What is it?
The new Porsche 911 Turbo S does so many things so well that you can’t help but be overwhelmed when you first you drive it, which is exactly what I’ve just done at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the new range-topping 911 is that, to all intents and purposes, it is a facelift of a car that has already been on sale for just over two years. The 991-series 911 Turbo S was launched during the second half of 2013, and it blew me away with its huge speed and utter competency.
This new 911 Turbo S is something else again. With an official 0-62mph time of just 2.9sec in coupé guise, the powered-up 2016 betters its predecessor over the benchmark discipline by 0.2sec. It is also among a select group of road-going 911s to boast a top speed in excess of 200mph, with an official claimed maximum of 205mph.
More than outright pace, though, it represents a significant step in terms of dynamic prowess and ability to entertain, and having driven it on both the Kyalami circuit and roads around Johannesburg, my mind is blown again. While a lot about the facelifted 911 Turbo S remains the same, its intrinsic character has evolved, making it more memorable to drive than ever.
The facelifted 911 Turbo S runs a reworked Euro 6-compatible version of its predecessor’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder petrol engine.
Changes include a redesigned fuel injection system, revised inlet ports for improved combustion efficiency and the adoption of 58mm variable-vane turbochargers as opposed to the 56mm units used by the standard 911 Turbo.
Together, the modifications bring an added 20bhp, providing a rather serious 572bhp at 6750rpm. That’s 49bhp more than the regular 911 Turbo and, in combination with a 1600kg kerb weight, provides the coupé with a power-to-weight ratio of 358bhp per tonne.
Accompanying the moderate lift in power is a 37lb ft increase in torque, which now peaks at 553lb ft between 2100 and 4250rpm.
To reduce lag and provide sharper throttle response, the new 911 Turbo S also receives a so-called dynamic boost function. It maintains turbocharger boost pressure, with the throttle valves remaining open, for a brief period after you step away from the throttle. Porsche claims improved reactions when the driver reapplies the throttle, with the effect described as being more pronounced in Sport and Sport Plus modes than in Normal mode.
Drive is channelled to all four wheels through an updated seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a faster-reacting multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system.
Along with the performance gains, Porsche claims an impressive 2.0mpg improvement in combined economy, with the Turbo returning 31.0mpg and the cabriolet 30.4mpg.
Subtle exterior styling upgrades include an altered front bumper, a revised splitter and twinned LED indicator units. There are also new 20in centre-lock wheels and the door handles have been modified to give a more integrated appearance.
At the rear, there are new tail-lights with added structure to the lenses and altered LED graphics, a redesigned engine cover with improved cooling properties and a reprofiled bumper with trapezoidal tailpipes.
Inside, a new 360mm-diameter steering wheel features a rotary driving mode controller. There’s also a new Sport Response button allowing you to call up maximum acceleration for up to 20sec in any of the four driving modes.
Further changes are focused on the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system, which receives a new, fourth-generation touchscreen and improved connectivity functions. Other options include a radar lane change system and a lift function that increases the ground clearance at the front spoiler lip by up to 40mm at low speeds at the press of a button.