The 2025 Porsche 911 Carrera Is Enough, Actually

In this job, we drive a lot of nice cars. And by that, I mean the cars we auto journalists are given are often high-trim, generously optioned examples specced by manufacturer PR departments specifically to impress. Case in point: I have driven the Honda Civic in Type R form four different times and the Touring version, like, thrice. The base LX? Never heard of her. It’s a problem, we know—you can’t really know the cars real people drive if all you get are top-trim ringers—but it’s simply the nature of the beast. Which is why I was surprised when I was recently instructed to start my day testing the refreshed 992.2 Porsche 911 not in the fancy new hybrid GTS but a base Carrera.

Yep, not the GT3, not the Turbo, not the T, not even the S—the bottom-of-the-barrel, $122K-to-start, suffixless 911 Carrera. The horrors I subject myself to for art. After half a day in the cheapest Carrera on both road and track, however, I can confidently say: This is enough, actually.

Look, I know I’m being facetious. At the end of the day, a base Porsche 911 is still a six-figure luxury sports car from what is arguably the premier manufacturer of six-figure luxury sports cars. It was never going to be *bad* and I can now certifiably say that it is not. What was genuinely surprising, however, was that it did not leave me wanting. Like at all.

But first, let’s dig into what exactly we’re dealing with here. For 2025, the 911 range gets a mid-cycle facelift. In the case of this regular Carrera, that means an “extensively revamped” 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six featuring a charge-air cooler borrowed from the previous-gen Turbo and turbos borrowed from the previous-gen GTS, resulting in a 9-horsepower bump to 388 hp. It does zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds with launch control and tops out at 183. For those keeping score, this is precisely 0.1 seconds quicker and 1 mph faster than before. New six-piston front brakes are bigger than the old car’s and the manettino-style drive mode dial is now standard equipment.

Front and rear fascias have been reworked. Matrix LED headlights are now standard and incorporate all lighting elements into the bugeye instead of having a separate strip lower down while taillights are longer and closer together. Inside, the entire instrument cluster is now a screen and the key-style starter switch is now a simple button. Pour one out for feign analog touches… or don’t, I’m not your dad.

When the rubber meets the road, the 2025 Porsche 911 Carrera is more than enough car for most people. There might even be an argument to be made that the base 911 Carrera is more than enough car for most Porsche 911 buyers. Zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds in a high-dollar German sports car in 2024 might sound borderline slow—hell, Rihanna was doing it in 3.5 back in 2009—but in reality, it just isn’t.

Where the 911—any 911—really shines is in the corners. Even in base form, the thing turns in, rotates, and darts around a twisty road simply… better than its peers. All of its running gear feels like it’s carved out of granite but somehow light at the same time. It’ll kick the rear out more eagerly than you might expect, but it’s controllable. All of this can also be said about the more potent, higher-dollar GTS, which says more about the base car than it does the GTS.

What’s more, it also starts a whole $45,000 less than that hybrid. Is the base Carrera $45,000 less car? From a powertrain engineering standpoint, it very well may be (that shiny new hybrid system can’t be cheap) but in terms of seat-of-the-pants, tip-of-the-fingers driving enjoyment? Absolutely not—not even close.

If I’m being honest, after driving the regular Carrera and GTS back-to-back on track, the lighter 3,342-pound Carrera may just be the more enjoyable of the two basically for the same reason I prefer to play as women in FIFA: I prefer the slower pace. The acceleration between corners is less manic, there’s more time to drink in the balance, drink in the superb steering, drink in the dynamic majesty. Base Carrera is easier on brakes, it’s easier on tires, it’s easier on the spine, it’s easier on the mind.

“Ah, OK, so ‘slow car fast,’ got it,” you might be thinking. But, again, this thing ain’t slow.

We lapped Ascari in run groups consisting of the rear-drive Carrera, a rear-drive GTS, and an all-wheel-drive GTS all led by a professional driver in a previous-gen Turbo. For what it’s worth, I had little issue keeping up with everybody else in the humble blue Carrera. And when it came time for me to lead, the Turbo and I were walking away from the hybrids as the corners piled up. Admittedly, this is likely down to a gap in driver skill more than anything, but the point remains—the base Carrera is not fucking around.

To my ears, base 911 also sounds better somehow, less thrashy than the GTS’ bigger 3.6, more melodic and smooth-timbred.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to shout out this particular unit Porsche provided for this track session. Finished in Lugano Blue and sitting on Carrera Classic wheels, it’s decked out in the Cognac interior with a tastefully dark wood trim that I find irrationally exciting. Big Sally-from-Cars energy, and if I were to buy one of these, it’d probably look a whole lot like this. As tested, it costs $159,105, which is about eight grand less than what the GTS starts at. Long story short, I left the track that day wondering very hard if I had a spare $159K hiding in between my couch cushions. Because the base 2025 Porsche 911 Carrera is just that good.

It is enough. Nay, it is more than enough.

2025 Porsche 911 Carrera Specs
Base Price (Coupe as pictured)$122,095 ($159,105)
Powertrain3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six | 8-speed dual-clutch automatic | rear-wheel drive
Horsepower388 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque331 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
Seating Capacity4
Cargo Volume4.8 cubic feet
Curb Weight3,342 pounds
0-60 mph3.7 seconds
Top Speed183 mph
EPA Fuel EconomyTBD
Quick TakeBased base trim.

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