1.0 g.

In the world of sports cars it’s a magical number, the barrier between mere excellence and exaltation.

A measurement of traction and cornering ability, the figure means that the lateral or longitudinal forces being created by a car as it travels through a turn or decelerates are equal to those pulling it toward the center of the Earth.

In other words: If your seat disappeared in the middle of a corner, you could theoretically stick to the door without falling onto the floor.

After a brisk run through some sweeping curves in the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S, followed by hard stab at the brakes, I was impressed to see by the onboard performance computer that I’d cracked the mark both side to side and to the front.

Even more so when I got out of the car.

That’s when I noticed the flakes embedded in to the sidewall of the Michelins. I’d forgotten that the car was wearing snow tires. The mind reels thinking what it could do on summer rubber.

Perhaps I should’ve waited until the weather got warm.

Not a chance.

Although it looks like the previous six, this seventh generation 911 is very much an all-new car. It’s lower and wider than last year’s model, and rides on a 3.9-inch longer wheelbase, for a variety of reasons that I’ll get to soon. Its design is intentionally familiar, but with lines that are slightly more muscular and sensuous than before. It’s also lost a few pounds in the process.

Way out back where it belongs, the engine of the Carrera S is the latest version of Porsche’s 3.8-liter flat-six-cylinder, now with 400 hp. A seven speed manual transmission is standard for those who have a thing against idle right hands, but my test car was fitted with a dual-clutch automatic that costs a mere $4080 on top of the car’s $97,350 base price. Even so, if the recent history of 911 sales is anything to go by, most buyers will be checking that box on the options list.

Inside you’ll find a coupe-sized take on the new Porsche family interior that was first seen on the once-blasphemous Panamera sedan and is quickly spreading throughout the lineup. The prominent button-laden center console set in a sea of leather standing in sharp contrast to the cabin of the very first 911, which had no console at all.

Watch: World's quickest family car

That wheelbase stretch means it’s roomier inside, too, but the folding rear seats remain suitable only for golf clubs and garden gnomes. Believe me, I tried to fit and am still recovering from the attack of claustrophobia that ensued.

The extra inches were also reportedly added to facilitate hybridization of the powertrain if it should be deemed necessary to do so at some point in this lifecycle of this 911. So far it hasn’t. But that’s not to say the 911 isn’t already thinking about efficiency. In an effort to save fuel, it’s been fitted with a stop start system that turns off the engine when it’s stationary and in drive, lighting it up again with a shake of its tail when you take your foot off the brake.

Assuming, of course, that you haven’t opted for the $2370 Sport Chrono Package and switched the car into Sport Plus mode, which keeps the engine running at all times and activates launch control. Press hard on the brake, mat the throttle, drop the brake and prepare to experience speed accompanied by the opposite of silence.

With a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, this is one of the quickest 400 hp cars ever made and, despite the luxury that surrounds you, it feels every tenth of it. If you shelled out for the $2950 Sport Exhaust System (the checkbook is open, so just do it) you hear it too. At full bore the 911 sounds as if it’s fueled by flaming Jägerbombs, enhanced by an induction tube that pumps the sonic assault from the engine bay into the back of your head. It’s like the aural equivalent of a beer bong, and just as intoxicating.