What is it?
Among Porsche enthusiasts – well, any car enthusiasts, really – the combination of the number 911 and the word Turbo has long enjoyed cult status.
Back in 1974, Porsche redefined road car performance with the original 911 Turbo, fitting a turbocharged engine and an oversized rear wing to its signature model to create the legend that exists today. Ever since, the company has striven to refine the fundamental formula, even if there has been the odd change in philosophy along the way.
Almost half a century later, we now have the seventh-generation 911 Turbo: the 992. It replaces the facelifted version of the 991-series 911 Turbo that was launched in 2016 and comes at a time when Porsche, with a record number of new petrol-engined and electric models in the pipeline, appears to be very much at the top of its game.
In its headlining S guise, the new Turbo looks familiarly purposeful and muscular in the metal. Its lines clearly draw from the model it replaces, albeit with new detailing, most notably to the round LED headlights and new full-width tail-light assembly.
And yes, it’s wider than ever before – 48mm wider than the base Porsche 911 Carrera, to be precise. Although the 992 is based on the same platform as its predecessor, with a 2450mm wheelbase, its aluminium body has been widened to further accentuate the Coke-bottle form built up over more recent generations. The increase is necessitated by the adoption of a 42mm-wider front track and 10mm-wider rear track, together with, for the first time, the combination of standard 20x9.0in front and 21x11.5in rear wheels.
All up, the car is 28mm longer and 20mm wider than Porsche the old Turbo S, at a respective 4535mm at 1900mm. Despite a number of weight-saving measures, including new optional composite glass that’s claimed to weigh some 4kg less than the glass used before, it has also gained 40kg, giving it a kerb weight of 1640kg. That’s due mainly to the introduction of a more advanced dual-clutch automatic gearbox and other key developments that include new brakes and the larger wheels needed to accommodate them.
The aerodynamic functions have been reworked too. Together with the active front spoiler ducts brought over from its predecessor in a revised form, the Turbo S gets a reworked rear spoiler offering Speed and Performance settings, with the latter contributing to a 15% improvement in downforce. There’s also a new air brake function to increase drag at high braking speeds.
As before, buyers can choose a coupé or cabriolet body, the former of which we will concentrate on here. The 992 abandons the 3.8-litre flat six engine that has been a mainstay of the Turbo since the facelifted version of the 996 was launched in 2009 for an all-new powerplant that, despite giving away 1.4% in overall capacity, offers greater power and torque than before.
There are no official engine output figures for the standard Turbo just yet. But in the Turbo S, power has increased by 68bhp to 641bhp at 6750rpm, endowing the coupé with a 20bhp boost at 233bhp per litre and a power-to-weight ratio of 391bhp per tonne. Torque also climbs by 37lb ft to 590lb ft between 2250 and 4000rpm. For perspective, that’s 50bhp less but 37lb ft more than the most extreme roadgoing 911 to date, the GT2 RS.