RE: Porsche 911 Turbo S (991.II): Review

RE: Porsche 911 Turbo S (991.II): Review

Wednesday 20th January 2016

Porsche 911 Turbo S (991 Gen 2): Review

It's faster than ever, but is the new 911 Turbo any more fun?



Everyone knows the transition to turbocharged Carreras has been a significant step change for the 911, what with the 50 years of atmospheric flat sixes to follow. The job is of course much easier for the 991.II Turbo because it was already, well, a 911 Turbo. But although there's inevitably less focus on this part of the newly refreshed 911 range, the Turbo updates are by no means minor.

Matt keeping a look out for the puddles...
Matt keeping a look out for the puddles...
We'll focus here on the Turbo S, which outsells the 911 Turbo by two to one in the UK. It is now a 205mph car thanks to new turbos and 580hp, a figure that can't have been simply plucked from thin air when you think of the McLaren 570S. Porsche also claims a phenomenal 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds, a figure stated in the press conference as "conservative". There's also a 'dynamic boost function', which interrupts the fuel injection but keeps the throttle valves open for small lifts off the accelerator, the logic being that response is more urgent once you're back on the gas. This on top of improved fuel consumption, now officially 31mpg.

Our first experience of the new Turbo S is at Kyalami, the Johannesburg track recently purchased by Porsche South Africa and in the process of being made into a full FIA racing facility again. It's a ballsy circuit with some really, really committed corners, so the familiarisation laps in Carrera 4 Cabriolets are welcome. Less so are the streams running across the track on certain corners thanks to overnight rain and some drainage work left to do before a May opening. So that's a 580hp car on a fast circuit with freshly laid, greasy tarmac and a few patches of standing water too.

The driver assists can stay on for now...

Lava Orange from the GT3 RS a new option
Lava Orange from the GT3 RS a new option
Limited experience
The conditions should be convenient test for the new PSM Sport mode though, which Porsche says "makes it possible to approach performance limits even more closely." Given time on track is fairly limited, the first lap is completed with PSM and the powertrain in Sport. Then it's a case of hold on tight and follow one of Porsche's motorsport hotshots out front.

You may think otherwise, but it's a relief to not have any video equipment running on the run down to the first corner. Despite recent experience of the outgoing Turbo S and the vast expanse of racetrack around us, the car feels ballistically quick. Which I can only comprehend in a string of expletives. That 2.9-second sprint will be the headline figure, but it's the way the Turbo S piles on speed in third, fourth and fifth at any revs that really staggers. As for the dynamic boost function, it would be a lie to say there was a discernible difference at any point.

Now the modern Turbo has always had a reputation as a rather anodyne 911, and certainly a GT3 RS would be more thrilling around Kyalami, but there's real fun to be had in this new one. Sport is swapped for Sport Plus for the remaining laps and with confidence comes a bit more commitment as well. With too much power on exit or an overambitious entry speed, it will understeer and there's not a great deal to be done about it. However, get the braking right on the way into a bend and you can just sense the nose locking onto the apex, that mass at the rear aiding turn-in too and the car ready to cannon out of the bend.

This is not some wild 911 'backing it in' fantasy, and in reality it's a subtle movement, but it's nice to see the newest, fastest production 911 not entirely deserting its roots. That you have to work at corner entry to get it right makes this all the more rewarding, and this is within the threshold of that PSM Sport mode. As for the wet braking zones, let's just say there were a few more expletives as the car shimmied its way towards a turn-in point...

Far better on track than you may think
Far better on track than you may think
Realms of fantasy
Our time on the road with the Turbo S is brief also, and not helped by a storm that reduces visibility to virtually zero. Interestingly given the progress of modern 911s, the fact that it's not the most tactile and engaging on the road seems less of an issue than ever; when was the last time a 911 was sold with steering that picked out every camber and the driver had to work with the weight balance? Exactly.

Instead it feels - you've guessed it - like a jolly fast and thoroughly well engineered sports car, from the weight of the pedals to the thunk of the doors. The new GT sport steering wheel is a welcome addition too, great to hold and nicely sized. But it's very much business as usual for the Turbo on the road, even in rain that made the storm in Wales look like a bit of drizzle.

That idea of 'business as usual' is a recurring theme for the Turbo facelift. This is not the car to change the minds of those who don't really get the 'uber 911' (and that's Porsche's name for it). Instead the facelift comprises some subtle but worthwhile upgrades that tangibly if subtly improve an already very good car. For something to go shopping in, pack the boot full of remote controlled cars or monster most comers on a track day, there's little other than a GT-R to rival it. That being said, if you can sacrifice the practicality and the all-weather speed the McLaren 570S remains a more engaging and exciting sports car for the same sort of money.


PORSCHE 911 (991.II) TURBO S
Engine
: 3,800cc, flat-6 twin-turbocharged
Transmission: 7-speed PDK, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 580@6,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 553@2,250-4,000rpm
0-62mph: 2.9sec
Top speed: 205mph
Weight: 1,600kg (unladen DIN)
MPG: 31 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 212g/km
Price: £145,773 (cabrio £154,614)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

dank

Original Poster:

915 posts

180 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
That is a real beast! smile Love all 911 Turbo's

Sam All

3,101 posts

29 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
A sophisticated all conquering German missile. And track friendly too.

The current one is good enough for my budget.

kambites

53,925 posts

149 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
Sounds like they've taken what the old car did well and made the new one do it better, which I suppose is much what one should expect. It'll never be a car I'm interested in driving but as an engineering exercise these things are mighty impressive.

Esceptico

1,290 posts

37 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
In the past the 911 Turbo used to offer something different from the NA 911. Driving a 4S 996 or 993 against the Turbo of the era you really felt the performance difference. Now that the 4S is turbocharged and hits 60 in less than 4 seconds does it make any sense (except bragging rights) to buy the Turbo?

bosshog

1,223 posts

204 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
Esceptico said:
In the past the 911 Turbo used to offer something different from the NA 911. Driving a 4S 996 or 993 against the Turbo of the era you really felt the performance difference. Now that the 4S is turbocharged and hits 60 in less than 4 seconds does it make any sense (except bragging rights) to buy the Turbo?
Well I've not driven the latest 4S, but I'd imagine the driving experience is very different in terms of acceleration. Turbos are just brutal in any gear . Possibly the ultimate day to day GT car (not necessary the most fun/exciting/good looking).
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Krikkit

12,073 posts

109 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
Esceptico said:
In the past the 911 Turbo used to offer something different from the NA 911. Driving a 4S 996 or 993 against the Turbo of the era you really felt the performance difference. Now that the 4S is turbocharged and hits 60 in less than 4 seconds does it make any sense (except bragging rights) to buy the Turbo?
I bet there's more of a difference than it sounds, although you could argue that the 4S gives you all the performance you could need on the road, that's not the point!

Don't forget the Turbo S is +160hp (+38%) and 184lb.ft (50%) more than the 4S in about the same weight, it's going to feel rather faster even if the 0-60 doesn't shout how much more. I think the 0-120 times would be much more interesting. The 991.1 C4S was ~ 13s, the new one may be 12s with its extra power, but even the old Turbo S with 20hp less could do it in 9.6s.

GroundEffect

10,679 posts

84 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
Esceptico said:
In the past the 911 Turbo used to offer something different from the NA 911. Driving a 4S 996 or 993 against the Turbo of the era you really felt the performance difference. Now that the 4S is turbocharged and hits 60 in less than 4 seconds does it make any sense (except bragging rights) to buy the Turbo?
3.0 vs 3.8. 420BHP vs 580BHP.

Oh I think you'll notice it.


J4CKO

24,025 posts

128 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
Esceptico said:
In the past the 911 Turbo used to offer something different from the NA 911. Driving a 4S 996 or 993 against the Turbo of the era you really felt the performance difference. Now that the 4S is turbocharged and hits 60 in less than 4 seconds does it make any sense (except bragging rights) to buy the Turbo?
Its amazing, the 991 Carrera is now a smidge quicker than a 996 Turbo was and will feel very, very quick to pretty much anyone, I have been in a 991 Turbo and its bonkers batst insanely fast, and now they have added a bit more power, Porsche are masters at model positioning and they wont have made it not worth spendign the extra 50 or 60 grand, but I think the Carrera will be more car/performance/capability than most of us would ever need.

I reckon that 2.9 to sixty is conservative as well, I think 2.5 to 2.7 was what was achieved in tests of the previous one, cant imagine its got slower, though I think we are hitting a tyre/traction limit rather than a power one, I wonder if on the right day, on the right tyres we will get into the ones biggrin I remember hearing on a Rallycross programme that Will Gollops Metro 6R4 could do sixty in 1.9 seconds, I though I had misheard it, being in the days when 6 secs was supercar territory, I rewound it and sure enough I had heard right, it had an impression, could we soon see the first sub 2 sec to sixty road car ?

BeirutTaxi

6,326 posts

142 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
I would love to see whether it's more involving than an old school 964 or 930.

Current mortgage payments and salary have ruled out that possibility sadly frown

justboxsters

135 posts

94 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
It looks so horrible!

The price is nuts too. 570S all day for me. 2 seats or not that turbo is hanging.

GTEYE

1,091 posts

138 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
If they are all turbos now, I wonder whether it needs a new name?

It kinda doesn't make sense any more (name that is) - car itself is pretty impressive.

sealtt

2,296 posts

86 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
What a monster!

sealtt

2,296 posts

86 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
If they are all turbos now, I wonder whether it needs a new name?

It kinda doesn't make sense any more (name that is) - car itself is pretty impressive.
All the other brands naming systems have broken down, remember what an AMG63 used to mean regarding the engine?, Porsche is one of the few that doesn't need to change the name because the 911 turbo still is turbo charged, so in that respect it makes 100% sense wink

gsuk1

121 posts

79 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
I just cant help but feels these, and the Audi R8, are a bit... dull. :-(

There's just no X-Factor to them. Nothing particularly special considering how much your paying. I know the performance is immense but it's not a car you could ever love, if such a word can be applied. And when your paying that much for a car, I for one want more than just some good engineering.

If you look at the Aston Martin, or McLaren they have much more of a personality. Much more occasion about them.

alock

3,589 posts

139 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
gsuk1 said:
I just cant help but feels these, and the Audi R8, are a bit... dull. :-(

There's just no X-Factor to them. Nothing particularly special considering how much your paying. I know the performance is immense but it's not a car you could ever love, if such a word can be applied. And when your paying that much for a car, I for one want more than just some good engineering.

If you look at the Aston Martin, or McLaren they have much more of a personality. Much more occasion about them.
I know they'll always be compared, but I always think a 911 Turbo is in a different market to McLaren 570s.

The 911 Turbo is the daily driver for someone who has a Ferrari F12 or a Lamborghini Aventador for weekends.

A 570s is the weekend car for someone who drivers something like an M5 or a C63 as a daily car.

Dale487

594 posts

51 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
Esceptico said:
In the past the 911 Turbo used to offer something different from the NA 911. Driving a 4S 996 or 993 against the Turbo of the era you really felt the performance difference. Now that the 4S is turbocharged and hits 60 in less than 4 seconds does it make any sense (except bragging rights) to buy the Turbo?
Its amazing, the 991 Carrera is now a smidge quicker than a 996 Turbo was and will feel very, very quick to pretty much anyone, I have been in a 991 Turbo and its bonkers batst insanely fast, and now they have added a bit more power, Porsche are masters at model positioning and they wont have made it not worth spendign the extra 50 or 60 grand, but I think the Carrera will be more car/performance/capability than most of us would ever need.

I reckon that 2.9 to sixty is conservative as well, I think 2.5 to 2.7 was what was achieved in tests of the previous one, cant imagine its got slower, though I think we are hitting a tyre/traction limit rather than a power one, I wonder if on the right day, on the right tyres we will get into the ones biggrin I remember hearing on a Rallycross programme that Will Gollops Metro 6R4 could do sixty in 1.9 seconds, I though I had misheard it, being in the days when 6 secs was supercar territory, I rewound it and sure enough I had heard right, it had an impression, could we soon see the first sub 2 sec to sixty road car ?
1.9sec to 60mph is more the possible for a rallye cross car when the Ford RS200 was still officially the fast accelerating car in the world even after the McLaren F1 was released.

rhinochopig

17,932 posts

126 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
580bhp + 31mpg is staggering if true.

sealtt

2,296 posts

86 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
rhinochopig said:
580bhp + 31mpg is staggering if true.
Yes it is!

I had an M6 which with 560bhp did 33mph on the motorway. I thought that was pretty amazing. Especially carrying 3 people comfortably.

bosshog

1,223 posts

204 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
alock said:
I know they'll always be compared, but I always think a 911 Turbo is in a different market to McLaren 570s.

The 911 Turbo is the daily driver for someone who has a Ferrari F12 or a Lamborghini Aventador for weekends.

A 570s is the weekend car for someone who drivers something like an M5 or a C63 as a daily car.
This

philmots

4,453 posts

188 months

Thursday 21st January 2016
quotequote all
I think it's awesome.

I'd love one, in black