What is it?
The Porsche 911 Turbo S is the fastest-accelerating car that Porsche has ever placed into open-ended series production.
With an official 0-62mph time of 3.1sec, it is faster than the Ferrari 458 Italia, surely its keenest supercar rival, for outright straight-line pace. And that’s to say nothing of its claimed 0-124mph time: 10.1sec.
Fitted with an updated version of its predecessor’s twin-turbo 3.8-litre, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, the new 911 Turbo S develops a hard-hitting 552bhp. That’s 30bhp more than the standard 911 Turbo, along with which it will go on sale in the UK next month, and 29bhp more than the old 911 Turbo S, a car that didn’t exactly come across as lacking in firepower.
Torque is also up, by 30lb ft on the standard 911 Turbo but only by 7lb ft over its direct predecessor, with 516lb ft served up between 2100rpm and 4250rpm. But in a new development that brings an added dimension to the driving experience, there’s now an overboost function.
This increases the engine’s nominal 1.2 bar of turbocharger boost pressure to 1.4 bar and ramps up the torque to a rather severe 553lb ft for momentary bursts of full-throttle acceleration.
Another crucial change concerns how the new 911 Turbo S gets its reserves to the road. For the first time, the range-topping 911 does without a traditional manual gearbox, even as an option. Buyers are restricted to a standard dual-clutch automatic. There are a range of driving modes to choose from, including Standard, Sport and Sport Plus.
The multi-plate-clutch-controlled four-wheel drive system of the old 911 Turbo S has also been reworked, with electro-hydraulic actuation replacing the exclusively hydraulic operation used up until now. The result, claims Porsche, is a more rapid apportioning of power between the front and rear axles, together with a torque-vectoring function to juggle the amount of drive that goes to each rear wheel.
It is unlikely that anyone in the market for a car like the 911 Turbo S will place a great deal of emphasis on overall efficiency. Nevertheless, the inclusion of new fuel-saving technology, including a stop-start system that cuts the engine at 4mph as you roll to a standstill as well as the coasting function brought to other 911 models, has helped its credentials in this area. Fuel economy has improved by a claimed 4.3mpg at 29.1mpg, and average CO2 emissions drop from 268g/km to 227g/km.
Like other recent new Porsche 911 models, the Turbo S has grown in size, gaining 56mm in length, 28mm in width and 3mm in height. The main impression when you see it up close is the added width brought to the rear haunches, which are 85mm further out than the front wings and 28mm wider than those of the latest 911 Carrera 4S.
All the classic styling cues are present, including uniquely shaped and profiled bumpers, which up front have hydraulically operated elements that deploy above 75mph to reduce lift at speed, wider sills underneath the doors, cooling ducts within the rear wings and a prominent bi-plane rear wing that also extends at 75mph. There are wider and larger centre-lock wheels and tyres as standard – a set of 20-inch cast aluminium rims, 8.5 inches wide up front and 11.0 inches at the rear, shod with 245/35 and 305/30-profile rubber respectively.
Yet despite the bigger dimensions, a series of weight-saving initiatives – including the adoption of an all-aluminium bodyshell for the very first time – pegs the increase in kerb weight to 20kg, at 1605kg. As a result, the power-to-weight ratio has risen by 14bhp per tonne to 344bhp per tonne.