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Turbo S

Drag Battle: Lamborghini Huracan Performante Vs. 991.2 Porsche Turbo S

While these two supercars don’t exactly cater to same demographics, they do possess similar straightline strengths. The soft, silent, bubble-bodied Porsche Turbo S looks almost modest when stood against the angular, wing-clad Lamborghini Huracan Performante doused in a coat of metallic lilac. More powerful and much lighter, the 640-horsepower Performante looks like the car that would leave a 911 behind without much difficulty.

However, Porsche’s 911 Turbo has always had a way of outrunning the on-paper quicker cars. That wide wave of turbocharged torque gives the 3,750-lb Turbo S the shove of a freight train, and thanks to the near-seamless shifts of the PDK transmission, that shove is never interrupted. With 553 lb-ft of torque available from 2,100 rpm, the Turbo S is frighteningly fast from just about anywhere in the rev range. In most real-world situations, that big-block-esque turning force should make the Porsche the quicker car.

Watch how both four-wheel drive vehicles leave the line at about the same rate, but how the Porsche surges ahead once they’re underway. With that mid-range shove and perhaps a mild traction advantage, the Porsche’s the faster from stoplight to stoplight. That said, the jump off the line pays dividends. 1,350 feet later, the two are separated by just a tenth of a second. At the end of the quarter mile, the Porsche pips the snarling bull by a hair’s breadth.

Dragging from a dig and from a 40-mph roll are two different tasks entirely. The Lamborghini’s weight and throttle response play a role here. At tip-in, the Porsche’s mild delay keeps it from snagging the rolling race. When time comes to stop, the award again goes to the Performante; roughly 700 pounds make a major difference in the act of deceleration. You simply cannot cheat physics when it comes to braking—but that doesn’t stop Porsche from trying.

Which one would you rather have?


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Porsche 993: the 911 that had to succeed

In retrospect, it’s easy to say Porsche’s mistake was its decision to keep the G-series 911 in production for 15 years, but from the company’s point of view, through the early 1980s the 911 was selling ever more strongly.

Regular updates and revisions ensured it remained at the top of the performance stakes. The robustness which made it a car you could count on day after day meant that despite its archaisms, it was still the ultimate road and track sports car.

However, within Porsche it was also a source of frustration to many of its engineers and designers keen to modernise it, dispensing, for example, with the torsion bar suspension and introducing assisted steering and a less idiosyncratic ventilation system. Journalists in other respects always well disposed towards the 911 observed it was becoming increasingly an enthusiast’s car, lacking broader appeal and depriving Porsche of a wider market.

The 928 launched in 1977 was supposed to address the GT segment of the market, but by the time the Vorstand had approved the next 911, Typ 964 in April 1984, sales of the 928 were already in decline. The 964 itself was a radical step in engineering terms – a completely new chassis and suspension which allowed fitment of ABS and assisted steering, a larger and more potent flat six, and four-wheel drive.

A conservative board, however, would not permit the designers to change anything above the axle line, which meant the 964, despite its revised front and rear bumpers, looked remarkably similar to its predecessor. Moreover its four-wheel-drive, such an innovation when Audi introduced the Quattro in 1981, was no longer a sensation, and early 964 buyers were able to confirm what the magazine testers had found, that Porsche’s fixed 2:1 rear/front torque split made the latest 911 an uninspiring understeerer.

The rear-drive C2 911 appeared a year later, but by then the damage had been done: in a generally morose market, and one which had halved in the US, clearly the 964 would not be the model to rescue an increasingly beleaguered Porsche.

A rolling of management heads saw new blood brought into the company. A former Weissach R&D engineer named Ulrich Bez was enticed from BMW Tech to become engineering boss, and he appointed his chief designer at BMW, Harm Lagaaij, another ex-Weissach man, to reinvigorate Porsche styling. These two were the impetus behind the next 911: the 993.

Bez was particularly critical of the 964’s crude ride and the C4’s handling, and Lagaaij’s remark when he arrived at Porsche’s design studios in October 1989 that there was “nothing going on” has gone into the history books. Work on 911 Typ 993 would start within weeks of the 964 C2 reaching the showrooms.

This time, a chastened Vorstand, which had pensioned off its managing, engineering and styling directors in short order, was prepared to offer Bez and Lagaaij more licence, and the pair took as much advantage as their still-constrained development budget permitted. 

Nevertheless, the new 911 represented a challenge: how could the new 993 retain its defining ‘Neunelfer-ness’ yet be endowed with a more modern appearance and wider appeal? 


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’94 Porsche 965 Turbo S Flachbau… Bouquet final !

Avant de lancer une nouvelle 911, Porsche sort généralement un modèle ultime, une sorte de bouquet final avant de tourner la page. Série ultra-limitée, full option, qui devenait aussitôt collector dès sa sortie de concession. En tout cas, en 94, alors que la 964 allait laisser sa place à la 993, Porsche surprend tout le […]


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Porsche 993 Turbo Gemballa GT2 S…. Ouais, c’est compliqué !

Chez Porsche quand on décidait d’homologuer une caisse de course par un modèle de route, c’était souvent sans véritable compromis… Oui, j’emploie le passé car aujourd’hui, les GT3 et GT2 se pavanent dans le luxe. Mais jusqu’à la 993, quand tu signais pour une GT2, fallait être capable de sacrifier toute notion de confort pour […]


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Porsche 968 – Tu veux du 4 cylindres ?!

Bien avant les Cayenne, Panamera et Macan, les Porsche à moteur avant ont eu du mal à se trouver un place de choix dans le coeur des Porschistes. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’elles ne se sont pas vendues puisque plus de 117.000 Porsche 944 sont tombées des chaines de Zuffenhausen. Un véritable Best Seller […]


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