It’s more than twice as powerful as the original Porsche 911 Turbo but it needs to be – this is 2014 and a cheaper Japanese coupe has stolen much of the Porsche’s limelight, the Nissan GT-R bursting onto the scene in 2007 and laying it on with more power and upgrades ever since. So to really take it to Godzilla, there’s this £140,852 Turbo S, with its more than 550bhp helping it lap the Nürburgring in less than seven and a half minutes to up the stakes.
What’s new on the new Porsche 911 Turbo S?
The latest 911 Turbo has four-wheel steering (as on the 911 GT3), a faster-acting four-wheel drive system, and adaptive aerodynamics that are claimed to be worth two seconds per lap at the Nürburgring. For another £22k, this Turbo S version has an extra 38bhp and 30lb ft, ceramic brakes, and dynamic engine mounts teamed with an active anti-roll system.
All of which means this £140k Turbo S has a twin-turbo 3.8-litre flat-six producing 552bhp (the same as a BMW M5) and up to 553lb ft with a special ‘overboost’ mode. It’ll hit 62mph in 3.1 seconds (and Porsche’s performance claims are always conservative) and lap the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 27 seconds.
Is the Turbo S a hardcore road racer or a GT?
The latter, now more so than ever. From the outside, it could be a Carrera with a bodykit, and it doesn’t feel any more eventful inside than the entry-level 911 either.
It’s much more refined than the last 997-generation Turbo S: the leather-lined interior is a big step forward; despite 20in wheels it rides well; and the PDK transmission slips unobtrusively through the gears.
Presumably it’s quick though?
Oh god yes. The 997 Turbo S never felt anything other than stupidly fast, but Nissan GT-Rs and McLaren 12Cs have moved the game on, and Porsche has responded. It’s not that much quicker, because the new Turbo S is actually heavier than the old Turbo S (blame the rear-steer and other tech) and there’s not loads more power and torque, but it’s on par with the GT-R in terms of pace.
The McLaren? The Porsche doesn’t have an 8500rpm redline like the British supercar, but from 2000rpm there’s so much torque that you’ll think the gearing is too short as the Turbo S eats up the revs. It’d be close between the pair – that is unless the heavens open, at which point the 12C wouldn’t see which way the Porsche went.
What else should I know?
You can’t feel the fancy wings and spoilers working, but the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control anti-roll system is noticeable. Usually you can sense the flat-six out behind the rear axle, but select Sport Plus and the hydraulic stabilisers – with the dynamic engine mounts – react more powerfully and aggressively. The whole car seems to tense, becoming tighter and firmer, and now it acts and reacts more like a mid-engined car, cornering flat with little hint of where the engine is.
You lose some of the sensations of that iconic layout, but the pace and poise of the Turbo S is so utterly devastating that won’t care – and do you really want it to be magnetically attracted to hedgerows like the original? The four-wheel steer system makes it incredibly agile too, the ceramic brakes are brilliant, traction is impeccable, and although it’s obviously been engineered in, the turbo engine roars more enticingly, with the thick backbeat of exhaust splutter whenever you lift off.
Presented with £150k and the choice of any current 911 we’d still make a beeline for the GT3, which has a sharper PDK gearbox, more interactive steering, a 200kg weight advantage, a wonderful naturally aspirated engine, and the ability to deliver more interactive highs. But the Turbo S is faster, more usable, a more complete car, and thus one heck of a 911.