Time(less) Machine

Brains and brawn combine in the eighth generation of the Porsche 911—the 2020 Carrera S.

By Andre James

March 04, 2019 10:00 AM

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The eighth generation of the Porsche 911—the 2020 Carrera S—made its world debut at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles just prior to the opening of the L.A. Auto Show this past November. Retaining all of the hallmark design DNA that makes a Porsche instantly recognizable from all other vehicles on the road, the new 911 is a bit more muscular on the outside and a whole lot sleeker on the inside, thanks to a completely new layout.

On the exterior, a broader nose arches over 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch wheels at the rear, keeping power in check and improving grip. Also helping drivers get a grip is a world first—a Porsche-developed Wet Mode—designed to detect water on the road, precondition the stability control and anti-lock brake systems accordingly, and warn the driver. Wet Mode is part of the standard equipment package, as is a camera-based warning and brake assist system, which detects the risk of collision with moving objects and initiates emergency braking if necessary. Optional upgrades include Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, and an innovative Emergency Assist function.

Inside the 911 Carrera 4S

Other notable exterior elements include flush integration of the electric door handles that extend outward when needed, new LED headlights, a front luggage compartment lid with pronounced contours that evokes the design of the first 911 generations, a significantly wider, variable-position rear spoiler, and the seamless, elegant light bar which is now a feature on both two- and four-wheel drive variants.

The turbocharged flat-six engine of the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S produces 443 horsepower, a 23-horsepower increase compared with the previous model.  Equipped with the 8-speed PDK dual clutch transmission as standard, the rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera S Coupe takes 3.5 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour from standstill, while the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe with all-wheel drive cover the distance in 3.4 seconds (0.4 seconds faster than the previous model in each case). Opt for the Sport Chrono Package to shave off another 0.2 seconds. The top track speeds are now 191 miles per hour (911 Carrera S) and 190 miles per hour for the all-wheel-drive version. A manual transmission will be offered at a later date.

Porsche 911 models from the 1970s provided the inspiration for the completely new interior, characterized by the clear and straight lines of the dashboard with recessed instruments.  Left and right of the centrally positioned tachometer are a pair of frameless, free-form displays that provide the driver with information. More than three inches larger than the previous model, the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a 10.9-inch touchscreen display can be operated quickly and intuitively thanks to the new architecture. Located underneath the screen, a compact switch panel with five buttons provides direct access to key vehicle functions. The standard PCM system features Porsche Connect Plus including online traffic information based on swarm data. 

A rear view of the 911 Carrera 4S

The 2020 911 Carrera S has a base MSRP of $113,200, while the 2020 911 Carrera 4S will be offered starting at $120,600, each not including the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee. The models can be ordered now and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in summer 2019.


The 911 Carerra 4S in Gentian Blue. (Photo by Richard Monning)