9 November 2004

Porsche will put the squeeze on its supercar rivals in 2005 with a hot new 911 Turbo packing up to 460bhp. Caught here undergoing testing in early prototype guise, the sixth iteration of Porsche’s performance icon will go on sale in the UK this time next year.

At the heart of the new car is a reworked version of the outgoing model’s 3.6-litre flat-six engine. Among the changes are larger turbochargers, more-efficient intercoolers and revised engine management electronics.

Power is said to climb by 40bhp to 460bhp, with torque increasing to around 460lb ft – enough to propel the new car to 60mph in just 4.0sec, 0.2sec quicker than the current model. Despite a marginally increased frontal area, the improved underbody aerodynamics and a more efficient bi-plane rear wing should help the new 911 Turbo achieve a top speed in excess of the 191mph of today’s car.

But the biggest single factor in the Turbo’s increased performance is a new four-wheel-drive system, which incorporates electronic differentials that allow the drive to be apportioned independently to the wheel with the most grip. Further developments planned are a reworked six-speed manual gearbox with a shorter shift action, PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) with continuously variable damping, 19-inch wheels and tyres and PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes).

The new car will also adopt an optional dual-clutch gearbox. As with Volkswagen’s DSG ’box, Porsche’s system includes shift paddles behind the steering wheel. Setting the new Turbo apart from lesser 911 models are a series of traditional styling cues, including uniquely styled cooling ducts, wider wheelarches, tailpipes set within the rear valance and the signature ‘whale tail’ spoiler mounted over the engine lid.

As with the outgoing 911 Turbo, Porsche plans to offer both coupé and cabriolet versions of the new model. Prices are expected to remain close to £90,000.

Porsche is examining the possibility of fitting Toyota’s hybrid powertrain to its Cayenne SUV, according to reports last week.

Our Verdict

Kia Sportage
Kia’s well priced compact soft-roader has been given attention-seeking looks

The Kia Sportage is more SUV than hatchback, with family appeal and value to commend it

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