There is nothing like it, and the Porsche 911 has never cease to amaze despite gaining a turbocharger plugged onto the illustrious flat six engine now. KEEGAN DORAI takes the legend out for a drive with a forced induction at helm around the spontaneous island of Singapore.
words by KEEGAN DORAI
“Welcome to Singapore ladies and gentlemen, it is 12pm in the afternoon, and where all forms of drug trafficking coming into the country will be held accountable under the death penalty”
Yes, that is the spotty but rather assuring (unless you’re some drug mule with an obvious hickey on your neck) announcement you’ll get upon landing at the little Red Dot. A land where everything is all about moving forward, and filled with lots of people that are trying their every best to get on, build up and be successful in life.
This is modern-day Singapore, a country deservedly slated to enjoy many more years of growth and prosperity to come. A island nation that sits proudly on the global map, achieving what is deemed as unachievable by most in this part of the world as it’s the only Southeast Asian country that registers itself as the 11th best in the Human Development Index, and the only country in the whole of Asia to be awarded with an ‘AAA’ rating by the picky blokes at Moody and Fitch — I mean, how impressive is that?
Pardon me for all of that gibberish lines of expressing non-related stuffs, but if you take a closer look, the Porsche 911 shares the same aspirations like how Singapore desires to be. Still not fetching it? Well in essence, the 911 is an already-revered sportscar that is impressive enough, but it recognises no boundaries in improving itself through every single model update, and this is why it matches the country’s self-development that we’re driving it around. Continuously striving for the best despite already being the forefront example in comparison to its surrounding neighbours, or competitors in a motoring point of view.
Yes, this is how the 911 is, and this is why we love every single bit of it. Although it feels a little bit off driving it here as we all know there is no way you can test its full capability in this heavily-enforced country that governs every single km/h you’re clocking in speed — all was immediately set aside as we step out from the beautiful Fullerton Hotel, mesmerised by the 911’s sheer attraction parked at this plush section of the city very well.
Donned in a striking shade of orange, or best known by the chaps from Stuttgart as ‘Lava Orange’, it is evident that this revamped 911 hides more stuffs beneath than what all eyes will see. Powering it now is a forced-induction flat-six motor that musters out more power; 420bhp and 500Nm now to be precise, in which it offers an additional 20bhp and 60Nm more in comparison to its direct predecessor.
Don’t be mistaken by the specs however as the 911 reviewed here is the Carrera S, which also bring in 50bhp more than the bog-standard 911 Carrera. Being the Carrera S, it also gains a new turbocharging system that differs from the rest of its cousins that holds a larger compressor wheel for better air mass flow rate. There is even a revised sport height and Porsche Stability Management system that promises you the best traction needed at your untimely disposal.
Still, there’s no chance of driving it yet as for now on the first day. Knowing that it will be a superb occasion tomorrow the first thing in the morning, it’s time to get some rest and further studying on how to avoid ending up in Changi Prison after being caught doing 280km/h on the PIE, and not resorting to any enthusiasts’ spec-talk about the 911 as he will go on till the end of the year, just in time for Christmas perhaps, on elaborating about the new changes included in this refreshed model.
It feels comfortably snug too on the inside. The supple sports seats are supportive and achingly attractive to look at, which it precisely sits my increasingly-portly body into a well-heeded position. Out in the open roads, this is where the 911 Carrera S also impresses — albeit in an unusual speed of 80km/h along the AYE. Still, it cruises on with exceptional comfort, just like how any executive saloons will do so on a typical home-to-clubhouse commute.
Prod the accelerator pedal slightly, and it responses even in the rapidest of all manner. This thing simply feels very precise — just like how a plucky little pug will immediately snap up your dinner that you carelessly lodged it off the kitchen table while eating. Like all Porsches, it steers with aplomb through the highway exit, but more on that in a jiffy as now we’re heading to the sparse northwestern part of the island to further experiment on what’s in store.
