Parkers overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 4.8
  • Tech-fest cabin, but clear 911 heritage
  • Quality of materials, build shames rivals
  • Driving position is close to perfection

Even before you slip into the Porsche 911 Coupe’s comfortable and supportive driver’s seat, there’s an apparent departure from the norm: an electrical pop-out door handle. Very slick. Once nestled into the seat, with a wide array of adjustment, you’re aware of how much space you have around you. Not quite Tardis-like – particularly in the rear – but roomier than a low-slung sports car has any right to be.

Your surroundings initially feel like a careful evolution of the 911 themes of its forebears – flat, low-set horizontal dash and a five-dial instrument binnacle. In reality, a revolution’s taken place, but with some nice, subtle and modern touches.

Gone are the plethora of buttons located all across the dashboard and centre console. Those that remain have a gloss black finish, but most of the controls are now accessed via the 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) multimedia touchscreen.

2020 Porsche 911 interior

It looks slick, courtesy of its high level of resolution, but it’s a tad fiddly to use on the move and can look busy in certain menu modes. Overall it’s an improvement on the previous generation, and is fully configurable to your tastes.

Not quite out with the old

Ahead of the driver is a new interpretation of the old five-gauge format: only the central rev-counter is an analogue dial, flanked by two angled and frameless screens. Although the physical instrument has been retained as a sop to traditionalists, it feels incongruous given the tech-led look of the rest of the instrumentation.

Ergonomics have improved immeasurably over the eight generations of 911, but even the Mk8 has its flaws: you’ll struggle to see the outermost elements of the screens, as your view’s blocked by the wheel. That can become frustrating, especially if you have the right-hand screen set for the sat-nav or general trip information. You shouldn't have to crane your neck just to see where you're going.

Material and build quality are generally of exemplary standards wherever your eyes or fingers come into contact, save for the passenger-side cupholder – it feels less well-engineered than that of the outgoing car. And, while we’re nit-picking, the selector toggle for the PDK gearbox cleverly matches the smaller climate controls set ahead of it, but nevertheless feels twee. Surely Porsche could have added buttons instead?

Comfort

  • Remarkably comfy for a focused sports car
  • Lots of room, up front, at least
  • Can be driven quietly, if you’re so inclined

Think sports car and ordinarily you think firmness: normally suspension compliance has been traded-in for composed body control. While the Porsche 911 can be set-up to behave that way, in its default Normal drive mode, it’s a remarkably comfortable coupe. Not wafty, but your cheeks aren’t reading pockmarked road surfaces like asphalted Braille.

What’s the cause of this automotive witchcraft? Primarily, the latest honing of Porsche’s adaptive suspension system, standard on the Mk8 911 Coupe. Such is its suppleness that a gentle pootle along would have you wondering whether Porsche has sold out and produced a smaller Panamera.

Not a bit of it – it’s all about improving the 911’s everyday usability proposition. Switch to Sport or Sport Plus modes and it all becomes clear, firming-up considerably and reducing bodyroll even without the active anti-rollbar option, however it's worth noting that going slowly over speed bumps can make the 911 feel quite bumpy and firm, more so than if you were to drive over a smaller bump at speed, oddly. 

Great seats are also part of the package: while 911’s are deeply scalloped and narrow looking, they’re generously accommodating even for those wide of hip. A wide range of adjustment ensures that you’ll feel supported and able to enjoy one of the best driving positions of any car.

Spare a thought for those relegated to the back, ensconced in the pair of occasional chairs. In reality, they’re so small they’re likely to be the preserve of pre-teens given the paucity of head- and legroom. Unless they’re desperately needed, they make much more sense folded over and used as a luggage shelf.

What about the Turbo S?

So far we've only driven models fitted with the optional 10mm lowered suspension and to be brutally honest, it's quite firm. You'll definitely notice the difference in town, where the car's low speed ride is verging on uncomfortable.

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo S side

Given the performance on tap that's perhaps not the biggest surprise - and it does seem a fair trade for the way this car handles a corner, but it's worth considering where on the spectrum you'd like your everyday supercar to sit while your pen hovers over the sports suspension option box.

Things improve at speed and the PDCC button (this either firms up or loosens off the suspension depending on which mode you're in) is an easy reach for the driver, so it's easy enough to set the drivetrain to maximum attack and then back the harshness of the dampers off while on broken tarmac.