Matt Hubbard drives the latest Porsche 911 Turbo at the Porsche Handling Circuit at Silverstone.
The Porsche 911 Turbo in 991 guise is an all new car over the 997. I drove the 991 Carrera 4S before stepping into the Turbo. The 4S is a sublime car, which feels like a rear wheel drive car but has the extra grip of four wheel drive.
The Turbo costs £118,349, which is £40k more than the Carrera 4S. This might be a lot but the Turbo isn't just slightly better than the 4S. It feels like a different car altogether.
Sure, the 911 Turbo looks similar to the rest of the range. To uninitiated all 911s look similar but inspect the detail and the Turbo stands out. It has carbon ceramic brakes as standard, a large rear spoiler and a smaller front spoiler. The rear haunches are wider than the Carrera 2.
The most obvious feature of the Turbo are the air ducts ahead of the rear wheels. If it's got ducts it's a Turbo.
The Turbo also comes with a 7-speed, dual-clutch PDK gearbox as standard and the electric power assisted steering.
It also gets active suspension, traction management and adaptive aerodynamics.
Oh yes and the little matter of four wheel drive and four wheel steering. At up to 31mph the rear wheels steer up to 2.8 degrees in the opposite direction. From 31 to 50mph the rear wheels stay parallel to the car. Above 50mph the rear wheels steer parallel to the front wheels.
The engine is a 3.8 litre flat-6 with twin-turbochargers and pumps out 520hp and 486 lb ft of torque. 0-60mph takes 3.2 seconds and the top speed is 197mph.
On track the Porsche 911 Turbo is revelatory. The power of the engine feels like a punch in the back, in a car that weighs 1595kg and has four wheel drive.
But any old car with lots of power can accelerate fast. The Turbo stays fast.
The grip is astonishing. After driving the Carrera 4S around the same track I found myself having to recalibrate my brain for the Turbo. Entry speed is faster, brake points are later, corner speed is faster and the drive out of corners is faster and earlier.
Turn in to a corner aggressively and the front end feels planted. Brake until the last minute and turn just as you release the brakes. Keep to a smooth line and the Turbo rewards with much more grace than a cack-handed road tester could do in any other car.
The confluence of active aero, ceramic brakes and rear wheel steering means you can drive heroically. The rear wheel steering is not felt on turn in or through the corner but come out of a corner, mash the throttle and you feel the rear end moving.
It adds a degree of emotion, never mind speed, to driving the car. Nail a corner exit and the Turbo rewards with a squatting and sliding of the rear end and a perfect punch on to the next straight.
You also benefit, but feel the input less, of the rear wheel steering through long, shallow corners where your mind tells you to slow down but the car handles it with ease. So on the next lap you go faster, and faster, and faster.
It's a confidence inspiring car and one in which you find brake and apex markers constantly moving forwards. The car is better than the man, unless the man is a professional race driver.
I only got to drive the 911 Turbo for a short session on track so didn't study the interior too much. The driving position is perfect and the entire interior is bedecked in leather.
You also get Bluetooth smartphone integration, digital radio and Bose surround sound audio system.
The suede clad steering wheel feels particularly lovely.
The Porsche 911 Turbo is an expensive car but it's one that is worth every penny. Being a 911 it's a useful day to day car with decent storage space in the front boot and rather cramped back seats that will sit a couple of youngsters or, more likely, stow a few bags.
It also returns 29.1mpg, which is 16% better than the 997 Turbo.
I'd never driven a 911 Turbo before my track test but it was always the car at the top of my dream garage list. After driving it it still is. It's a full-on supercar in a 911 body.
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Price - £118,349
Engine – 3.4 litre, flat-6, turbocharged, petrol
Transmission – 7 speed, dual-clutch, semi-auto (PDK)
0-62mph – 3.4 seconds
Top speed - 195 mph
Power - 520bhp at 8,000rpm
Torque - 486lb ft at 6,500rpm
Economy - 29.1mpg combined
CO2 – 227 g/km
Kerb weight – 1,595kg unladen
Review by Matt Hubbard
Review by Matt Hubbard