Externally at least, the second-generation 991 reverts to type. When Porsche talks of the elimination of door handle recess covers as the most ‘eye-catching’ feature of the new car’s profile, you can be certain of the facelift’s sensitivity.
Marginal items – the front spoiler lip, front and rear lights – have been tweaked, but it’s subtle stuff that would take a side-by-side comparison to spot.
The rear spoiler has vents under it to increase airflow into the engine, neatly avoiding any ugly apertures
Predictably, the more significant alterations have been forced on the designers by the requirements of the new engineering challenges beneath.
The two low-mounted turbochargers require plenty of additional cooling, so at the rear there’s a substantial and entirely new air intake system complete with a new grille and the extra vents required to chill the intercoolers now stationed at the extremities.
Even the new active aerodynamics – a tech carryover from the 918 Spyder – can be deployed to assist with heat management, the variable rear spoiler being extendable at low speeds so that more air might find its way inside the engine bay when operating temperatures are high.
In base format, it develops 365bhp; as tested here, it’s at 414bhp. Both are a 20bhp improvement over their forebears and are capable of revving to 7500rpm (although their performance peaks at 6500rpm). The real boon, though, as you might expect, is in torque delivery.
Porsche has lengthened the gear ratios on its seven-speed transmission to suit the new-found amenability and introduced a two-disc clutch to the manual version to make it easier to operate. Tellingly, the dual-mass flywheel also gets a centrifugal pendulum to help temper drivetrain vibrations, making the 911 more refined when accelerating from low revs in higher ratios. It is also important to point out that the GT3 has also returned in manual form too.
If the above indicates something of a fundamental shift in Porsche driving style, the modifications to the chassis are of the more conventional sort.
The facelifted car sits 10mm lower on now-standard PASM adaptive suspension, gets rebound buffer springs all round and acquires half an inch of extra tyre width at the back to cope with the extra torque. Active rear-wheel steering (introduced in the 991 GT3 and Turbo) and a front axle nose-raiser have also been added to the typically extensive options list.