While its undoubtedly true the latest iterations of the Carrera have softened their image, expanded their midsection, and grown more commercially appealing, they still retain a level of performance that wows the enthusiast. Especially when considering the gains brought by modern turbocharging and PDK gearboxes, there's not much the typical user is left wanting for—at least in terms of straightline speed.
However, at what price do the electric steering, heavier transmissions, forced induction come? To get a better sense of the tactile, visceral losses caused by modern technology, Henry Catchpole staged the 992 Carrera S against another European 2+2 with comparable power, price, and weight.
Its rawer rival is the Lotus Evora GT410 Sport, and simply by posing the two cars beside one another, we see how their designs speak volumes. In comparison, the Evora looks like a child's plaything, whereas the Carrera S is a subdued, sophisticated sports cruiser. Perhaps it's just the shade of Smurf blue adorning the Lotus' hide which causes that perception, but the dated interior doesn't help that view much.
Looks aside, what we're truly concerned with is that elusive trait of connection. With that occasionally irritating but always informative feedback through the wheel, the Evora's steering feel bests the subdued and smoothened electric steering in the 992. There's simply more information coming from the front axle.
Additionally, the V6's bark barges into the Evora's cabin in a way that the Porsche's softer note sneaks into its cabin. Though musical, the Porsche's muffled exhaust note fails to give it the same sense of occasion.
The 450-pound difference between the two makes the Lotus a much more wieldy car on narrow country roads; there's no escaping weight. It's clear that liveliness seems to come with some setbacks, especially in this price range. That's quite interesting considering both cars, at 73", are equally wide—and that the Evora has a longer wheelbase. There really is no escaping heft.
While the plush Porsche is a better car for most, and is by no means a Panamera in athletic garb, it has undoubtedly lost something. The pared-down, straightforward, honest car that made its predecessors such involving cars is still very much alive in the Evora. The tinny, shed-built brawlers like the Lotus are such stimulating driver's cars largely because their focus is on connection, and not mass consumer appeal. While the Porsche might be as fast if not faster over a stretch of country road, the Evora is the one that will leave its user buzzing.