Reviewed: Porsche 911 Carrera S

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Hello and welcome to Empoli!

So is it them or it? Your favourite team? LA Lakers? LA Galaxy? Liverpool FC? Manchester United? And what about your favourite F1 team? Ferrari or Red Bull, Mercedes or, I don’t know, Renault. Whatever. Haas, Force India. Choose yours. The point is, would you say Mercedes are having a wonderful season, or Mercedes IS having…? In football, or ‘soccer’ as the Americans call it, it’s them. You say Liverpool win, not ‘wins’. Because yes, it’s a team, singular, but it’s made of plurals. It is a collective noun. It’s a bit like the word ‘people’, if you like. Technically, the plural form of person is persons but nobody is using that these days. So it’s people, but it’s ‘people are’, not ‘people is’.

Same story with the car industry, if I own a Porsche, I say my Porsche IS brilliant, but if I’m talking about Porsche, the company, I think it’s better to say “Porsche have been making great cars”. That’s because (my) Porsche is a noun and therefore singular, but (carmaker) Porsche is a collective noun and therefore plural.

Right, so why this digression? Because PORSCHEs are great and Porsche are great at making great cars. Great. May have said ‘great’ a great many times there.

Porsche sell in the hundreds of thousands but I’ve never climbed into one and thought, “this feels mundane”. Any Porsche still feels unique. They have managed to make it mainstream and keep it élite at the same time which, if nothing else, is pretty special. A few weeks ago I was invited to a cocktail party by Porsche in the hills of Tuscany to drive the 718, the Macan, the Cayenne and the 911 Carrera S. So: The 911. Well, the Carrera S I’ve driven is the beefed up incarnation of the entry level version of the 911, it’s the third cheapest 911 you can buy (after the Carrera, around 100k €* and 370 HP; and the Carrera 4) and it’s honestly more than enough. Quick but usable, the car you see in the pictures has a 3-litre flat-six with 420 HP and double-clutch gearbox.


Have you ever driven a modern 911? If you have, then you know what I’m on about but if you haven’t, let me explain what it feels like.

It feels like being shoved from a steaming hot bathroom to a cold bed by your lover in a very warm room on a freezing day in a 5-star hotel.

Mixed emotions and sensations, but it will leave you satisfied and wanting for more. I have driven different sportscars over the years, and different 911s, including the 4-wheel drive Carrera 4S and the manual version of the Carrera S and dare I say, except for the colour (I’d have it in yellow), this one was nearly perfect.

I love the manual gearbox just as much as the next man but there’s no denying that a well engineered automatic is just better.

Faster, more effective, and obviously easier to use on the daily runabouts, which is what this car is ultimately for. I am not going to try and convince you for a second that this is the best car in the world for the school run, because it plainly isn’t, but I can tell you that it is so exceptionally easy to drive at normal speeds it beggars belief.


A point I shall now prove by embedding the video with my friend Claudia at the wheel. She had never driven an automatic before, and never driven anything with more than 100 HP before and she coped brilliantly. Although I believe I can also safely admit that this long preamble was just an excuse to include this video in the first place.

Err.. Sorry. I may have wasted your time.

Empoli, 2016

Porsche 911 Carrera S

text, videos & pics: Alessandro Renesis


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