Even though it’s substantially new, a casual observer isn’t going to mistake this car for anything other than a Porsche 911. Its shape is now so easily recognisable that it has become an icon.

However, in its latest iteration Germany’s most famous automotive export has grown by 56mm in overall length, 100mm in wheelbase and 46mm at the front track over its predecessor.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
We prefer the purity of the two-wheel-drive Porsche 911

If you understand basic physics, you need know very little of this Porsche’s dynamic back story to work out why. With a longitudinal engine and gearbox hung out behind its rear wheels, the 911 has always been fundamentally inclined towards two idiosyncratic behavioural problems: power understeer and body pitch. For lever, fulcrum and load, think body, rear axle and engine. With more space between both the axles and the individual front wheels, both key dynamic challenges have been addressed here.

Aluminium has been used in place of steel throughout a great deal of the new 911’s construction. On the 991, almost all of the exterior body panels are aluminium and most of the body-in-white, except in areas such as the car’s pillars, where high compression strength is required.

As a result, on the coupé there’s like-for-like weight saving of around 45kg over its predecessor (depending on which model you are driving and what extras are fitted) and a 20 per cent improvement in torsional rigidity.

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The current 911 model range is still relatively young and part-formed, which means many of the richer, more powerful and more focused versions are still to come.

But already the range includes the 345bhp 3.4-litre Carrera, the 395bhp 3.8-litre Carrera S, the 468bhp 3.8-litre GT3, the 513bhp 3.8-litre Turbo and the 552bhp 3.8-litre Turbo S.

Four-wheel drive is offered as an option on the Carrera models, costing around £5000 and adding a wider body and extra specification to the car as well as the additional driveshafts. The Turbo models, meanwhile, get all-paw traction as standard.

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