Last Friday, as part of the Rennsport Reunion festivities, Porsche invited us to ride along in the passenger seat of the new-for-2016 Porsche 911 Carrera 991.2. Our ride-along was conducted on the Laguna Seca track during a 20-minute lull in the vintage racing action, and our driver was none other than Porsche's 911 Product Manager, August Achleitner. We were among the very first, outside of Porsche employees, to get to experience the new 911. Our drive car was a pre-production, German-spec, Lava Orange, base Carrera 7-speed manual that was, unfortunately, lacking the sports exhaust option.
Because August was the one driving, this was an opportunity for us not only to experience the new Porsche, but it was an opportunity to ask the man in charge of the program about the changes that have been made. As luck would have it, I happened to be holding a camera to record the whole thing. While it would have been nice to have an opportunity to set up a couple of cameras inside the car and film from a solid and stable mount from the windshield, we only had 20-minutes of open track, and half a dozen journalists to feed through a pair of 991.2 models. As such, I had to just hop in and hold on tight. Hopefully, the motion of the camera gives you some semblance of just how fast we were going.
For the first lap, I remain quiet to give you, the viewer, an opportunity to listen to the engine notes as they rise and fall, as well as to take in a full lap of Laguna Seca unimpeded. During the second lap, we begin to discuss the product, touching on potential issue points that have been brought up by Porsche enthusiasts, including the two cars' shared 3.0 liter displacement, boost threshold reduction, and increased torque. August was happy to answer all of our questions while really hustling around the track. It was interesting to see how composed and relaxed he could be while pushing a brand new 911 around a track where he has limited seat time. Cars always feel faster from the passenger's seat, but this one felt almost on another level of fast.
Here are a few talking points to discuss in the comments below
1. The traditional turbo whistle really can't even be heard until above 5,000 RPM.
2. Most people think they want more horsepower from a car, but what they really want (the American buying public especially) is more torque.
3. The new 991.2 Carrera has more torque than the current 991.1 Carrera S.
4. Because the new engine is turbocharged, the torque curve has been developed in such a way that much more torque is available at lower RPM, and peak torque is now delivered at a lower RPM as well.
5. Dropping down the Corkscrew is really an amazing experience. I've hiked up and down it a few dozen times now, but to ride along on the track is truly special.