Well it certainly isn’t the prettiest 911 Turbo, but that was never Porsche’s aim with the new ‘Type 991’ generation model.
With up to 552bhp from its 3.8-litre flat six engine, delivered via its new all-wheel drive chassis, the 911 Turbo is all about point-to-point performance, and in that respect it delivers in spades.
Porsche describe it as “..combining the virtues of a circuit race car with those of an everyday road car”, which is a great example of the German company’s sense of humour. Yes, the 911 Turbo can be used every day, but it’s still a 197mph missile that requires considerable restraint on all bar the shortest journeys.
Two variants will be available from launch; the 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S, offering 513bhp and 552bhp respectively. The 911 Turbo will retail at £118,349, while the Turbo S is priced from £140,852.
Besides the increase in power, the Turbo S offers Porsche’s active anti-roll system (PDCC) as standard, together with the Sport Chrono Package Plus incorporating dynamic engine mounts and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB). These are also available on the 911 Turbo.
Despite the increase in power over its 997 predecessor, the new 911 Turbo is 16 per cent more fuel efficient than before, recording 29.1 mpg on the combined cycle. This is partly due to the auto start/stop function with engine shut-off that now activates earlier (when coasting to a halt) and a new thermal management system for the turbo engine and PDK transmission.
The 911 Turbo’s all-wheel drive system now distributes its power to each axle more quickly and precisely. It uses a new electronically controlled and activated multi-plate clutch, which is equipped with a new water cooling function that allows more of the drive torque to reach the front wheels if necessary.
With the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus the 911 Turbo accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, one-tenth faster than the previous 911 Turbo S, while the new 911 Turbo S will reach 62 mph in just 3.1 seconds. In its fastest variant (Turbo S with SPORT PLUS) the new 911 Turbo will accelerate from 0 to 100mph in 6.8 secs and to 125mph in 10.3 secs. The top speed of both models is 197 mph.
The 911 Turbo weighs 1,670 kg (EU) compared to 1,680kg for the Turbo S and 1,505 kg for the 911 GT3.
The really ‘clever’ feature of the new 911 Turbo is what Porsche call ‘rear axle steering’ – or four-wheel steering as we’ve come to know the principle as elsewhere.
Instead of conventional control arms, the system consists of two electro-mechanical actuators on the left and right of the rear axle, which can vary the steering angle of the rear wheels by up to 2.8 degrees – depending on vehicle speed.
At speeds of up to 31 mph, when the front wheels are turned the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction. This corresponds to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase by 250 mm, which in turn increases agility and simplifies low speed manoeuvring and parking.
At speeds above 50 mph, the system steers the rear wheels in parallel to the turned front wheels, which corresponds to a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase by 500 mm, improving stability at high speeds and providing more progressive turn-in characteristics.
So effective is this new rear-axle steering that the 911 Turbo S now laps the Nürburgring Nordschleife in well under 7 min 30 seconds – when fitted with standard road tyres.
Clearly Porsche are having a dig at Nissan’s GT-R, which it believes has been specifically optimised to lap the ‘ring (more quickly than the 911 Turbo) – hence their repeated use of the words ‘everyday’ and ‘production’ in the press release.
As is the norm with the 911 Turbo, it sits on the widest body of any 911 – 28 mm wider than 911 Carrera 4 models. It can also be distinguished by its forged two-tone 20-inch diameter wheels, full-LED headlights (on the Turbo S) with four-point daytime running lights and dynamic, camera-based main beam control. These can also be ordered for the standard 911 Turbo.
The Turbo sits on an entirely new, lightweight chassis with a 100 mm longer wheelbase, so should easily be distinguished from lesser 911s by its wider, sleeker profile.
Finally, for the first time, the 911 Turbo features active aerodynamics with a sturdy, retractable three-stage front spoiler, whose segments can be pneumatically extended, and a rear wing with three adjustable positions.
The extent to which this system improves dynamic performance, is demonstrated by the fact that it cuts the 911 Turbo’s lap time around the Nürburgring by up to two seconds.
The new 911 Turbo and Turbo S are on sale now, with first right-hand drive deliveries arriving in September.