2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S first drive: The power of evolution

Circuit Ricardo Tormo is a 14-turn mess of mostly flat, late-apex corners that’s no match for Mark Webber and the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. The former Formula 1 pilot, 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and – to use his native Australian – “top bloke,” makes the Guards Red C4S dance and juke and move as I sit, jaw in my lap, in the passenger seat.

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I’m out with Webber following my own six-lap, lead-follow stint at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Yet, the two-lap blast around the Spanish circuit with the Australian racer behind the wheel highlights just how capable even a relatively mundane version of the latest 911 (the 992 to Porsche-philes) will be when it makes its way to customers. While Webber shows off the 911’s upper limits, it’s my day of testing on Spanish roads that proves the 992 is smarter and safer thanks to the same kind of small, deliberate, incremental changes that have typified Stuttgart’s most famous sports car.

That latter point is obvious from the start. Negotiate the Porsche’s odd, spring-loaded door handle and slide behind the wheel for an experience that feels quintessentially 911. Five gauges stare back at you from the low seating position, but 80 percent of them are digital – the centre-mounted tachometer is real (and real pretty), but it’s flanked by two 5.0-inch displays that feature the additional gauges.