- A sports car icon for good reason
- Perfect performance
- Wide range of customization
- A value despite the price
- Comfortable front seats
- Back seat or penalty box? Hard to tell
- Get a second mortgage if you want to buy one
- Steering wheel blocks some instruments
- No manual transmission yet
features & specs
The 2020 Porsche 911 improves upon the sports car icon’s incredible performance while adding needed safety and connectivity features.
The Porsche 911 is a sports car icon and one of the longest-running nameplates in automotive history. It delivers near-supercar performance and only improves with the introduction of the eighth-generation model for 2020. The “992-generation” 911 is available this year in Carrera and Carrera S, Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models (the "4" denotes all-wheel drive), with or without a roof (Porsche calls its convertibles Cabriolets). Base, T, GTS, Targa, Turbo, GT3, and GT2 models may join the lineup over the next few years.
We give the 2020 Porsche 911 a rating of 7.0 on our overall scale before all the stats are in, which is a high rating for a purpose-built sports car that, in practicality, only serves two and has a six-figure price. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
More power, a wider stance, improved connectivity, and new safety features highlight the changes for the 2020 Porsche 911.
The body grows longer by almost an inch. LED headlights up front each have four points that onlookers may recognize as the signature of the car. The hood adds a pair of creases to emphasize its V-shape, while the rear end gets a wider spoiler and a full-width light bar—a Porsche mainstay recently.
The new body also uses far more aluminum. All of the panels except the front and rear fascias are now aluminum, which sheds body weight by 26 pounds while improving rigidity by 5 percent.
Underneath, the new 911 S models have 21-inch rear wheels instead of 20s, revised adaptive and adjustable dampers, larger rear brakes, and quicker steering. The S model now has a 1.5-inch wider rear track to match the 4S, and the front track is 1.8 inches wider on both models.
Set behind the rear wheels is a revised twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-6 that now makes 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, increases of 23 and 22 over last year, respectively. It is hooked to a new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that replaces a 7-speed dual-clutch. Power goes to the rear wheels in the S and all four wheels in the all-wheel-drive 4S. The new 911 is capable of a 0-60 mph run as quick as 3.2 seconds and a top speed as high as 195 mph.
Inside, the new 911 is upscale and high-tech, slathered with leather, now features a 10.9-inch touchscreen for infotainment. It comes well-equipped with navigation with real-time traffic information, a 150-watt audio system with eight speakers, auto-dimming mirrors, heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Porsche offers a bevy of performance and convenience options. Highlights include a sport exhaust, active roll bars, rear-axle steering, carbon ceramic brakes, a front-axle lift system, glass or steel sunroofs, Bose or Burmester sound systems, and a vast array of color and trim choices.
While safety isn’t the 911 buyer’s priority, new safety features are both standard and optional. The 2020 Porsche 911 adds standard forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. The options list includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, blind-spot monitors, active lane control with traffic sign recognition, and surround-view and night vision camera systems. A new Wet mode adjusts several vehicle systems to make the car safer to drive on low-friction surfaces.
The 2020 Porsche 911 costs at least $100,000 and can run up the score to nearly $200,000.
2020 Porsche 911
The 2020 Porsche 911 doesn’t stray far from the iconic shape that has defined the car throughout its history.
The Porsche 911 has kept the same basic shape since 1963 and the eighth-generation car continues that tradition. Why mess with what works? It’s low, wide, sleek, and rounded. It’s also iconic. We give the 911 a 8 for styling for its classic sports car proportions, iconic shape, and appealing, upscale interior.
All of the classic lines of the 911 are there for the new eighth-generation car: the wide hips (now even wider on the S model); the round headlights; the rounded fenders that sit higher than the hood; and the sleek profile line that stays low up front, rises at the windshield, then slopes down to the tail. The details are changed, though.
Those headlights each have four LED elements that will become unmistakable in rearview mirrors. The hood now sports two central character lines. Three front air intakes come together into one graphic element, while the rear glass incorporates both the rear cooling vents and the center mounted high stoplight. The tail features inboard quad exhaust outlets and the continuous light strip that has become a Porsche calling card. The rear spoiler is also wider and raises at various positions based on speed.
