The simplest things in life are nearly always the best – just take this Porsche 911 Carrera 3.4. At £71,449, it’s hardly what you’d call ‘entry-level’, but it’s the starting point to the new 911 range and it’s the best we’ve driven yet. Why? Because it has all the performance, grip and comfort you could ever reasonably need.
It may be 50bhp down on the 3.8-litre S version and lack some of its low-rev shove, but it’s £9,793 cheaper and still an incredibly fast car, with the ability to sprint from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds.
It makes a fabulous noise as well, which culminates in a hard-edged howl at the red line. While most new 911s will be sold with the PDK automatic, we love the engagement offered by the simpler, more involving seven-speed manual, too.
When it comes to the chassis, it’s more difficult to assess the ‘less is more’ approach. Our car had optional 20-inch alloys, PASM adaptive dampers, 20mm lower sports suspension, torque vectoring, a limited-slip differential and active engine mounts: extras which took the price to a whopping £86,000.
It certainly displayed huge grip and beautiful balance, spearing into bends and slingshotting out of them. Together with the latest 911’s widened front track, you can feel that torque vectoring keeping the car on a tight line even under hard acceleration.
But we suspect a model without any of these extras would still have superb handling. And a far lower price. Whatever the specification, the Carrera 3.4 is pretty easy to live with, too.
Even on 20-inch wheels, the ride was quite comfy, and thanks to a lengthened wheelbase, the latest 911 is more spacious. If you’re lucky enough to be in the market for a 911, this ‘entry-level’ car makes a great case for itself.