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911 Turbo S Cabriolet 3.8 – 580 ch

Mansory propose des pièces en carbone pour la Porsche 911 Turbo S

Le préparateur allemand Mansory, connu pour ses réalisations parfois étonnantes sur des supercars, propose des éléments en carbone pour la Porsche 911 Turbo S Type 991. à perte de vue. Mansory est associée à nulle autre pareille aux matériaux de haute technologie utilisés pour les courses de Formule 1 et les voyages dans l’espace, car …

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Gemballa turns up the wick on Porsche’s 911 Turbo and Turbo S

Gemballa’s GTR 8XX Evo-R BiTurbo boasts a claimed 817bhp and impressive acceleration figures…

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Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S review – still the ultimate everyday supercars?

For 
Enormous performance and handling ability; incomparable everyday appeal
Against 
Not as thrilling as certain rivals

Even faster facelifted Porsche 911 Turbo continues the trend of being a sensational everyday supercar

The Porsche 911 Turbo, traditionally the ultimate indomitable everyday supercar, might seem at risk from the latest crop of increasingly rounded rivals and new turbocharged entry level 911’s, but the Turbo’s appeal is much like that of a black Armani suit; expensive, sophisticated and timeless.

The 911 Turbo was first released in the 1970’s, but has evolved from the edgy, intimidating sports car it was into the polished and sophisticated everyday supercar of today. Now in its 991.2 guise, the 911 Turbo is as capable and organ-pummellingly fast as ever.

Launched in 2016, the new Turbo is distinguished from earlier cars via a set of redesigned LED light strips in the bumper, fresh wheel designs, revised tail lights and vertical slats on the engine cover (a nod to past 911 models). Available as before with PDK only, the new Turbo has more substance than ever, but it also has more rivals to compete against, so is it still king of its domain?

Porsche 911 Turbo: in detail 

Performance and 0-62mph time > Many have tried to out-launch the 911 Turbo, and most still continue to fail. The fastest Turbo S will hit 62 in a claimed 2.9 seconds, but in typical Porsche fashion, it’s a conservative figure.

Engine and gearbox > More a tool than a beating heart, the Turbo’s engine possesses a different character to the now also turbocharged base 911’s. This is also now a PDK only zone.

Ride and Handling > All-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and active engine mounts are just the tip of a technological iceberg. In terms of capability, few, if any, match the Turbo for speed across the ground.

MPG and running costs > 31mpg is quoted by Porsche, although drive with any vigour and that will be a optimistic figure to match.

Interior and tech > Classically 911, the interior recently benefited from an upgraded infotainment system and Porsche’s slick new steering wheel. Like the exterior, it lacks the wow-factor of rivals though.

Design > The 911 is a dynasty that somehow doesn’t date. The design is typically conservative, but then that’s probably why it never really dated in the first place.   

Prices, specs and rivals:

The Porsche 911 Turbo is available in two flavours, base Turbo and ‘Turbo S’ spec, and each of those is available in coupe or cabrio form. The standard Turbo is priced from just over £128k with the fabric roofed Cabriolet model demanding a £9k premium (£137k). 

As standard, the Turbo is pretty much fully-loaded with comfort and convenience features, with 20-inch wheels, a full leather interior, adaptive sport seats, full LED headlights and Porsche’s upgraded PCM infotainment system. 

For a substantial £19k premium, the £147k Turbo S builds on the standard car’s kit by offering carbon ceramic brakes, centre-lock alloy wheels and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control on top of the engine upgrades.

The options list is typically vast, but it’s mostly personalisation options with varying degrees of tastefulness. In the 991.2 upgrade, the bright Miami Blue paint made a welcome reappearance on the options list, as have some fetching ‘Fuchs’ like alloy wheel options.

In terms of rivals, few are able to match the dynamic abilities of the 911 Turbo, but that doesn’t mean the Turbo is the automatic choice. Starting within £1000 of each other, the base Turbo has the Audi R8 V10 and McLaren 540C to compete with, both raising the stakes by offering a mid-engine layout and arguably more interesting power units.

The Audi also counters the Turbo Cabrio with the excellent Spyder, although McLaren has yet to produce a drop-top 540C. If you’re looking for something a little more extreme, the Audi R8 Plus (£138k) and McLaren 570S (£143k) both undercut the Turbo S. 

Performance and 0-60mph time

The headline figures are as follows: 0-62 mph is delt with in 3.0 seconds dead in the Turbo and 2.9 seconds in the Turbo S. Cabriolet models each add 0.1 of a second to each respective time, but the complexity here is that Porsche is famously conservative with its performance figures. 