Inside, the look mixes classic and modern elements. The horizontal dashboard recalls 911s from the beginning through the 1990s. A 10.9-inch touchscreen, a central analog tachometer, and a pair of 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster screens fill the dashboard. The steering wheel blocks some of those readouts on the right side.
The center console features a small shift toggle surrounded by piano black trim with a cupholder at the back. We’d prefer other trims than piano black, and feel the shifter looks dainty but works well.
2020 Porsche 911
Faster, more controllable, and more comfortable, Porsche improved upon perfection with the eighth-generation 911.
The 2020 Porsche 911 improves a car we thought was already perfect. It’s thrilling, engaging, and still comfortable. It can tackle a racetrack or cruise the coast, and make you a better driver in any venue. It’s hard to do better than perfect, so the 911 gets a 10.
The 2020 Porsche 911 features a lighter body with more aluminum but is 5 percent stiffer. Still, with some structural considerations for a future hybrid model and added equipment, it weighs up to 163 pounds more than the outgoing car. The rear wheels are now 21 inches instead of 20, the S model gets the wider track from the 4S, and the front track is 1.8 inches wider. The steering ratio is also quicker, the dampers are reworked to offer more comfort in their Normal setting and more control in the Sport setting. That makes the 911 easy to drive every day.
The chassis and suspension changes work together to make a car that handles even better than the already agile 991-generation 911. With 305/30ZR21 Pirelli P Zeros out back and 245/35ZR20s up front, the 911 puts a lot of tire to the pavement to create tremendous grip. The staggered tire sizes and larger rear wheels help create a neutral, focused handling character that is simply unflappable. The 911 goes where the driver points it, carves consistent arcs through turns, and is hard to get out of sorts. A sport setting for the stability control is available, but making the car slide sideways requires a conscious effort from the driver; the 911 would rather lay down fast laps than glorious drifts.
Big power, well delivered
Not that it doesn’t have the power to overwhelm those big tires. The 2020 911 is only offered as S and 4S models so far and both are powered by an updated twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-6 that now makes 443 hp, a 23 hp bump, and 390 lb-ft of torque, up 22 lb-ft, compared to last year. The flat-6 delivers its power without a hint of turbo lag, rockets the 911 4S from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and keeps pushing to a top speed of 193 mph (195 for the S model). It delivers its power with a distinctive mid-range tone that is unmistakably Porsche.
An 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that delivers quick, crisp shifts in its Sport modes and smooth shifts in Normal mode is available. It can be controlled via steering wheel paddles, but the 8-speed will do better on a track than the vast majority of drivers. The 8-speed has one more gear than the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic it replaced and that allowed Porsche to make the gear ratios for the first seven gears shorter for better engine response and eighth gear taller for better fuel economy. A 7-speed manual is a no-cost swap, although we haven't yet driven those cars.
The rear brake rotors are larger this year at 13.8 inches to handle the car’s extra power and weight. They now match the size of the fronts. With six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers in the rear, the base brakes have a firm and progressive feel, and they can handle the rigors of track duty.
For those who want even more performance, Porsche offers carbon-ceramic brakes that will do even better on the track. Also offered are rear-axle steering to carve tighter low-speed turns, active anti-roll bars to counteract the little lean the 911 has, and a sport version of Porsche Active Suspension Management that drops the car 0.4 inches and has stiffer suspension settings. The 911 is a natural athlete even without the options.
2020 Porsche 911
Comfort & Quality
The 911’s cockpit is premium and aimed at helping drivers attack corners in comfort.
Porsche makes the front seat a fantastic place to be, especially for the driver, but the 911’s rear seat is there more for additional storage than people. For 2020, Porsche improves the technology, with a larger touchscreen and new connectivity features. We rate the new 911 a 5 for comfort and quality, adding points for the comfortable front seats, and high-quality materials, but subtracting them for the small back seat and limited cargo space.
The Porsche 911’s supportive seats are low slung but positioned to provide a great view of the road ahead. Like it always has, the tachometer sits front and center in the instrument panel. It’s analog, but the rest of the instrument cluster is made up of two 7.0-inch screens. Unfortunately, portions of the screen on the right side are blocked by the steering wheel.