Out from crowded civilisation, we soon reached the infamous Lim Chu Kang Road, which is recommended by the friendly Porsche folks of Singapore for us to have some ‘civilised’ fun. It’s a road that is potentially transformable into an emergency runway to counter someone’s sudden maniacal penchant for taking over the world — and while we’re at it — the Carrera simply takes off in an instant, leaving you mesmerised after realising that the speedo has hit 180km/h effortlessly. Its just remarkably quick.
On the second day and after lots of research, it was evident that all you need for the 911 is the Carrera S variant, and nothing else. I mean, what’s the point of going all infold on choosing you next two-door Porsche? If you’re in for some pure driving dynamics without the need of someone back in Stuttgart adding in an additional 200bhp more into the motor, leaving you driving something perilous for daily use, this is your ultimate choice, solution and elixir if you’re in the market for one now.
Upon firing up the engine, it feels pretty much the same as my last encounter with the older, naturally-aspirated predecessor back in Kuala Lumpur. This is a superb engineering feat as Porsche has put in so much of work to ensure it won’t sound like a Golf R now with a turbo at helm, and still sings like how its forefathers once did in a very hair-raising manner.
Moving on, it was indeed an occasion to remember piloting through the financial core of the city centre, filled with lots of potential prospects that are pretty much soaking up to the striking shade of orange as we drive through the busy streets filled with alfresco cafes at lunch hour. Surprisingly, it was a moment that we cease to remember that you’re driving a 911 in town while avoiding monumental drivers and navigating through tight spaces without sorting any poo out. It feels as equally as comfortable as your daily runabout; an easy, 420bhp sports coupe that simply excels even at the lowest of town speeds.
Making our way back to The Fullerton, we have opted to use the KJE with the PIE and AYE preselected as our route back. While driving, my partner has pointed out on the new PCM media display that comes with some handy new functions such as the handphone-friendly Porsche Car Connect system. Lane Departure warning is now included in the purchase as well to gladden those chaps wearing lab clothes and silly goggles working at crash test centres.
Back at the hotel and feeling all reluctant on returning the keys, it has come to me that the 911 Carrera S is more than just a facelift. There is nothing much to fault about it to be honest, apart from me not having a fat chequebook to actually put down a purchase. Its more German than any other cars you can get from Germany today.
And soon I am on my way back. Checking in to the next flight out without being detained or held back for any traffic offences. All is well, and what a memorable and yet great trip it was. But most importantly, what a car.
All fun is immediately muted by the presence of one silly speed camera in the middle of the stretch, and some rozzers waiting at the end, waiting to fetch its next victim, which is me or either someone else into community service. Nonetheless, the Carrera needs only 4.6 seconds of your time to reach 100km/h from a standstill start.
At the fantastic and occasionally empty Neo Tiew Road, we knew it was time to put it to the test at all necessary bends and curves without crashing into a farm truck. And god it grips onto the tarmac like its steering on rails. The extremely-precise steering responses at a rapid pace, which means you don’t need much stressing input and turn in with lots of worry-free confidence.
Unfortunately, all progress was soon cut short by a bunch of cyclists doing their midday run. I mean after all, we are in Singapore so its not surprising. Proceeding to the Kranji Way and looking at home across the strait, we knew it was time for us to take some pictures of the 911 at the Kranji War Memorial, and of course, paying respect to those who have fallen in defending this thriving nation.
While glancing over the car in and out, it was instantly noticeable that this facelift has brought in some new touches. The front and rear aprons now do look more pronounced, whereas the headlights are reprofiled on the inside, and there’s even a new air intake screen with louvres at the axis. Thankfully, it still looks like any modern day 911 in profile, and we adore for being that way.
Porsche 911 Carrera S
Engine Biturbo flat-six, 2981cc, petrol
Power 420bhp at 6500rpm
Torque 500Nm at 1700-5000rpm
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch PDK, rear-wheel drive
'There is even a revised sport height and Porsche Stability Management system that promises you the best traction needed at your untimely disposal.'
'It feels as equally as comfortable as your daily runabout...'
'Its just remarkably quick.'