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Steering, suspension and ride comfort

That the Turbo lacks some of the 911’s trademark dynamic sparkle is nothing if not predictable. With non-intrusive everyday usability and long-distance touring in mind, the Turbo has been getting more and more reserved in its communicative facets ever since the 996 generation.

Some say it’s also a slightly unengaging derivative of a whole 911 generation that’s short on talkative verve. But these are criticisms relative only to some of the most vivid and beguiling sports cars there have ever been – all of them 911s.

The Drive system adds an element of guesswork when off-throttle oversteer turns into on-throttle oversteer

More relevant is the fact that, while the Turbo isn’t the most entertaining Porsche you can buy, it is lithe, precise, intimate and interesting enough to compare favourably with rivals offering the same usability, such as the Nissan GT-R and the Bentley Continental GT Speed.

Long gone, though, are the days when any new 911 could weasel its way into your affections with sheer effervescence. This one certainly can’t. The Turbo has high grip levels and body control ranging from very good to iron-like (depending on PASM setting), plus it handles precisely and securely when the stability systems are all in bat.

Road roar aside, it also rides with some compliance and has good motorway stability. Such things matter in a sports car to be driven quickly, often through less than ideal conditions, 300-odd days a year – as Turbos commonly are. But it doesn’t have the most delicately balanced cornering manners or the most involving limit handling behaviour.

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The Turbo has no shortage of sophisticated systems to sharpen up its act on track. It's impressive how well integrated they are, and how seamless the driving experience is even when really closely examined.

But the handling here seldom blows you away in the way that a GT3's will. The car's performance level is immense, and even challenged by that sheer speed, the brakes are more than up to the task of keeping the car on track. The Turbo S's upgraded carbon-ceramic brakes are so good, in fact, that they force you to recalibrate your braking markers.

While there is a lot of lateral grip on offer, and you can carry a lot of speed when cornering in the dry, the delicacy of chassis response and adjustability of attitude we found in an entry-level Carrera 3.4 – never mind in the GT3 – simply isn't here.

You know you've arrived at the limit because the Turbo begins to understeer, as almost all 911s do, but your options to deal with that understeer are greatly reduced. Handling is squarely biased towards stability and security.

The bottom line is that while it is undoubtedly multi-talented, the Turbo doesn’t feel as special as a 911 can. Whisper this, but one staffer even had to be reminded that he’d driven it at all, so light was the impression that the car left on his memory.