Cash-in that coin jar and clip those coupons: The base-level 992 Carrera is here! If you’ve been keeping up with Porsche, you remember the 992 generation launched in Carrera S and Carrera 4S trim—which blew us away when we drove them—with the promise of an entry-level Carrera to come at a later date. Now, the entry-spec is ready for the 2020 model year, offered right off the bat in both coupe and cabriolet configurations.
Like previous generations of 911, there doesn’t appear to be a radical difference between the new Carrera and the higher-spec Carrera S (which is shown here) aside from uprated performance hardware like brakes, tires, suspension, and exhaust. The new Carrera utilizes the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six found in the S, packing in this case 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, decreases of 64 hp and 59 lb-ft from S spec, but up nine horses on the outgoing 991.2 Carrera.
An eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission is the only option for now, but Porsche promises a manual transmission is on its way for both Carrera and Carrera S, so stick-shift enthusiasts should hold off for now. Of course, PDK shortens the zero-to-60-mph sprints quite a bit, now down to 4.0 seconds in the standard car and 3.8 seconds for Carreras equipped with the optional Sport Chrono package. Spring for the droptop, and 60 mph happens in 4.2 and 4.0, again depending on the Sport Chrono kit. Keep your foot in it, and the Carrera coupe won’t stop accelerating until it hits 182 mph; the cabriolet peters out at “just” 180 mph.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is standard, offering both Normal and Sport settings, as is the new Wet Mode. (It uses sensors in the wheel wells to determine the amount of water on the road; if it’s really wet, the driver is informed, torque is reduced, the safety software goes on high alert, and aero flaps open to increase downforce.) All standard and optional wheel sets are staggered front-to-back, hiding 13-inch steel rotors at all four corners. Of course, carbon-ceramic brakes are optional.
Stylistically, the Carrera offers more of what we liked on the 992 Carrera S. For the new generation of car, all variants have the widebody appearance, previously reserved for Carrera 4, GTS, Turbo, and GT variants. Aside from standard wheels, badging, and some exterior trim, one of the telltale visual giveaways between Carrera and Carrera S is the base car’s rectangular exhaust tips in place of the S’s oval outlets. You might notice the Carrera seen here in these images has oval exhaust tips; we’d chalk that up to these cars being equipped with an optional Sport exhaust system.
If you’ve been hoarding your loose change for this moment, it’d better be a big jar. Stepping into a standard “stripper” 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera will set you back no less than $98,750, while the Cabriolet will ring the register starting at $111,550. Bring your rolls of quarters to dealers now, as order books are open for a delivery date beginning in early 2020.