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The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S does not disappoint at the Track

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 11/07/2019 Tony Quiroga
a car driving on a road: Testing the latest 992-generation Porsche 911 reveals it to be incredibly quick and every bit as capable as expected. © Tom Salt - Car and Driver Testing the latest 992-generation Porsche 911 reveals it to be incredibly quick and every bit as capable as expected.

No more suspense: Our 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S (992 generation) test car hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds flat and tripped the quarter-mile lights in 11.3 seconds at 125 mph. Equipped with Porsche's optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (a seven-speed manual remains standard), the 911 is capable of launch-control starts that'll leave even the most jaded test driver with the giggles.

Launch control is as easy as holding your left foot against the brake and flooring the throttle with your right. Let the engine revs hang at 5000 rpm for a few beats, release the brake, and wham. The clutch snaps shut, the rear tires hook up, and the Porsche tries its best to grab the horizon. Do it again and again, and you'll get tired from being pounded into the seat before the 911 gives up.

Familiar Figures

While neck-achingly impressive, the acceleration numbers are identical to the previous-generation 911 GTS (991.2) with its PDK, also a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. A drag race would come down to a photo finish, as these two are track-sheet twins, down to their quarter-mile trap speeds. To the specification junkies, this should come as no surprise. Although the new 911 has new turbochargers and revised intercooler routing, the twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six makes 443 horsepower, a mere seven ponies less than the old GTS.

a yellow car parked on the side of a road: Tested: 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S © Tom Salt - Car and Driver Tested: 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S

We've already driven the latest 911 on the street and have gone over how it has evolved here and there. But an increased use of aluminum helps keep the weight gain over the old GTS to 60 pounds. Not that the engine notices the extra mass, so don't worry too much about cheating on your Paleo diet.

Remove the launch-control start and the new 911 still is on the quick side of the spectrum. Without the benefit of a high-rpm launch during our 5-to-60-mph rolling-start test, the Carrera S slings itself to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, or 0.4 second behind the old GTS. In the new car, power comes on strong at 3000 rpm. Not that it's slow below that engine speed, it's just there's a real urgency that arrives as the tachometer needle swings past that mark. That slight lag could be partly due to the particulate filter in the exhaust stream fitted to the European model we drove in Germany. American versions won't get the filters, but we will get what amounts to an exhaust restrictor that will mimic the filter's additional backpressure, so we're not too sure that, once we're able to strap our test gear to an American-spec 992, our cars will exhibit a deeper reserve of low-end power.

a car engine: Tested: 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S © Tom Salt - Car and Driver Tested: 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S

More to Come

Stopping is done by six-piston calipers in front gripping the 992's carbon-ceramic brake rotors, an $8970 option, while four-piston calipers do the squeezing in back. Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires halt the action from 70 mph in a short 140 feet, which is, again, the same number the GTS returned. Our German test facility lacked a skidpad, but the grip from the chassis and stability imparted by the 911's optional rear-wheel-steering system made us think that the 992 might beat the old GTS's 1.05-g skidpad performance.

Before you dismiss the new 911's performance as no better than its predecessor, understand that the Carrera S is a less extreme model compared to the GTS. When Porsche launches a GTS, it comes with a power bump and a host of performance gear. Our Carrera S came with similar equipment, but when a GTS version of the 992 hits, it'll certainly boost power beyond 450 horses, and those acceleration figures should fall.

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