Every single new iteration of the Porsche 911 Turbo is often met with lofty levels of anticipation and excitement in equal measure. Since the launch of the 930 generation Turbo, the model set a precedence of one the most powerful yet useable sports car of its ilk.

Inspired by the milestone 959, which was not only the fastest production Porsche at the time, but one of the fastest cars on the planet. Period. Sadly, it was eye-wateringly expensive and thus, all the learnings of that project were filtered and trickled into the more attainable 911 body form – and subsequently the birth of the Turbo nameplate.

During my later high school years, Porsche had just unveiled the 996 Turbo, which fervently captured my imagination. Reading up on the engine stats and on-paper performance thereof left me decidedly gobsmacked, yet feverishly in awe. Here was an unassuming sportscar that could pretty much leave any would-be thorough-bred exotica in its wake, all the while wrapping its occupants in sumptuous comfort levels.


It was April 2010, and I had just arrived at my then office following an RTMC (Road Traffic Management Corporation) press briefing and there, in one of our two parking spots, sat a Carrera White 997 generation 911 Turbo S press car. Replete with the racing-inspired, debuting-at-the-time centre locking wheels that housed dinner plate-sized carbon-ceramic brakes resplendent with their signature yellow brake callipers.

Upon entering the office, my then-editor tossed me the keys to the 911 Turbo S in question and asked if I could drive it back to Porsche Centre. Naturally, I jumped at the occasion. Up to then, I had no reference point of the vehicle’s performance prowess, other than the fact that it was the model that the R35 Nissan GT-R was benchmarked against. Interestingly, I had driven the R35 GT-R prior and sort of had an inkling of what performance disposition I was about to experience in the 911 Turbo S – how wrong I was.


Boasting a 3.8-litre, twin-turbo flat-six pushing out 397 kW and 700 Nm through a PDK gearbox. Launching a Porsche 911 Turbo S off the line is truly something to behold. It is a violent, unadulterated experience that simply knocks the wind out of you. I quickly learned that you ought to rest your head against the headrest before getting off the line, lest you’ll be subjected to whiplash.

To summon launch control is a simple affair of pressing sport mode, left-foot braking, then simultaneously push hard on the accelerator – building revs to around 5,500 r/min. Once launch control is confirmed on the instrument cluster, slip your foot off the brake pedal and you’re rocketed off the line and down the road to hit 100 km/h in a scant 3.3 seconds.

So brutal is the launch that the front axle proverbially goes feather-light – the steering buckling in your hands – as weight is instantly shifted to the rear axle, where the engine also resides, offering prodigious grip and traction as a result. For me, it simply shifted perspective, rewrote the rule books and lifted the performance bar to even loftier heights.


Wrapped in the latest 992 threads, the new 911 Turbo S retains the basic brief of a 3.8-litre, twin-turbo flat-six engine, all-wheel-drive, and a PDK automatic gearbox. However, the wick has decidedly been turned up a few notches. There are larger turbo impellers compared to the outgoing model with power now rated at 478 kW (50 kW more than its predecessor) and 800 Nm (50 Nm extra).

This, according to the outfit, is enough to hurtle the new Turbo S to 100 km/h from rest in just 2.7 seconds (0.2 seconds faster) – and with Porsche having a propensity of being conservative with its claimed figures, you can expect it to be even quicker in real-world terms. Top speed, meanwhile, remains unchanged at 330 km/h.


Porsche 911 Turbo S

The dimensions of the 911 Turbo S have been increased significantly in line with the enhanced driving dynamics: the body is now 45 mm wider above the front axle (1,840 mm), and the overall width is 1,900 mm above the rear axle (an increase of 20 mm). Modified track widths further developed aerodynamics and the new mixed-size tyres is said to contribute to its agility and sportiness.

The track, for instance, is now 42 mm wider at the front and 10 mm wider at the rear axle. The adaptive aerodynamics, meanwhile, now include controlled cooling air flaps at the front, while the larger rear wing has been designed for even more downforce. For the first time, the 911 Turbo S transfers its power to the road with mixed tyres in two different sizes: it has 20” tyres with their unique 255/35 sections at the front and 21” with 315/30 gumball tyres at the rear.


The interior is festooned with high-quality and sporty finishes, while the standard amenities list includes a full leather and carbon trim in combination with Light Silver accents. Meanwhile, a newly designed two-tone interior will be available by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur as an option. This is characterised by a coordinated interplay of colours, materials and individual enhancements.

At the front, the 18-way adjustable sports seats feature stitching that pays homage to the first 911 Turbo (type 930). High-quality graphic elements and logos in the instrument cluster complete the characteristic Turbo S features. The centre screen of the PCM (Porsche Communication Management) is now 10.9” wide and said to be more intuitive than the outgoing system.


The Porsche 911 Turbo S represents the quintessential performance model in the range. It features unprecedented power and performance with each succeeding model, all the while remaining the most user-friendly high-performance 911. While the GT models are more biased towards uncompromised, keen driver-centric buyers, the Turbo S is unequivocally the most well-rounded model in the 911 portfolio and this latest model will resoundingly be no exception when it arrives in SA in May 2020.



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