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2020 Porsche 911 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.2

The Porsche 911 is redesigned for 2020, and it retains its essence as a premier driving machine. It features a powerful twin-turbo six-cylinder engine and a slick dual-clutch automatic transmission. This powertrain brings the noise and feels extremely quick in any driving situation. The 911's handling abilities are otherworldly, letting you take full advantage of the engine's power. This Porsche ices the cake by riding smoothly over almost any road surface.

  • "Last year's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat six returns, but it has been extensively reworked for 2020. … The new engine is … significantly stronger than last year's model." -- Autotrader
  • "A few laps around a racetrack reveal that little has changed with the 911's dynamic abilities. This car is easy to drive fast. It pivots quickly into corners, and it has ample traction and power to exit with authority. As with all recent 911 generations, the car's balance remains on the stable side, but skilled drivers can extract plenty of adjustability." -- Edmunds
  • "Put these modifications alongside the first major revamp of Porsche's Bilstein-based active, magnetically adjustable suspension system (PASM), and comfort improves along with performance – the holy grail of road-car setups." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The redesigned 911 comes standard with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that puts out 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (one of the famed Porsche Doppelkupplung, or PDK, setups). For now, the 911 only comes in 911 S variants. A manual transmission is currently unavailable.

This setup may not have the jaw-dropping power of some rivals, but the 911 is plenty quick. Whether you're jetting off the line, dashing around some slowpoke on the highway, or just going fast for the hell of it, the 911 always has gobs of power on tap. The PDK matches the engine perfectly, delivering smooth, timely shifts.

According to Porsche, 911 S models will jet from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, and 911 4S models dash there a hair quicker, at 3.4 seconds. If you opt for the PDK with Launch Control (part of the Sport Chrono package), you can shave another .2 seconds off the zero-to-60 time. Cabriolet models are ever so slightly slower than coupe models, but all 911s duck under the 4-flat benchmark that high-end sports cars strive to clear.

Fuel economy estimates for the 2020 911 are not yet available.

The previous generation 911 offered several additional models, including the Carrera, Carrera T, Targa 4, GTS, Turbo, GT3, and GT2 RS. At the time of this writing, these variants have not yet been announced for the new generation.

  • "Power is also plentiful. … In combination with shorter gearing on cogs one through seven, the new 911 feels brisk and urgent (but not quite brutal), accelerating to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds in the Carrera 4S using launch control. The new, taller eighth gear enables mellower highway cruising as well, translating to a sedate 2,000 rpm when speeding along at 90 mph in top gear. Porsche has made the already quick PDK even more so. It's more slick and seamlessly responsive than ever, while providing greater efficiency." -- Autoblog
  • "The power from the flat six was never lacking. While I'm sure that there will be far more powerful Porsches coming in this new configuration of 911, I never once felt that I wanted more for the aggressive canyon-carving kamakazie cruise that I was on. Likewise, I never felt like I was waiting for the turbos to spool up. The power curve felt like a regal procession up the graph." - Autoweek
  • "The engine revs cleanly to redline, offering a strong pull that doesn't relent until you're in the limiter. You can hear the turbochargers build boost when you romp on the gas pedal, but there's also a strong mix of engine and exhaust noise. The whistle and howl make for a pleasing combination." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The 911 is one of the most agile cars on the road. On the heels of its redesign, this Porsche retains everything that makes driving it so great. It's incredibly nimble, handling even sharp turns at speed without hesitation, and it always feels planted. The steering is razor sharp, and the sturdy brakes provide plenty of stopping power. And as if you needed a cherry on top, the 911 also absorbs road imperfections with ease to deliver an impressively supple ride.

There are multiple modes to choose from that change driving dynamics, including a wet driving mode that automatically sets up the car's stability control and anti-lock brake systems for optimal operation when it detects water on the road. The optional Power Steering Plus operates with an adapted steering support, enabling particularly easy maneuvering and parking. A sport suspension with a lower ride height is also available, as is rear-axle steering, which lets the rear wheels turn slightly to make the 911 even more agile and give it a tighter turning radius. There's also an optional front-axle lift system that – at the touch of a button – provides a little extra ground clearance and a steeper approach angle, making it easy to go over speed bumps, enter parking garages, etc.

The 911 S model comes with rear-wheel drive, while 4S models come with all-wheel drive.

  • "Through tight corners, chicanes and sweepers, everything about the 911 conveyed the sense of being tight and buttoned down. Zero flex in the chassis, zero body roll. It was always in the right gear, power always at the ready. It's so, so utterly good that I felt like I was disappointing it." -- Jalopnik
  • "The 992 is of course tremendously fast across the ground when you want it to be, but the satisfaction comes from being able to make use of the car's power with conviction. You can use all 443 horsepower with as much aggression as you want because the chassis inspires confidence, dialing you into the grip available so that you know just how much more throttle you can use." -- CNET
  • "Quicker steering and tweaks in the suspension … ensures that the 2020 911 handles better than ever before -- we found it nearly unflappable on both the public roads and racing track." -- Autotrader
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