Porsche 911 Turbo S Review!
The new Porsche 911 Turbo S offers a rare and mind-blowing combination of astonishing performance, luxury, supercar styling and a thrilling drive!
Sitting twinkling under the golden evening sunlight on a column-lined street in the Roman town of Bath, it is abundantly clear that the new Turbo S is no normal Porsche 911. With its roof lowered, its hypercar-esque rear wing raised, sitting on 21” rear wheels with those unique 911 Turbo air scoops sculpted into the ultra-wide and muscular rear haunches, this is undoubtedly a thoroughbred supercar.
For the Porsche enthusiast of course, the Turbo S needs no introduction. As the 911 range’s flagship model, the Turbo has long since been hailed as the everyday supercar, staggeringly fast, luxurious and remarkably practical relative to its rivals. However, those are simply words, words we’ve all read before. To actually experience this car is quite another matter.
Slipping one’s hand under the sleek pre-extended door handle reveals the most luxurious interior in the 911 line-up. The seats, available in a style which harks back to the very first 930 Turbo, are covered in the softest two-tone leather I’ve ever experienced in a Porsche, as is the entire cabin, and in a nod to the level of customisation the company offers, even the fins inside the air vents.
The car’s cocooning cockpit blends the typically Germanic clean-line architecture synonymous with 911s with the very latest in futuristic in-car technology. A wonderfully crisp large central 10.9” touch-screen dominates the dash, while the traditional analogue central rev-counter behind the beautifully trimmed steering wheel is flanked by two further TFT screens. These can be customised to display driving information such as g-force levels, lap times, tyre-pressures, driving modes and satellite navigation.
I particularly appreciate how the screens on each side can be configured to display two round dials each, which combined with the central watch-like rev-counter, completes the traditional 911 five-gauge display which can trace its lineage back to 1963.
Interestingly, the best view from the driver’s perfectly positioned seat is the reflection in the side mirrors of the massive air intakes deep inside the rear haunches, and the sun glinting off the extendable rear-wing which remained at its highest position of elevation while I had the car!
There are a great deal of fast cars on sale today, more still in the supercar arena, several of which are astonishingly quick, but the 911 Turbo S is on a different level. With a 650 bhp 3.8 litre turbocharged flat-six engine that propels the car to 100 km/hr in a super-sports motorbike quick 2.7 seconds, and carries on at the very same pace to hit 200 km/hr only 6.2 seconds later, the Turbo S is an absolute rocket.
Much more important however, is just how enjoyable it is to drive, so confidence inspiring and planted is the Turbo S on the road. On a late evening blast through the countryside, I possibly had the most fun I have ever experienced in a car, not due to speed, but the all-encompassing sensory experience of the drive.
With the roof down to fully appreciate the continually burbling thunderous exhaust note, Porsche’s dazzling matrix LED headlights illuminating the road ahead, and an engine that produces a sound track so good Spotify remained permanently off, the Turbo S is a dream to drive.
With four-wheel drive traction is incredible, and the car’s four-wheel steering renders even going around local roundabouts enjoyable never mind the agility it offers on the road.
The most impressive aspect of the Turbo S however is the manner in which it conducts its business. This is a 911 that proves that astonishing pace and a thrilling drive doesn’t require the sacrifice of luxury and comfort. Turn the steering-wheel mounted driving mode dial back from sport to normal and the exhaust valves close, the interior hushes and the drive is as relaxing as that of a luxury saloon. This breadth of ability is remarkable, and illustrates what a fantastic daily driver the Turbo S really is.
The car is exceptionally wide, 45mm wider at the front than its predecessor in fact, yet very easy to place on the road, shrinking around the driver, inspiring confidence as it does so. The Turbo S’ purposeful rear is the widest in the 992 range, lending the car an almost hypercar-esque appearance and road-presence.
The 911 Turbo’s interior ergonomics have clearly been through years of development, so easily every control falls to hand, and so intuitive is everything to use.
Although being a motoring journalist I should relish a manual gearbox, and I do, on balance I am a PDK guy at heart, and I am a big fan of the metal-knurled miniature gear selector of the latest 992 generation 911s. The fact that key controls such as the sports exhaust can be selected via five matching buttons without the need to navigate the intuitive and uber-responsive central touchscreen is testament to the fact that a balance of analogue and digital is perfect for any sports or supercar.
The Turbo S’ interior ambient lighting variability is also something I appreciate - not only can the colours be changed and the percentage intensity adjusted, but this intensity can be calibrated differently for every illuminated area of the cabin. It is features like this, and the touch-pad style central console and door-mounted window/mirror controls that really illustrate how far the latest 911s have come in terms of in-car technology. I once owned a 2006 987 generation Boxster S, and today, this would feel about as modern as a walkman by comparison.
The new 911 Turbo S has extraordinary road presence, not least due to its impressive width and supercar styling cues. The latest generation moves the game on considerably in terms of aerodynamics, with active fins inside the front air intakes, a rear wing that automatically deploys and tilts dependent on speed, and a front apron that lowers to improve down-force, subtly revealing the 911 Turbo S model designation as it does so.
The 911 Turbo S’ 20” front and 21” rear centre-locking alloy wheels are not only beautifully styled, but also complement the technical nature of the car, as well as hinting at its staggering performance.
So special is the Turbo S that even opening the rear service flap is an occasion, for it electronically rises above the rear wing producing a sight worthy of a wall-poster.
I am incredibly lucky to drive some of the most beautiful and impressive cars in the world, yet doing so means that by definition, each new model has a greater task to impress. However, the 911 Turbo S has blown me away with its breadth of ability, its supercar yet super-refined character, and a combination of luxury, performance and thrill-factor that is very rare indeed. I have always thought that the hyped GT3 model was my favourite Porsche 911. It has just been knocked off its perch by the range-topping Turbo S.
Words & Photography by Robert Kierans
Photographs edited by Dennis Keane (denniskeane.myportfolio.com/recent)