What is it?
That famous Porsche ‘Turbo’ badge is cemented in legend in motoring circles. Those five letters inspire images of the Turbo of the 1980s, with its giant arches and huge spoiler encapsulating everything about the time period. These days, the Turbo might not be as out-there in terms of styling, but everything else has been dialled up considerably.
We’re looking at the range-topping Turbo S here, which brings larger-than-life performance incorporated into the latest 992-generation body. Let’s see what it has to offer.
The Turbo S is one of the most powerful 911s in the 992-generation line-up that you can get. But over and above this, it has its own set of aerodynamic tweaks to ensure that it’s better at keeping level when travelling at serious speeds. These changes also help to visually differentiate it from the rest of the 911 range, but more on that later.
You also get Porsche’s latest interior technology, with its sharpest screen and quickest systems that make interacting with the car’s auxiliary functions a breeze.
What’s under the bonnet?
Mounted right at the back of the Turbo S is a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six engine which develops 641bhp and a huge 800Nm of torque. You get all-wheel-drive as standard, too, with all that power being sent to the wheels through Porsche’s eight-speed PDK automatic gearbox.
Zero to 60mph? That’ll take just 2.5 seconds while Porsche claims a top speed of 205mph. Thankfully, the Turbo S comes equipped with powerful ceramic composite brakes with 10-piston front callipers – four-piston versions are at the rear – which can help bring all of that fury to a halt effectively. Porsche claims that you should be able to see around 25mpg in the Turbo S too, while CO2 emissions stand at 257g/km.
What’s it like to drive?
One of your initial reflections on the Turbo S is simply how easy it is to drive. This isn’t a car which is accompanied by a sense of intimidation; it doesn’t feel too large to pilot, nor are the controls tricky to master. Compared with a lower-powered 911, the Turbo S remains remarkably fuss-free to drive in an everyday manner.
But of course, in the background is that monstrous performance. Even a moderate depression of the throttle brings the horizon hurtling towards you, while more sustained applications result in stomach-moving acceleration. However, because of that four-wheel-drive system, it’s all done with very little fuss and boatloads of traction. You do have to be careful, mind you, as the acceleration you get in the Turbo S can have you nearing legal limits in next to no time.
How does it look?
As we’ve already mentioned, the Turbo S is a little more understated than its 80s-era predecessor, but it’s still got some real presence. There’s that aforementioned aerodynamic kit which plays a key role in the Turbo’s look, with the air intakes in front of rear arches being a key part of this and something we’ve seen on previous generations.
There is, of course, a large rear spoiler too, while the oval exhaust pipes are different to the square ones you’ll find on regular non-S Turbo. There’s a clever auto-deploying front spoiler and active cooling air flaps which are activated at different times depending on speed.
What’s it like inside?
The cabin of the 911 Turbo S is snug and cocoon-like. The red interior of our test car may not be to everyone’s tastes, but to our eyes, it contrasted the silver exterior of the car brilliantly. There’s loads of adjustability, too, with those up front able to easily get comfy in the sport seats.
There are rear seats but, in truth, these are really only going to be of use for small children. We tried two adults in the back there and found that there was simply not enough legroom when the front seats were in place. However, you do get a handy 128 litres of storage in the nose, which is actually quite square and deep. It’s easy to access, too.
What’s the spec like?
Chiming in at £160,610, the Turbo S is by no means a cheap car. Our test version, with optional extras such as a sports exhaust system and adaptive cruise control – which brought premiums of £2,180 and £1,818 respectively – totalled £169,494, too. However, you could quite easily do without the options as you get an extensive list of equipment as standard – though you’d expect that for a car of this price.
Highlights include a full Bose surround sound system with 12 speakers and subwoofer, as well as Porsche’s infotainment system which is clear and easy to use. But, in reality, what you’re paying for here is the performance that the Turbo S offers and the huge amount of engineering that has gone into making it this fast and usable.
The Porsche 911 Turbo S is a car that can quickly change your perception of speed. It is monstrously quick and capable of delivering the kind of acceleration that seems more appropriate for something that can taxi, takeoff and land rather than stay on the road.
That it does all this in such an approachable and unflustered way makes it even more remarkable. It’s not only a superb addition to the 911 range but a fitting continuation of that Turbo name.