Engage full thrust

YUP, IT’S A NEW TURBO S, AKA ‘HOW TO DESTROY THE COMPETITION IN 992 WAYS’

CAMERON KIRBY

ON THE 45th anniversary of the Turbo badge’s introduction, Porsche ripped the covers off its new 992 911 Turbo S.

Of the non-GT 911s, the Turbo has long been the biggest, baddest and most fearsome. It’s main drawcard has always been the engine, and this 992-generation is no different.

The 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six that sits behind the rear axle is a heavily reworked version of Porsche’s EA9A2 Evo unit. Compared to the Carrera models, there is an extra 800cc, new piezo fuel injectors and a redesigned intake. The variable geometry turbos have grown too: turbine wheels are up 5mm to 55mm, while the compressor wheel has grown 3mm to 61mm.

The turbos are now symmetrical, spinning in opposite directions, with electronically adjustable wastegates for even faster response times.

As for firepower, the Turbo S packs 478kW at 7000rpm, backed by a relentless torque baseline of 800Nm spread from 2500rpm to 4000rpm.

Those figures represent increases of 51kW/50Nm over the 991 iteration – the biggest jump of any Turbo generation to date.

Porsche claims the Turbo will crack triple digits from a standstill in 2.7sec (two tenths quicker than before), and will be thrust past 200km/h in under 9.0sec. Let that percolate while you consider Porsche’s historic conservatism when it comes to performance claims. If you live your life one quarter mile at a time, each blast will take 10.5sec.

The 51kW/50Nm increases are the biggest jumps in outputs of any Turbo generation to date

Transferring the grunt to the ground is a new eight-speed PDK with a transfer case that can send up to 500Nm to the front axle. Top speed is an autobahn-friendly 330km/h.

Modified spring and damper calibrations, as well as harder rubber bushings and stiffer joints, have been introduced to make this a firmer, more focused car compared to the 991 generation. The dampers are allnew and are said to react faster and more precisely than before. As you’d expect, Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) sport chassis, which brings a 10m lower ride height, is also available. As is a sports exhaust.

While Porsche engineers wanted to dial up the Turbo’s aggression they were equally aware of retaining the car’s grand tourer credentials. You’ll find no half-cages or infotainment delete options here.

Now that every 992 gets wide hips as standard, the girth of the Turbo S has had to stretch further to signify its boss hog status. The front track has grown 42mm and the rear 10mm. And, for the first time, the Turbo’s wheel diameters are staggered, with 20/21-inch rims.

Don’t be fooled by the evolutionary styling either; important tweaks are afoot. A new rear wing boosts downforce by 15 percent, and the front bar hides active aero elements. Porsche hasn’t revealed official weight figures, but expect figures of 1600kg for the Coupe and 1700kg for the Cabriolet.

Even heftier are the price tags.

Coupe versions will be $473,900 when they arrive in Q2, while the Cabriolet is $494,900, firmly placing them atop the model hierarchy. And for now this is easily the baddest 911 you can buy. At least until the GT models arrive...

CAMERON KIRBY

IN FOCUS

CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS

HOW WILD TURBO FOUND MANNERS

INTRODUCED in 1975, the original 930 Turbo was conceived as a homologation special, with 400 units destined to be built for the 1976 racing season. The 190kW 3.0 Turbo was the first production Porsche to utilise a blower and was, upon launch, the fastest accelerating production car in the world.

Louise Piëch, daughter of automotive pioneer Ferdinand Porsche, was gifted the very first example as a birthday gift – which becomes somewhat perplexing when you consider that the flagship Turbo was a challenging steer. The power band was notoriously peaky and would overpower its 225-section rear treads with ease.

The 964 and 993 generations became gradually more refined, but it was the introduction of the 993 GT2 in 1993 that allowed the 911 Turbo to develop as a more cohesive and urbane flagship road car.

The tonal shift afforded by GT model development is the most important evolution of the 911 Turbo’s latter years. It has earned it a reputation supercar-terrorising speed but in a mechanically rugg ed all-wheel drive package that is civil on a daily commute yet able to shine in any given weat her condition.

Performance has remained core to the Turbo, and technology has helped tame its scarier side. As an elect rified future coalesces, the badge will evolve using technology to push performance into a new era for the venerable icon.