Porsche 991.1 v 991.2 Carrera: a worthy successor?

Let’s face it: the 911 Carrera has never been far away from a controversy or two. Right from launch as a non-Rennsport model in 1974, the Carrera headlined a sizeable shake-up for Porsche’s darling 911.

The adoption of impact bumpers changed the car’s silhouette for the first time after more than a decade of design perpetuance. It was an episode that would go on to become something of a trend for the model.

Fifteen years later, it was the Carrera that introduced all-wheel drive to the 911 legend, a full year before Porsche’s traditional sports car setup was then revealed in 964 C2 form.

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Then, just before the turn of the century, the 996 Carrera heralded a change from air-cooled to water-cooled flat six engines in the biggest and most disputed change to the 911’s DNA ever seen before. That is, until now.

This is because the Carrera has once again significantly moved the goalposts, scrapping the naturally aspirated flat six engine that the 911 has been known for since its very beginning. In its place is a flat six now boosted, quite literally, by two turbochargers, one for each cylinder bank.

Thanks to this new Carrera, the 911 experience has changed forever – but to its credit, the new 991.2 has by and large found favour with critics, as exemplified by the sentiments of our own road tester, Kyle Fortune.

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At the world launch of the 991.2 Carrera in issue 134, Kyle was relieved to find elements of that traditional 911 heritage still apparent with the new engine, borne out of evolutionary necessity, adding: “transformational as it is, there’s huge appeal to the differences it brings, yet joy too in the similarities it retains.”

So, the new, turbocharged Carrera has found favour with journalists and sections of the public in isolation, but how does it compare in a test against the first generation 991, the last such bastion of the quintessential, naturally aspirated entry-level 911 as we know it?

It is in searching for the answer to this question that around 6,000 miles north of Kyalami Race Circuit, South Africa, where Kyle Fortune is putting both the 991.2 Turbo and C4S through their paces for the first time, I find myself standing in the middle of the bucolic Yorkshire Dales.

To read the rest of Lee’s Porsche 991.1 v 991.2 Carrera head-to-head, pick up Total 911 issue 137 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it to your digital device now.

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