A new 10.9-inch touchscreen sits in the middle of the dash. It can be controlled via phone- and tablet-like pinch, stretch, and swipe gestures, and drivers can add a widget to the right side of the screen for commonly used functions. A navigation system is standard with real-time traffic information, and the 911 uses cellular data for connectivity that offers access to Amazon Music, smart home functions, and internet radio.
The rear seat is a penalty box that is supposed to fit two but will be better for packages, especially since the front trunk offers only 4.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
Porsche commands big dollars for the 911 and the interior reflects that with premium materials. Porsche thinks it’s socially acceptable to ensconce its drivers in leather, and the most of the trim options are equally up to snuff. We’re not fans of the base plastic trim at the base of the dash and behind the shifter, though.
2020 Porsche 911
People don’t buy the Porsche 911 for its safety, but Porsche adds important new adds new safety features for the eighth generation.
As a new car, the Porsche 911 hasn’t been crash-tested and it likely won’t be because it’s a high-priced, low-volume sports car. A stiff structure, a spate of new safety features, and world-class handling to avoid dangers boost its safety resume. Without those crash ratings we can’t give it a safety rating.
The 911 comes standard with four airbags, including head airbags for the front seat occupants, a rearview camera, and for the first time, it gets forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. It also includes pedestrian detection.
Available options are adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, blind-spot monitors, active lane control with traffic sign recognition, and surround-view and night vision camera systems. Porsche also adds a wet mode to its drive mode controller. It adjusts various vehicle systems to make the 911 safer to drive on wet roads or on snow or ice.
2020 Porsche 911
A value for its near-supercar performance, the 2020 Porsche 911 is well-equipped and offers plenty of options.
The 2020 Porsche 911 is a sports-car bargain, but Porsche offers plenty of options to let buyers spend their children’s inheritances. It comes with lots of equipment and buyers can personalize it to their heart’s desire. We rate it 8 out of 10 for features for its generous equipment, customization options, and large infotainment screen. We can't call it a value at more than $100,000, but won't dock it for the exceptional things it does for the price.
This year, the 911 is available in Carrera and Carrera S, Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models (the "4" designates all-wheel drive), with or without a roof (Porsche calls convertibles Cabriolet). The base Carrera costs about $100,000 and the top Carrera 4S Cabriolet costs more than $130,000 to start.
The 911’s features can be put into two categories: the niceties or comfort features, and the performance goodies.
Comfort and convenience features include a 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, navigation with real-time traffic information, a 150-watt audio system with eight speakers, auto-dimming mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a universal garage door opener, dual-zone automatic climate control, and LED headlights and taillights.
On the performance front, the S and 4S models come with adjustable adaptive dampers, a limited-slip rear differential with torque vectoring, 13.8-inch brakes with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, and 245/35ZR20 front and 305/30ZR21 rear Pirelli P Zero summer tires on alloy wheels.
Options are plentiful. Buyers who want to improve performance can opt for a sport exhaust, active roll bars, rear-axle steering, carbon ceramic brakes, adjustable adaptive dampers with a lowered ride height, a sport suspension with a lowered ride height and firmer settings, and the Sport Chrono Package with additional driving modes, launch control, an analog clock to measure lap times, rev matching, and active driveline mounts. Those looking for luxuries can choose a glass or steel sunroof, a Bose or Burmester sound system, 14- or 18-way adjustable sport seats with heating and/or cooling, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, and a bevy of interior color and trim options. A front-axle lift system will also help drivers get into driveways without scraping the front spoiler.
We recommend all of the models. How could we not?
2020 Porsche 911
While buyers don’t pick the Porsche 911 for its fuel economy, the German icon is relatively frugal among powerful sports cars.
Bad news: The 2020 Porsche 911 has more flavors than Baskin-Robbins. Top up or top down, Carrera 4 or Carrera, S or regular, automatic or manual.
Good news: The fuel economy tale for all of them is simple. They all rate 20 mpg combined.
That's a 4 on our scale.
There are subtle variances among the models, although all of them rate 17-18 mpg in the city and 23-25 mpg on the highway. They all rate 20 mpg combined.
All 911s require premium fuel.