We have seen times as low as 2.6 seconds in the Turbo S if the conditions are right, so the question is how? Porsche’s quoted performance figures from the engine are impressive, but don’t explain why the Turbo consistently out perform rivals against the stopwatch.

Well firstly, the inherent traction afforded by the 911’s rear-engined layout means that the Porsche already has fantastic traction off the line. Next up is the all-wheel drive system, which constantly varies torque between the front and rear axles depending on how much grip each of the tyres has to give, meanwhile the engine’s flat and broad torque curve alleviates turbo lag off the line. The rest is down to the PDK gearbox and launch control function which help make every launch consistently fast by relaxing the traction control system and softening the rear suspension to maximise traction.

But the numbers hardly tell the whole story, as the 911 Turbo’s un-impeachable torque spread and relatively lithe kerb weight make it feel so much faster on the road than its power figures suggest. In-gear acceleration is just as impressive as those 0-62 numbers, with the Turbo S sprinting from 50-75mph in just 1.8 seconds.

Top speed is identical in coupe and cabriolet versions, with the Turbo reaching 198mph, while the Turbo S’ extra power right at the top of the rev range helps it hit an impressive 205mph. 

Engine and gearbox  

The familiar twin turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six remains from the first generation 991 Turbo, but modified inlet ports, new injection nozzles and higher fuel pressure – up from 140 bar to 200 bar – have helped liberate an extra 20bhp. Boost pressure has also risen by 0.15 bar and, for the first time, the S model uses different, bigger turbochargers from the basic Turbo model.

Peak power is up to 572bhp at 6750rpm for the Turbo S, meanwhile torque is a substantial 553lb ft between 2250 and 4000rpm. The Turbo makes do with ‘just’ 532bhp and 523lb ft of torque. To improve response, both new Turbos include a dynamic boost function that keeps the throttle valve open for 1.5-2 seconds after the driver has lifted off the throttle so the turbos don’t drop boost between throttle applications.

Both Turbo models are connected exclusively to Porsche’s all-wheel drive system and a 7-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox. They also now have redesigned clutch plates in the all-wheel drive system ensuring even faster torque distribution between the front and rear axles, meanwhile the rear axle still features Porsche torque vectoring. Rear-wheel steer and Porsche active engine mounts are also correct and present.

Some worried about the relevance of the Turbo once the cooking 911 models were fitted with their all-new 3.0-litre flat-six turbo, but the difference between the models is thankfully more than just differing power figures. The Turbo has been developed to maintain that turbocharged feeling, with both variants having a more pronounced turbo rush in the mid range. Differences can be seen on the spec sheet, with the turbo models both producing maximum power relatively high in the rev range, while the standard 911 Carreras produce their maximum figure lower down. 

Ride and handling

The mechanical revisions are all fairly minimal, so the car’s dynamic behaviour is very much as it was before the facelift. While you’re not aware of the dynamic boost function operating on road or track, you do appreciate the near lag-free throttle response, even from low engine speeds. 

The rotary dial, meanwhile, is intuitive to use and the Sport Response button really does make passing slower traffic on the road child’s play. You’d need gyroscopic inner ears to identify the extra straight-line performance over the previous model, but as ever, the Turbo S thumps along on an enormous, effortless wave of torque.

>Read our Porsche 911 Carrera review

The smaller steering wheel is an improvement over the old item, which always felt ever so slightly too big in diameter for such a dynamically capable car. The Turbo S remains the definitive all-weather, point-to-point supercar, but as with the previous version you really do need to push very hard on the road before the chassis begins to come alive. The steering, meanwhile, is still very direct and crisp, without ever dripping in feel.

In the dry there seems like endless reserves of grip for the rear axle, unless you’re really trying to break traction. While, in the wet, a degree of caution needs to be applied. Generous amounts of throttle will make the car rotate with ease. The slightly looser calibration of the traction control in Sport Plus mode allows enough angle for you to trim your line while also keeping a safety net should you be too eager with the throttle.

Even with four-wheel drive, the 532bhp and 524lb ft figures of the Turbo suggest it’ll be scary and wild whenever the road is anything other than perfectly dry. This couldn’t be much further from the truth, though. The chassis is transparent enough to make the loss of traction from the rear predictable and controllable. The engine is noticeably turbocharged, but there’s always control

With all the traction aids turned off, there’s still the four-wheel drive system to help you regain grip. The front axle really interjects to straighten the car during a slide. It might not be as fool proof as keeping the traction control on, and it certainly requires you to be alert, but it’s manageable 

The increased adjustability of the Turbo in the wet adds a significant amount of fun that’s lacking in the dry. It might not be able to match the blistering, no nonsense pace it has in the dry, that’s not to say it isn’t still incredibly fast when wet, but the payoff is being able to enjoy the cars performance more.

