Late last year, there was heard a collective sound of Porsche Turbo owner choking on their blue lobster ravioli. The white-coated denizens at Zuffenhausen sheepishly announced that the base Porsche Carrera would now, for the very first time, also have a turbocharged engine. “Good grief!” they spluttered, “a Turbo is for the flagship 911, never the entry-level car”. This genuinely was a seismic shift by Porsche that rivaled the retirement of the 993 with the demise of the last air-cooled engine. Now with the introduction of the new 991.2 – sounding like dull Microsoft bug fix – the base Porsche 911 has a smaller 3.0-liter engine with two turbos stuffed, slap-bang, into its tail.
True, in a year of an election, it hardly raises an eyebrow on a Bloomberg reporter’s face. Nevertheless, to die-hard Porsche enthusiasts who spent all those late nights working hard, years managing savvy investments with conspicuous care so that one day he or she owns a Porsche Turbo was horrifying. All that hard work so their Head of Investments down the corridor could say they have a turbo in their Porsche as well? Outrageous!
But what if the new Porsche Turbo and S variants? Is it still the Turbo with all the go, or has the iron fist been diluted, just a tad? In an effort at allaying Turbo owners’ fears of its premier status, Porsche has revised the Turbo and Turbo S models – giving both respective power hikes – an extra 20bhp in each – rising to 540bhp in the Turbo and 580bhp in the S. Acceleration is now down under the magical three seconds to 2.9 seconds in the S, entering the McLaren 570S party without being on the guest list. Gone is the manual gear change option, but the excellent PDK (Porsche Doppelklupplung) remains. This is made possible by all-new higher fuel pressures, new injection nozzles, and inlet ports – that sort of stuff. And no, we haven’t a clue what they mean either, but the effect makes the already brutally powerful Turbo don a flak jacket and heads out looking for serious trouble. Prices are now starting at $159,200 for the Turbo and $188,100 for the S. And the keyword here is beginning – you’ll discover endless options to add to those sticker prices.
The bigger story with the new Turbo cars, though, is something Porsche call Dynamic Boost Function. In a standard car, when you lift off the accelerator, the throttle dies a bit, losing split-second momentum. With the new Dynamic Boost Function in place, there is no loss of power, waiting for you to blast off out of a corner with true ferocity. Equally, driving dynamic options are available on the steering wheel via the rotary knob that allows a driver to dial in the Sport Response Button. If Turbo owners were feeling a bit short-changed, these newly revised Turbo and S cars help keep it the Daddy of the non-race spec Porsche range. We drove them. We were impressed.
In typical Porsche fashion, there are stealthy revisions to the headlights, taillights, door handles, and engine lid. Though you and I won’t notice unless we’re talking to a true 911 expert, it’s now that we need to forewarn you of their particular modus operandi. These people firstly make eye contact, corner you, and in a pincer movement worthy of Rommel, bombard you with dreary Porsche incremental design facts since 1975. You’ll spot them easily – they’re single. To which we suggest the following options: (a) bring up an unrelated subject – maybe your Aunt’s arthritis or (b, the one we like) run for your life.
We can fully recommend the Turbo and Turbo S – the latter coming with carbon-ceramic brakes and sexy wheels. It’s more exciting than ever and with a 0-60mph sub, 3 seconds credentials, and finally puts the everyday 911 flagship into the big league and the base 991.2 Carrera back in its box. To do that to a car as sublime as the Carrera is Super Bowl half-time stuff. Now then, where exactly did we put that $159,200?