friends sent me photos to make sure I was suitably jealous.

There’s already been plenty of reporting on what’s new in the latest version of the 911 since it’s initial reveal at the LA Motorshow last year so I’m not going to go through all the stats. I was interested in seeing what it’s like in the flesh so I visited my local Porsche delearship to check it out for myself.

You know when you see those old guys driving around in an old Valiant or similar and you just know that they’ve had that car since new. They’re the ones that tell you “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”. At some point in their lives, they decided that a more modern car isn’t going to bring them any additional happiness or isn’t going to provide them with an improved driving experience. Through my 20s and 30s, I didn’t really understand this concept. I would have had about 10 cars over the years, each one newer than the previous, more refined, more comfortable, more powerful, and so on. Other than the four 911s I’ve owned, I’ve mostly been a Holden guy (yeah I know) having owned 3 Commodores on my P Plates, then 7 HSVs. I know this is a Porsche blog but bare with me. I loved each of those cars with the typical passion I exude for my Porsches. That was until I bought the 2016 Gen F2 HSV, the last version of the Clubsport. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome car. It’s big but can still be thrown around with delight in the twisty stuff. But so could the 2007 VE GTS I had before it. In fact, there was no discernible power difference, despite the fancy number on the boot lid, and handling was also very similar. What the 2016 Clubby had over the 2007 GTS was a car chock full of electronic rubbish that in the end drove me nuts. Beeps, alerts and flashes, that were more a distraction than a convenience. I realised that perhaps I’d become that old guy in the Valiant, happier with an older car that did everything I want it to, without all the bells and whistles.

I’m still interested in knowing about all the new cars being released and am still wowed by the 991 but I have no aspirations of upgrading the 997 or the 2007 Cayenne for that matter. Well, that was until I walked into the dealership.

I really like the 991. It’s a beautiful evolution of the 997. It’s visually a little more aggressive while still retaining that overall classy look we’re used to from Porsche. At first glance, the 992 doesn’t look much different, but there are a few subtle changes.

That wide body! Yes, I love a wide bodied Porsche from any era so I’m very pleased to see that all models will be a wide body. I love that the front quarters are a nod to the Turbos from the 70s and 80s. From front on, you can easily see the old Turbo DNA. The frunk lid creases and the tail lights that span the full width of the car are also a nice throw back to past 911s.

One thing I’m not sold on is the mismatched sizing of front and rear wheel diameters. My OCD wouldn’t cope very well with this. I just don’t see the necessity of a 21” wheel on the rear. That’s massive! The only other thing I really don’t like is the retractable wing. I don’t think I’ve liked any version of the 911 retractable wing but the extended 992 wing looks horrible, completely destroying the beautiful smooth lines of the car. Despite this, I’m really quite fond of the new 992.

On the inside, I love the modern take on the aircooled dashboard. It’s large central screen and mix of electronic and analogue gauges are impressive but at the same time, the dash board is nice and simple. Sitting in the driver’s seat was what really got my mind racing. It’s just a great place to be in. Maybe I could see myself in one of these some day?

The original media shots that were released when the camouflage came off the first cars really didn’t excite me. Seeing the car first hand has completely changed my mind. Porsche have done a wonderful job freshening up what was already a beautiful car.

Special thanks to Porsche Centre Brighton for allowing me the chance to dream.

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