On circuit there is some understeer in the chassis – more so than a Carrera 4, in fact – but it’s easy enough to dial that out by trail braking or using the mass behind the rear axle to get the car rotating on the way into a corner. 

Four-wheel drive systems usually enable you to reapply power very early in corners, but with the Turbo S that isn’t quite the case. Because of the very light front end and the incredibly grippy rear axle, you actually need to have the car pointed more or less in a straight line before you stand on the accelerator, otherwise the front end will wash out.

With the stability system removed entirely, meanwhile, the Turbo S can be teased into extraordinary angles of oversteer both on the way into a corner and under power on the way out – without any of the snappiness that you might expect of a 200mph supercar. 

MPG and running costs

Sporting a smaller engine with fewer cylinders than most rivals may not have been a disadvantage when it comes to performance, but the boxer-six engine is resultantly more efficient than rivals. With 31mpg for both coupe models on the combined cycle, the Turbo S uses significantly less fuel than the R8 and 570S. CO2 at 212g/km is also impressive for this sort of vehicle, and reliability ratings are general good for these late model 911’s.

Interior and tech

Being a 911, the practical advantages of the Turbo’s rear engine layout come to the fore, yeilding two rear seats and a relatively useful front boot. Visibility is still excellent, although the Turbo’s extra wide body does make it a little less easy to drive on British roads than other 911 models.

Along with the rest of the 911 range, the interior has been given a refresh with additions including the new 918 Spyder inspired steering wheel and a touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Apple car play and Android auto. However, the advances Porsche has made in its electronic architecture in the new Panamera have not been brought through onto this new 911, so it is starting to feel its age.

Unlike the clean, minimalist style of the Panamera and its vast touchscreen, the 911 maintains a button-laden centre console and analogue dials. The familiar interior does mean that ergonomically it still works very well, but it lacks the wow factor of rivals like the R8 and 570S. 

Design

The Porsche 911 is never a source of experimental design, so the changes Porsche made during the 991.2 update are predictably subtle. The front fascia has received new LED lighting strips in place of the previous models more complex lighting signature. The Turbo’s extra wide body remains, as does the large rear wing, but the taillights now have Porsche’s increasingly common quad-light brake lights and vertical strakes on the engine cover in homage to the original 911.

Overall, the 911 Turbo is still the subtle but smart supercar option, attracting far less attention than the likes of an Audi R8 or McLaren 570S. The car is filled with lovely details though, things like the centre-locking forged wheels on the Turbo S and the extendable front splitter all keep the car feeling its £150k worth.

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Porsche 991 Turbo S Cabriolet: Turbo on tour

Oh how we all enjoy an impressively good road trip. Just think about it; I’d wager that for most reading this fine magazine, there’s not too much in life that can usurp the idea of slinging some essential luggage into the front of your Porsche 911 and taking on a drive to unfamiliar territory, hitting up some of the most delectable roads on Earth in the process. It is what Butzi’s seminal sports car was built for, after all.

Your editorial team is no different, of course, and you’ll commonly find our excursions through the continent documented in detail among these very pages. A Total 911 road trip usually sees us head east, too, this being the direction you’ll find most of Europe from the magazine’s humble UK offices. However, for our latest venture I’m breaking with tradition and heading to the second most westerly territory in Europe: the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland’s blend of coastal and mountain roads is among the best on the continent to drive, offering plenty of technically challenging routes set among stunning natural topography. Better still, the roads on the Emerald Isle are quiet compared to the oft-driven mountain passes on Europe’s mainland.

opener-choice-2

Previously in Total 911 we’ve championed the merits of the Wild Atlantic Way, an extraordinary trail of some 1,600 miles that closely follows the jagged extremities of Ireland’s remarkable west coast. This time though, my automotive playground is the Wicklow Mountains, an expansive national park of some 20,483 hectares situated just south-west of the capital, Dublin. The roads are great, the accompanying views beautiful, and there’s plenty of history to unearth from the area, too. Already, this is sounding like the perfect road trip.

My steer for the jaunt across the Irish Sea is a 991.2 Turbo S Cabriolet. In striking Miami blue, my mission is to find out if this all-singing, all-dancing 911 has any real substance to its drive, or if it really is the mobile poseur’s paradise it looks like from the outside. The roads I’m headed for will help settle that dispute in no time.

To read more about the Porsche 991 Turbo S Cabriolet’s road trip around Ireland, pick up Total 911 issue 145 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

total-911-porsche-turbo-s-8-of-88

 

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Turbo in South Africa

At the beginning of the year Porsche presented the new 911 Turbo. Now journalists from around the world have tested the super sports car on the modernised Kyalami racetrack in South Africa. Their résumé.

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