The 911 gets even wilder
Long the performance flagship of the Porsche 911 line, the Turbo S adds a healthy dose of crazy. Rather than mess with success, this 991.2 iteration tackles the only criticism of the previous Turbo S: It wasn’t wild enough. Some will feel even this version is too sterile; they’re nuts.
Porsche fitted two new variable-geometry turbos to the 3.8-liter flat-six engine, which now conjures 580 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque—or 553 lb-ft in temporary overboost. An anti-lag system keeps the throttle open but cuts the fuel during shifts to keep air flowing. Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch automatic transaxle remains, as do the all-wheel-drive system, electronically adjustable shock absorbers, carbon-ceramic brakes, front splitter, and rear wing. A new Sport Response button gives you 20 seconds of on-demand sharper throttle response, and a new rear-wheel steering system sharpens the handling.
It’s Best Driver’s Car week! Don’t miss the incredible story of how we chose the 2017 Best Driver’s Car right here, and stay tuned for the World’s Greatest Drag Race, coming soon.
The result is the hardest-launching car we’ve ever tested, at 1.26 g of horizontal force. Tesla? Nope. Demon? Nuh-uh. From a stop, this 911 will dust a Bugatti Veyron to 60 mph—just 2.5 seconds. The quarter mile flashes past in a stunning 10.6 seconds, at which point you’ll be traveling at 129.6 mph (208 km/h) and pulling hard. It pulls hard in corners, too, registering 1.05 average g on the skidpad and 0.95 average g during a brief 22.9-second figure-eight lap. Stopping the 3,557-pound (1,613-kg) missile from 60 mph takes only 92 feet.
“My litmus test for whether a car has a shot at taking the BDC crown is what I’m doing with my head and shoulders when driving. If I’m cocking my head and leaning into the turns along with the vehicle, I am in sync with my steed. We are one; the man-machine interface is engaged, the singularity has occurred. It happened with the winning McLaren 570S last year.
“I’m doing that head tilting, lean in thing whilst carving the canyons in the Turbo S. It is nearly the complete package. So fast and completely unflappable. It’s really hard to find a flaw here. Just so fast. Smooth. Lovely to hear the wastegates dump as you lift throttle and the beats of silence between gearshifts. But yes, a more thrilling sound from the back would be appreciated. Unbelievably fast. It is really a focused tool intended for one purpose: going very fast.” – Ed Loh
Read about other 2017 Best Driver’s Car contenders:
- Ferrari 488 GTB
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
- Porsche 718 Cayman S
- Lexus LC 500
- Mercedes-AMG GT R
- Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
- Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
- Aston Martin DB11
- Nissan GT-R NISMO
- Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
- McLaren 570GT
“Goose bumps—it’s so easy to handle. Steering is stiff, but it gives you exactly the kind of feedback that you want to feel on a road like this. The sound coming from the engine is superb. Suspension is rigid but comfortable. I felt the confidence to go faster on the corners and push for more. The 911 stands out not only for its handsome looks, but also for that great feeling of confidence that it delivers when you drive on windy roads.” – Miguel Cortina
“So, so, so capable on 198. But the trade-off of having such a highly capable car is that it’s quite a bore to drive in normal situations, which is likely how the 911 Turbo will be driven 91.1 percent of the time. It’s really boring on the road. But again, great car to drive hard.” – Erick Ayapana
“To me, this is the perfect driver’s car, in that you can do it all: drive for hours and hours on an interstate, then suddenly twist a dial to sport plus, put the hammer down, and the 911 leaps to life, assured, forceful, and pragmatically intense. It is so composed, so nailed down, so very fast, and so full of grip. There is never a hint that something might go awry. It squirts out of the apex and fills you with so much confidence. If you carry too much speed into a corner, lay into the brakes through that entry portion of the curve, and the 911 just tucks in and says, ‘Yeah sure, we got this.’” – Mark Rechtin
“My god it’s so capable and so easy. The engine almost feels lazy while piling on the speed. It’s really deceptive how powerful it truly is even at low rpm. It’s amazing how much confidence this car gives a driver. Not just the brakes, but the steering and the stability. The car shrinks around you and becomes an extension of you. I’m looking for a complaint, and I can’t find one.” – Chris Walton
“There’s a reason this car is at the top of the rankings in any competition. The 911 Turbo S is so amazingly competent on every level—without having any visible compromises—that it’s easy to forget how high its limits are. Right out of the box, the 911 Turbo S lets you drive as fast as you dare, brake as hard as you can, and turn as much as you wish. It doesn’t just inspire confidence … it inspires a relationship with the driver.” – Derek Powell
“Yeah, the 911 Turbo S was super great, but it almost seemed a little bit unsatisfying. Somehow? This 991.2 has so much more torque than the last GT3s, any GT3 I ever drove. And it’s just so satisfying to drive. The balance under power is amazing to me. Knowing how little weight is on those tires especially when you’re under about 0.9 g acceleration in second gear, and it doesn’t push under power. This car seems more rewarding to drive to me, and it really … it blows away some great cars. I guess ‘cause it’s easy? But it’s rewardingly easy. It’s not boring; it’s satisfying. It just makes me feel like I could drive better than I really can. I literally said that to myself, driving off of turn 11.
