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There’s an unusual symmetry at play with the subject of this week’s road test.
Since 1974, the distinguishing element of any Porsche 911 Turbo had been its forced-induction flat six, but this changed in 2016 when the regular Porsche 911 (991) Carrera and its scions sprouted turbochargers. At a stroke, every Porsche 911 except the mesmerising 991 GT3 went turbo, and because of this the real McCoy lost some originality. Simply, events beyond its control meant the 911 Turbo became much more akin to the basic 911 Carrera but no less expensive. Not great.
I attempted to call out the numbers in 10mph increments from 20mph upwards and actually tripped up over the word ‘fifty’ because, before my mouth could even wrap itself around the second syllable, 60mph had flashed upRichard LaneDeputy road test editor
Bear this in mind when you consider that, for the latest, 992-based incarnation of The Fastest Point-to-Point Car in the World, Porsche has tried to address one of the model’s long-standing drawbacks, which is that it has generally been a touch inert in its handling. Too doggedly stable and less accessible and adjustable than what we know the 911 recipe can generate. This time you might duly say the aim has been to make the dynamics more Carrera-like.
It means that, in the space of one generation, the 911 Turbo has been squeezed into much the same conceptual space as the regular 911 Carrera, for reasons both accidental and deliberate. However, it still occupies flagship status in the range with an asking price to match: £168,900 for our Turbo S test car, which is nearly twice that of the 911 Carrera and, more pointedly, on a par with the Ferrari Roma.
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So could this new 911 Turbo be the greatest take on the all-weather, mega-911 template first laid down in 1988 by the Porsche 959? Or is the model now something of an overpriced relic, surplus to real-world requirements and only for those who crave excess and have the funds to match?
Range at a glance
The Porsche 911 range continues to proliferate, and the imminent arrival of the GT3 RS will only broaden it. After that, the only conspicuous gap is for a GT2 or GT2 RS, neither of which has been confirmed for the 992 generation. For now, the Turbo S is the most powerful 911, if not the most expensive, since the arrival of the Sport Classic.
|Porsche 911 Carrera/Carrera 4||380bhp|
|Porsche 911 Carrera S/Carrera 4S||444bhp|
|Porsche 911 Carrera GTS/Carrera 4 GTS||473bhp|
|Porsche 911 GT3/GT3 Touring||503bhp|
|Porsche 911 Turbo||572bhp|
|Porsche 911 Turbo S*||641bhp|
|Porsche 911 Sport Classic||543bhp|
|Porsche 911 GT3 RS||517bhp|
8-spd dual-clutch automatic*
7-spd dual-clutch automatic (GT3)
7-spd manual (S, GTS, Sport Classic)
6-spd manual (GT3)
Verdict Model tested: Rating:
Porsche 911 Turbo S
GoodPerformance remains jaw-dropping, even in the era of super-EVsTruly usable in a way no rival, however brilliant, can quite matchNotably more engaging than its stability-favouring predecessorBadSeriously expensive, especially in range-topping S guiseDebatable how much more compelling it is than the Carrera 4 GTSTouring ability hampered by road roar, as with all variants of 911
Model tested: Porsche 911 Turbo S Price: £168,900 Price as tested: £179,509 Engine: 6 cyls horizontally opposed, 3745cc, twin-turbocharged, petrol Transmission: 8-spd dual-clutch automatic Driveline layout: Rear, longitudinal, four-wheel drive Model tested Porsche 911 Turbo S Price £168,900 Price as tested £179,509 View all specs and rivals Engine 6 cyls horizontally opposed, 3745cc, twin-turbocharged, petrol Transmission 8-spd dual-clutch automatic Driveline layout Rear, longitudinal, four-wheel drive Power 641bhp at 6750rpm Torque 590lb ft at 2500-4000rpm 0-62mph 2.6sec Top speed 205mph Kerb weight (DIN) 1640kg Fuel economy 23.5mpg CO2 271g/km BIK tax band 37% Rivals Ferrari Roma Audi R8 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition Power 641bhp at 6750rpm Torque 590lb ft at 2500-4000rpm 0-62mph 2.6sec Top speed 205mph Kerb weight (DIN) 1640kg Fuel economy 23.5mpg CO2 271g/km BIK tax band 37% Rivals Ferrari Roma Audi R8 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition