The Turbo is where the 911 crosses the barrier that divides sports cars from supercars. Ever since the first 911 Turbo, the car has had far too much power for a rear-engine platform, and thus Porsche’s relentless engineering efforts at refinement. This engineering handicap has caused Porsche’s engineers to work extra hard, and the result is astounding. It’s difficult to imagine a more precisely dialed-in car than this, something where every detail has been thought of and addressed. This is also a supercar with four seats, they might not be the biggest seats, but this kind of practicality is still rare in something this fast.
The recent move to turbocharging for the base 911 models has caused quite a stir but forced induction has been a mainstay in Porsche’s range for decades. This latest 911 Turbo can trace its lineage way back to 1975 when the first 260hp 930 Turbos started slithering sideways around corners.
A lot has changed in 42 years and the latest models offer over twice the horsepower and about ten times the level of technological complexity. For 2017 minor changes have been carried out to specification levels.
The 911 range share a basic interior layout and the Turbo models feature the same well-built cockpit with controls that fall easily to hand and seats that are both comfortable and supportive. The upgraded power sport seats in the Turbo offer a wide variety of adjustments that should suit just about any frame.
Space in the rear row remains tight although it is fine for children on shorter trips and it serves as an additional storage space to the small front trunk when travelling two up.
While other 911 models offer a subtler approach to tackling a corner, the all-wheel drive 911 Turbo prefers to pummel the road into submission. Its super-effective adaptive suspension and all-wheel traction give it surreal levels of grip and few other cars can match it for point to point pace, regardless of the weather.
That said, there is a level of finesse lurking underneath all that technology and other than a slight tendency to push the nose wide at the limit the Turbo can be driven with a fluidity that belies its dragster-like acceleration.
The GT3 may offer a sharper track experience but it cannot match the massive acceleration, braking and cornering potential of the Turbo that most customers will be interested in (and able to access) more of the time.
The 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo is equipped with a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine which produces 540 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission sends the power to all four wheels.
The Turbo S offers a more powerful version of the same engine with peak outputs of 580hp and 553 lb-ft. The Turbo completes the 0-60mph sprint in 2.9-seconds with the Turbo S shaving a tenth off this time.
The combination of low curb weight, rear-mounted engine and all-wheel drive gives a serious traction advantage out of corners too and both models can match and at times eclipse the acceleration times of much more expensive and exotic machinery.
Both models offer a claimed combined fuel economy rating of 21 mpg, very impressive but hardly likely to be achieved if they are driven as intended.
Befitting its position at the top of the 911 range, Turbo comes standard with a comprehensive list of standard features. Stand-out items include surround park assist with reversing camera, Bose 12-speaker audio system, 11GB music storage system, centrally mounted touchscreen with integrated navigation, Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility and leather interior with 14-way power front sport seats.
20-inch alloy wheels, 6-piston front brake calipers, active suspension management, sport chrono including dynamic engine mounts and turbo overboost function, rear axle steering and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus are some of the more notable performance related standard features.
The range of additional equipment is extensive and other than many customizable paint and leather options, owners can also add Carbon ceramic brakes, adaptive cruise control, front axle lift system and LED dynamic adaptable headlights.
The Turbo S offers the Carbon ceramic brakes as standard and also adds 18-way adaptive front sport seats, dynamic chassis control and adaptive LED headlights.
The Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S retain their giant-slaying status with performance levels that will have hypercar owners wondering where all their extra money went.
Combine that with a comprehensive specification list and everyday usability and this may well be one of the most accomplished daily driver sports car on sale today.