Opinion

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S: How I’d Spec It

This is the perfect build combination for the new 992-gen 911.

Owning a Porsche 911 as a daily driver has long been a dream of mine, and the arrival of the all-new 992-generation 2020 911 rekindled the long-burning and certainly expensive—dream. With only the rear-drive S and all-wheel-drive 4S coupes and cabrios available to order at this point, at least one choice is made easy: I’d go with the S coupe to maintain the purity of two driven wheels out back in a lighter, fixed-roof car. A manual transmission is a must, even though the seven-speed row-your-own gearbox won’t be available until later. Read on for my perfect 992 S spec, and to see how closely it might resemble your own.

Exterior

Paint: Porsche’s GT Silver Metallic ($830) is a touch richer and darker than traditional silver and has long been a favorite of mine; launched in 2004 on the Carrera GT, it feels timeless and seems as if it’s been around much longer.
Wheels: I’d stick with the standard 10-spoke wheels in silver, adding the $190 painted center caps. Two of the four available wheels feature polished details that’s too disco, and the Carrera Exclusive Design wheels look fine but cost $2630 including no-charge painted caps.
Etc.: Delete the 911 Carrera S badge from the rear bumper for free and pay far too much ($900) to change the standard red brake calipers to black—an all-new option. Clearly, I like a clean and simple look.

Interior

Seats: My choice is black with Sport-Tex seat centers even though doing so demands $3830 and includes the unnecessary leather interior upgrade. Ticking this box also forces you into one of the two Sport Seats Plus options, so go with the simpler and less expensive four-way version for $440.
Trim: The brushed aluminum interior trim is a lovely way to replace the standard Diamar Dark Silver pieces. It may not be worth $1260 to upgrade, but I like it, and this is my new daily driver, remember?

Options/Packages

Sport Package: The Porsche option list is vast and overwhelming, but the $5460 Sport Package is an easy pick as it groups key extras including a sport exhaust, a lower suspension (by 0.4 inch), and the Sport Chrono Package. The latter adds certain unnecessary items including the chronograph affixed to the top of the dash but the steering wheel-mounted drive-mode knob is handy, and the active driveline mounts sharpen the chassis. Finally, Sport Chrono only costs $1490 in the Sport Package versus $2720 on its own.
LED PDLS+ headlights: Better illumination at night for just $1270.
Rear wiper: From my perspective in snowy Michigan, it’ll eventually prove more useful than the $370 it costs.
Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel: For $800, you get the heating function that costs $280 on other wheels on the fantastic GT Sport wheel, plus it’s finished in grippy microsuede.
Etc.: The $5380 Premium Package doesn’t precisely fit my needs, since I don’t want radar cruise control or need keyless entry, you can’t get ventilated seats with the above interior choice, and lane-keeping assist and Bose audio aren’t on my personal wish list. The standard nine-speaker audio setup is perfectly reasonable, given that the sport exhaust provides the best music

What to Skip

Given the plethora of options, can we just say everything else? While rear-wheel steering and carbon-ceramic brakes are tempting due to the increased agility and weight savings, but they cost a ton—$2090 for the steering and $8970 for the brakes (plus another $900 to change the gaudy yellow calipers to black). Power Steering Plus ($280) simply lightens up the steering at low speeds; no thanks. The body-roll-mitigating Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control ($3170) is more useful on a Panamera or Cayenne. Some of the other expensive options also push the car a bit too far from its sports-car roots for someone with purist inclinations like me, examples being night vision ($2530), Burmester sound ($5560), and the personalized and illuminated carbon-fiber door sills ($1640). Finally, I’m no fan of sunroofs, but I can see their appeal for less performance-minded buyers in places that get sunshine more than twice a year.

TOTAL COST: $129,900 (base price: $114,550)
This is based on a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S with the eight-speed PDK automatic. Manual-gearbox pricing hasn’t been released, but it’s likely to be a no-charge option as it is on the 911 GT3. Of course, that means it’s actually quite a bit more expensive than before, as opting for a PDK on the 991.2 Carrera S cost $3210.