Another Porsche 911 variant?
Yup, they've been coming thick and fast, but none faster than this - the eagerly anticipated, four-wheel drive Turbo version. It's the most advanced, refined and rapid 911 Turbo in that model's 32-year history. In Tiptronic automatic form, it takes just 3.7sec to warp to 62mph - that's quicker than the Carrera GT supercar. And it doesn't stop there. Keep the throttle pinned and 124mph (200kph) appears in just 12.2secs before physics take hold and it hits v-max at 192mph. This car isn't just quick, it's sensational.
It looks pretty similar to the Carrera 4S - is it?
It might be the same width but the Turbo's longer and heavier (by 110kg) than its four-wheel drive 911 sibling. And much, much faster. The weight gain is down to the extra cooling required to keep the 480bhp, 3.6-litre, boxer engine from melting. It channels its drive through all four wheels via a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed Tiptronic 'boxes. Keeping you from putting a 911-shaped dent in the planet are mighty carbon ceramic brake discs that resist fade even after sustained abuse.
Put me in the driving seat…
The understated 911 Turbo makes supercars look faintly ludicrous. The 911 is like any other Porsche, easy to climb in and out of, well built, simple to park and comfortable. What separates it from the norm is the mighty power from that blown flat six. From behind the wheel it feels like any other 911, only the 'Turbo' script on the dials give the game away. That and the pressure on your ribcage as 480bhp does its best to invert you. After a slight pause for breath at just over 2000rpm the twin turbos spool up and the 911 turns violent. Flooring the accelerator for the first time in third beats sky diving for visceral thrills. For the first few miles in the 911 Turbo I'd been nagged by an annoying beeping from the dashboard every time I changed out of second gear. Turned out it was an electronic reminder set to go off as the car passed 75mph. In second? Good grief…
Is it any good around corners?
The Turbo is a pussycat on twisty roads, albeit a pussycat traveling at unbelievable speeds. It's all too easy to get carried away. When you notice the odd bit of understeer, it comes as a surprise - until you realise you've just taken the corner a third faster than in any other car before it. Respect its limits and the Turbo will stick like…well…a 911 Turbo. The steering, through a beautiful thin-rimmed wheel, is brilliantly responsive while the damping keeps the car composed even along severely pitted roads. It's not the perfect motorway car - there's too much tyre noise for that - but the 911 is still comfortably on a long haul.
The only disappointment is the styling. For £97,840 it might out-gadget Nasa but it's not beautiful by any stretch. The wheels look overdone and the nose is a mess of LEDs and scoops. The most expensive 911 isn't the best looking anymore.
The new 911 Turbo is fantastically complete. Here is a £97k Porsche that can outpace supercars, carry four people plus a bit of luggage and if you fancy a drink your mother-in-law could potter it home. It might be a bit heavier, a bit uglier and a lot more expensive but the new 911 Turbo is still an indecently desirable and capable car. Yes please, in a dark colour.