Go easy on the op­tions list and you’ll have the per­fect new Car­rera for lit­tle more than list price

Evo - - MARKET - Words by Adam Towler

THESE DAYS £77,891 BUYS you a new 911 Car­rera, the root of the 911 fam­ily tree, and the low­est-pow­ered, hum­blest ver­sion of the world’s favourite rear-en­gined coupe.

On evo, we never get to see such a car, be­cause the press of­fice likes to spec cars that show off the ad­di­tional tech­nol­ogy and cus­tomi­sa­tion fea­tures avail­able. Sim­i­larly, walk into a Porsche Cen­tre to­mor­row and the sales­per­son will be only too keen to in­dulge your wishes for more of ev­ery­thing – at a cost, of course, not­ing that it ‘re­ally is nec­es­sary for re­sale val­ues’. And any­way, on a PCP fi­nance deal it’s easy to tick boxes and worry to­mor­row. This is why the £100,000 911 is the norm these days. Feels ex­pen­sive, doesn’t it, for a ‘base’ 911.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers rely on this back door in­fla­tion of the price tag to har­vest sig­nif­i­cant profit (heard the one about Fer­rari’s £2400 Ap­ple Carplay op­tion?), and while you might be wast­ing your hard-earned, you may also be spoil­ing the car you’re buy­ing. The stan­dard car is usu­ally, if not al­ways, the car the engi­neers have sweated over long­est to per­fect, and adding good­ies adds un­nec­es­sary weight and com­plex­ity.

Take the Car­rera. We’ve never been com­pletely con­vinced by Porsche’s first Above: Porsche’s con­fig­u­ra­tor can be a tempt­ing, but bank ac­count-drain­ing, place to spend time tur­bocharged Car­rera mod­els, but one thing we all agree on in the evo of­fice is that the stan­dard Car­rera gives you 99.9 per cent of the 991.2 Car­rera experience.

To the con­fig­u­ra­tor! There are four pri­mary colours avail­able. Ei­ther Guards Red or solid black is a fine choice, sav­ing a min­i­mum of £834 over metal­lic shades. Stick with the stan­dard 19-inch wheels: they’re a good de­sign (for once); you don’t want to try to make it look like an S or a Turbo, plus the ride will be nicer, and the car more us­able, with a taller side­wall. A black leather in­te­rior is a no-cost se­lec­tion, al­though on a black car I’d be tempted by Sad­dle Brown (it’s very dark) to make things a bit more in­ter­est­ing (the sales­per­son won’t like that one). A £324 up­grade to the ba­sic sports seats is worth it for the ad­di­tional shoul­der sup­port, but sadly you can’t get man­ual – and hence lighter – nor­mal seats any more.

Now to the ‘ex­te­rior’ op­tions. LED lamps are £1835, but there’s noth­ing wrong with the bi-xenons. ‘Porsche En­try and Drive’ for £774? Pri­vacy glass? I don’t think so. You’ll save £2483 by stick­ing with three ped­als, and in spite of the seven-speed man­ual’s rel­a­tive clunk­i­ness, it’s still a lovely thing to have a man­ual Car­rera, and an in­stant cred­i­bil­ity ‘win’. You def­i­nitely don’t need ce­ram­ics at £6018. A sports ex­haust? Un­nec­es­sary at £1844 – the turbo mo­tor is hardly a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Mezger. I’d go with­out the mode switch, too – more end­less fid­dling, and for £1271, too.

Spend­ing £228 on cruise con­trol seems use­ful for those con­ti­nen­tal jaunts, but the ac­tive sys­tem is al­ways a pain and not worth £1557. Seat ven­ti­la­tion? Oh come on. Sounds? That’s what the flat-six is for.

All in, that means a princely sum of £552 on op­tions, and a re­tail price of £78,443. My one pos­si­ble weak­ness? A £543 GT (smaller) steer­ing wheel trimmed in Al­can­tara, with match­ing gear­lever: driver con­tact points are cru­cial, elec­tronic toys are not. Stand your ground and spec wisely.

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