Porsche 911: Test Drive
12 January 2009
Author: Tristan Young
BusinessCar Office, yesterday
|P11D price:|| £61,728|
|Key rival:|| Jaguar XK |
Porsche may have complained about CO2-based taxation, which it believes unfairly penalises the company for being a specialist sports car manufacturer, but it's still produced a 911 with a new 3.6-litre engine that falls into the 33% benefit-in-kind tax band.
The new 911 Carrera produces 225g/km CO2, lower than anything else in this rarefied class and 2% points lower than the maximum 35% BIK band.
While anyone who can afford, or qualify for, a £60k-plus car won't worry too much about the running costs, the savings are significant. To give some context, a similarly quick Jaguar XKR will cost £1500 more per year in company car tax. Against the admittedly more expensive Audi R8, the savings are more than £2500 a year in tax.
The official fuel figure of 29.4mpg is also impressive for a car of this performance. And unlike other cars, we got more than the combined figure (34mpg to be precise) by being gentle on the accelerator and keeping just below the motorway speed limit on a 50-mile run. That said, other more exuberant journeys did see nearer 20mpg.
The attraction of the 911, however, is not just in the outright performance or cost savings, but also in the driving fun, involvement and excitement, and in each of these areas the new car is as first rate as previous 911s. It's also easy to live with, and not as intimidating to drive as some other cars that are this fast.
That's not to say the 911 is faultless. The options list is extensive and the standard equipment is sparse. Leather may be standard, but a rear wiper and parking sensors are options, as is cruise control and an aux socket for your iPod. But these are minor niggles and don't really detract from the 911 experience, which now, thanks to the new more efficient engine, is an even better fleet proposition for company directors.