Fundamental advancements have been made to the way the Porsche 911 carries itself, and while we had a circuit at our disposal as part of this test, you don’t need one to appreciate them. Any road with a medium-sized bump in it tells you everything you need to know.

Hit that bump reasonably briskly and you’ll find out that, unlike every 911 that preceded it, the natural handling gait of the 991 is more consistent and more settled and its equilibrium is much harder to disturb. And when it is interrupted, the new car’s nose doesn’t bob up and down and interfere with the effectiveness of the steering, as you expect it to.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Even the standard variant of the 911 is a very good car to drive

The new 911 doesn’t have the perfect primary ride of a mid-engined sports car, either; Porsche’s chassis engineers clearly understood something had to give. So, when you really stretch it, you’ll unearth a very gentle vertical lope over the rear wheels that characterises the car’s primary ride. It’s a tendency that doesn’t affect directional stability or disrupt traction, though.

Some claim that change represents a shift in dynamic character so essential that it lessens this new 911’s capacity to engross and reward, and that it makes the car less distinctive to drive. Not us. Here’s the bottom line: at the limit of grip, the 991 still handles like a true 911. And during sporting road driving, it communicates, entertains and involves as vividly as any.

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Concerns about that electromechanical power steering can be forgotten. No, it isn't as chattery as the steering of its predecessors, but by current standards it's still great. Information, rich and abundant, comes streaming through the 991’s wheel rim, as well as via its pedals and seat, with every change in surface camber and grip level. The car’s handling is near-perfect in terms of its balance and its measured, obedient responsiveness.

The dynamic character of the 911 firms up slightly as you add driven wheels and power and, like so many modern machines, it's also regrettably conditional on optional equipment. Our test experience suggests that the car is at its best when its equipment level is kept to its most simple: on modest wheels and without PDCC active anti-roll bars or variable-assistance steering.

Leave the expensive carbon-ceramic brakes to one side unless you've got regular track work in mind; have the PASM actively damped suspension and Sport Chrono Package Plus again only if you've got lots of circuit appearances planned. 

Four-wheel-drive does little to corrupt the 911's handling until you're beyond the limit of grip and certainly adds a bit of all-weather traction.

But above all, buyers can have faith in the integrity and every-occasion suitability of Porsche's bog-standard chassis set-up, because it's very good.

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