Driving the Porsche 911 Turbo S: everyday hypercar will leave you with a sense of awe
The 992-generation model is warp-speed rapid yet so securely tied down that it may as well be riveted to the road
Have you ever walked into a restaurant feeling ravenous, but then been completely overwhelmed as the staff whisked out plate after plate of food as part of a seven-course banquet? You can expect much the same outcome when strapping into Porsche’s latest 992-generation 911 Turbo S.
It satiates every conceivable need-for-speed craving and goes so far beyond with its assault on physics that all your senses are left in a state of shock and awe.
The big daddy of the 911 line-up recently launched in the UAE market – priced from a tad under Dh800,000 ($217,835) – and it spearheads Porsche’s range until the next-gen 911 GT2 RS debuts towards the end of this year.
Need for speed
The standard 911 Carrera and Carrera S are already formidably rapid, but where these two are scalpels that elegantly dissect winding mountain roads, the Turbo S is more like a meat cleaver. It’s still razor-sharp and perfectly balanced, but there’s not much subtlety in how it goes about its work. It’s pure annihilation.
There was a time when the 911 Turbo was the only turbocharged model in the Porsche line-up, but nowadays even the “regular” 911 models have a pair of turbos strapped to their flat-six motor. Even so, the Turbo S sits in its own universe, thanks to towering outputs of 650 horsepower and 800Nm from its 3.8-litre engine.
The sheer grunt of this power plant translates to dizzying performance stats as the Turbo S dispatches 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 2.7 seconds (with the optional Sport Chrono package), 0-200kph in 8.9 seconds and it hits 330kph flat out. It accelerates so violently, you almost get a headache.
The entire Turbo S package has been engineered to the nth degree, as that brute of an engine is complemented by active aerodynamics, a clever all-wheel-drive system with rear-wheel steering, plus a bespoke suspension set-up with widened front and rear tracks.
A huge footprint is provided by massive rubber – 255 millimetres wide at the front and 315mm at the rear – wrapped around a delectable set of 10-spoke alloys (20-inch diameter at the front and 21 at the rear). Nestled within the rims are gigantic carbon-ceramic brakes that wipe off speed with lung-compressing vigour.
Early 911 Turbos had a fearsome reputation for spitting you off the road and into the weeds, but that’s no longer the case. The 992-generation 911 Turbo S is warp-speed rapid yet it’s safe, predictable and so securely tied down that it may as well be riveted to the road.
We subjected the Stuttgart stormer to an acid test by making a beeline for some sinuous back roads in the Hatta mountains.
These ribbons of tarmac are not only narrow, they’re also bumpy in parts and replete with blind crests. Stretching the Porsche’s legs in this terrain makes for a challenging exercise, given how quickly it piles on huge speeds. Reassuringly, grip levels are mind-boggling, the brakes are mighty and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is quick and decisive.
An everyday hypercar
Gripes? There is some lag down low until the turbos spool up, but from 2,500rpm onwards propulsion comes in a tidal wave. Ride quality is firm, but that’s not surprising in a vehicle this fast and focused.
The rear seats are for show only, but storage capacity isn’t too bad as you can stash 128 litres in the front compartment and 264 litres behind you if you fold down the rear seats.
There’s not much on this planet that could go faster on real-world roads, as the Porsche’s expansive performance envelope puts it up there with McLarens, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, with those cars costing substantially more. In addition, the Turbo S is easier to live with as entry/egress is comparatively simple (no gymnastics required), all-round visibility is relatively good and it’s a doddle to park in tight spots.
If ever there were an everyday hypercar, here it is. One could argue that the much cheaper 911 Carrera S already serves up ample exhilaration, but the Turbo S leaves you dumbstruck … in the best possible way.
Updated: May 30, 2021 01:48 PM