The world’s greatest car
1. This is the new one
Porsche's 911 evolves slowly, so it can be tricky to pick the differences when a new model arrives. The eighth-generation "992" model looks similar to the previous gen, but for a pinstripe of light across the rear telling trainspotters you bought the new one.
On the inside, digital readouts flank an analog tacho joining a wide-screen display front-and-centre. It's all about evolution, not revolution.
2. There's not a lot to choose from … yet
Famously fragmented - even bewildering - to non-believers, the cult of 911 follows a complex range with two dozen variants. The faithful can euthanize a dinner party evangelising about differences between a 911 GTS and GT3, though most folks will recognise an unmistakeable silhouette and simply know this is a Porsche.
Today's customers can choose between the rear-wheel drive Carrera S and all-wheel drive Carrera 4S, then decide whether they prefer a coupe or convertible. There's one engine on the menu and a superb eight-speed dual-clutch auto is the only gearbox you can have - for now.
Our test car is an all-wheel-drive coupe, the $281,100 Carrera 4S. Almost $45,000 in optional extras include a sports exhaust ($5480), sports suspension ($1980) and sports steering wheel ($580) which should be standard in this sort of sports car.
3. You absolutely could live with it
The Carrera 4S isn't a compromised track day special or something you must save for weekends. This is the 911 you can drive every day, no matter the weather.
Surprisingly spacious front storage proved handy on the weekend sports run and Saturday stop at the hardware shop. But the tiny back seat is for small luggage, smaller kids and the small comfort of kidding yourself it really could be pressed into family duties.
Quiet on the road, the coupe has comfortable seats and a first-rate tech suite to rival executive sedans. All-wheel-drive traction helps you make the most of its power - it even has moisture sensors to help traction control adapt to tricky conditions.
4. It's quick
The fastest examples of the new 911 range are months or years away, prompting wealthy enthusiasts to hold out for faster $400,000-plus halo models such as the 911 Turbo.
Does that mean the Carrera is slow? Of course not.
Powered by a reworked version of Porsche's 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, this Carrera 4S makes 331kW and 530Nm - enough to deliver a 3.4 second dash to 100km/h with (optional) launch control which finds alarming purchase on slippery tarmac.
5. Still a great drive
Some sports cars ask you to compromise comfort for fleeting moments of driving ecstasy. This is not one of them.
Precision woven into every part of the driving experience is core to the joy of a 911 and its tendency to feel special at any speed. There's a measured immediacy to the steering, brakes and throttle that makes you want to be a better driver, becoming more deliberate in inputs even when trundling around town.
It's even better when you press on, with enormous grip reserves, unflappable traction, a surprisingly pliant ride and throbbing engine. The 911 is still the one to beat.