“In the slower corners, when the revs are down, there’s no sense of lag whatsoever. I love the way it’ll dig off the corner without understeer. I could go to the power really early, and I’d just know that a lot of cars would want to understeer under this condition. And it doesn’t, it just comes on. Just fascinatingly, thrillingly good.
“You have to be just a wee bit careful about entry oversteer. Don’t leave that weight on the nose for too long on a high speed corner. It takes a real specific combination of great on-the-nose, aggressive turn-in, and off throttle to bring the tail out. A couple of times when it came out it still was not scary. It was a pleasant experience. Back to the power, and there you go. I’m just really, really impressed.
“With PDKs you’re just wasting your time shifting manually. It might be fun just to do it for the fun of it, but it’s completely unnecessary to shift yourself. The brakes held up completely; even the tires held up. I mean, the loads, what they’re going through is mind-bending. The amount of speed, the amount of braking, and how hard those tires are worked—they still hold up. The car retains its balance. I just seem to be able to repeat my braking performance. I was in so deep a couple times halfway through the brakes I thought maybe I wouldn’t make this. But then it would slow down enough and ride into the apex, and away we’d go. It’s a nice, firm pedal, and that means the braking performance is repeatable. It also made me push it harder.
“I don’t feel the rear-steer except that, maybe, it’s my guess that it’s one of the ways they keep the front traction in the middle of the corner when it really shouldn’t have any, but the car responds to the steering wheel in the middle of the corner. Low-speed, high-speed, anything you want. I think I set my speed record over the corkscrew.
“It’s a real testament to what’s possible with modern technology when you are creating a sports car and you know what you’re doing. It’s an amazing piece of machinery. A living testament to how good a car can be with the stability control off.”
|2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Rear-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Twin-turbo flat-6, alum block/heads|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||231.9 cu in/3,800 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||580 hp @ 6,750 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||516 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm*|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||6.1 lb/hp|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch auto.|
|AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO||3.44:1(f) 3.33:1(r)/2.06:1|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||16.1-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 15.4-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS|
|WHEELS||9.0 x 20-in; 11.5 x 20-in forged aluminum|
|TIRES||245/35ZR20 91Y; 305/30ZR20 103Y Pirelli P Zero Corsa N0|
|TRACK, F/R||60.7/62.6 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||177.4 x 74.0 x 51.0 in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||60.7/62.6 in|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,557 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||39/61%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||37.7/32.2 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||42.2/27.1 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||51.3/47.9 in|
|CARGO VOLUME||4.1 cu ft (+9.2 cu ft beh fr seats)|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||1.3|
|QUARTER MILE||10.6 sec @ 129.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||92 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||1.05 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||22.9 sec @ 0.95 g (avg)|
|2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP||1:33.21 sec|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,500 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$196,360|
|AIRBAGS||8: Dual front, fr side, fr curtain, fr knee|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||17.9 gal|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||19/24/21 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||177/140 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.93 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|