Porsche 911 Turbo S


Porsche has uprated the 911 Turbo, taking it deeper into Supercar territory. David Vivian drives it.

What is it?
Porsche’s response to customer demand for a faster, more focused version of what already ranks as the fastest and most accelerative car in its range, the four-wheel drive 911 Turbo. If it steals back a little business from the ever-keen independent tuning outfits, so much the better. It costs £123,263. 

Technical highlights?
Reworked turbos and higher boost pressure lift power and torque to 523bhp and 516lb ft, gains of 30bhp and 37lb ft respectively, but the Turbo S is no thirstier with a combined consumption of 24.8mpg. Porsche Torque Vectoring, which varies the drive to each individual rear wheel to achieve a more neutral cornering balance and enhanced traction when pressing on, is standard on the S. It also gets the SportChrono pack - which includes launch control and gives keener throttle, damper and stability control settings at the touch of a button - and dynamic engine mounts for improved rigidity and transitional handling characteristics. Ceramic stoppers, dynamic cornering headlights, two-tone leather carbon-shelled sports seats and 19-inch RS Spyder alloy wheels are all included in the S spec. And’s there’s no manual option – it’s 7-speed PDK and paddles or nothing. 

What’s it like to drive?
If acceleration, grip and stopping power are priorities, pretty damn awesome. The 911 Turbo S is as quick to 60mph as a McLaren F1 and is only half a nose behind at 100mph. Hugely torquey engine and lightning-fast PDK double-clutch shifts combine to deliver massive, horizon-hauling thrust in return for a modest flexing of your right ankle. The engine note is more whoosh than wonderful and the whole driving experience lacks the intimate precision, instant agility and bristling tactile and sonic feedback of the GT3’s but there’s no denying the Turbo S’s blistering pace on any type of road, wet or dry. Or the relatively modest demands on driver talent needed to achieve it.

How does it compare?
If you’re looking for the purest and most exhilarating 911 experience, we’d have to point you in the direction of the GT3 RS. The Turbo S feels like a relatively blunt object by comparison. You’ll pocket a tidy saving as well. Ferrari’s more expensive 458 Italia has a much more engaging supercar vibe and a real sense of F1 technology transfer. But it can’t live with the Porsche’s pace.

Anything else I need to know?
All this comes in £130,791 soft-top form as well which, in the final analysis, probably tells you all you need to know about the Turbo S – an engine tweak and options bundle rather than a thoroughbred, but a crowd-pleaser all the same.

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