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2014 PORSCHE 911 Turbo S Review

OUR TEST CAR: 2014 PORSCHE 911 Turbo S (991)

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Porsche’s 911 Turbo is going through midlife crisis. We all know that a capable man’s response to such a phenomenon is going out and ordering a new car for himself. Something much more powerful or sophisticated than he would ever need. As the 911 Turbo was turning 40, it did the exact same thing.

The ex-generation 997 Turbo and Turbo S were already some of the most capable supercars around and yet the new 991-generation Turbos raise that bar by about a million. A million engineering solutions, that is. Porsche went all the way with the 991-gen Turbo non-identical twins, making them sound like a wet technical dream. From integral steering to active aerodynamics, as well as a cheeky rear end, this supercar has them all.

As a result, the new 911 Turbo S is the fastest road car ever to have worn the Porsche badge. The only exception is the 918 Spyder, but since we do not have $1 million to spend on that hybrid madness, we will leave it out of the discussion today.

For the sake of numbers, the Turbo S has more than twice the power of the original 1970s 930-generation Turbo! That is an offer any sane (or should we say insane) man cannot refuse. Thus, here we are, carefully placing the keys to a 911 Turbo S in our pocket.
You will never hear guys arguing on the street on whether a certain 911 is a Turbo or not.

That’s because the rear track is about 70 mm (2.75 inches) wider compared to a standard 911 Carrera and 150 mm (5.9 inches) wider than the front tracks of the car. The 911 Turbo makes even the wider Carrera 4 models look a bit skinny.

They all say that Porsche designers are the laziest in the world and yet here we are, contemplating a superb rear end that was created before twerking became so popular. Of course, the generous rear arches are loaded with the signature Turbo air intakes.

Nonetheless, if you’re willing to separate your Turbos from your Turbo Ses, you’ll be in trouble. Aside from a few “S” badges, such as the one at the rear end and the one on the dashboard instruments, there’s no visual difference.

In addition to the tech details, the Turbo and the Turbo S are separated by the extra standard equipment on the latter. For instance, the S receives the Turbo’s optional LED headlights as a standard feature.

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And speaking of Porsche-specific stuff, the automaker’s alphabet soup obsession is now refined even further. The newcomer is called PAA, or Porsche Active Aerodynamics. First of all, there is an active rear wing, which can be extended and angled according to the needs. Moreover, PAA employs a just-as-active rubber skirt (no fetish pun intended). Placed under the front bumper, this can be lowered in three stages, just like the rear spoiler. It all depends on the speed of the car, or on the driver’s preferences.

The result is simply out of the supercar world, as the use of that skirt allows the 911 Turbo to offer a ground clearance of 156 mm (6.14 inches). For example, its predecessor came with a ride height of 139 mm (5.47 inches), already one of the most generous in the high performance segment. So, yes, Porsche has found a sweet manner of eschewing a nose-lift system on the Turbo. By the way, the 911 GT3 has one.
Despite this, the center of gravity is now lower

Searching for clues on how they have pulled this trick, we leaned under the rear of the car. This is the only vantage point allowing one to see the engine and we have to mention that those turbines sit mighty low.

Do not assume this thing is low on downforce, as it can generate 132 Kg (291 lbs) of it. You just need to hit 300 km/h (186 mph) in order for that to happen. Still, the 911 Turbo loses the aero battle with the Ferrari 458 Italia, which can produce some 5 extra Kg (11 lbs) of downforce, everything at 200 km/h (124 mph).

Underneath the more sculpted German metal, we find a steel-aluminum structure that is 13 percent stiffer than that of the old 911. The wheelbase has grown by 100 mm (3.94 inches), while the tracks are wider by about half that value - 51 mm (2 inches) in the Turbo and 49 mm (1.92 inches) in the Turbo S.

Both flavors of the 911 Turbo ride on 20-inch wheels instead of the 19-inch rims of the past generation. What’s more, opting for the Turbo S brings you wheels that are half an inch wider.

The only downside here is that the heftier chassis, together with the extra tech, make the Turbo a bit heavier than its predecessor.

To be more German, we'll tell you the 911 Turbo tips the scales at 1,595 Kg (3,516 lbs), while the Turbo S weighs in at 1,605 Kg (3,538 lbs).

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From behind the wheel, you feel the car is lighter than that though. This is all thanks to the ZF-sourced rear axle steering, a feature shared with the 911 GT3. Depending on the vehicle speed and steering wheel angle, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front ones, by up to 1.5 degrees, or in the same way, by up to 2.8 degrees.

We are pulling some typical city turning maneuvers at the moment and that 10.5-meter (34.5 feet) turning circle feels refreshingly good.

Let’s set things straight from the very beginning.
Inside the city, there is no other supercar that comes close to the Porsche 911 Turbo or Turbo S.

The McLaren 12C may have a bit of a softer ride, but the rest of the car is hopelessly impractical compared to the 911. And if we are to compare the Porsche with the Nissan GT-R, the German wins again. The GT-R is also very usable, but it’s nowhere near as refined, a quality you quickly learn to appreciate during the nerve-breaking urban traffic.

Ferrari's 458 is also easy to drive slowly, but its powertrain feels like an idiotically agitated puppy compared to the turbocharged flat six behind us. We’re idling in the 911 Turbo S at the moment and the engine is so quiet we can hear the chronograph ticking away on the dashboard.

Then there’s the good visibility, a feature the 911 has always relied on. Despite all this, there are parts of the 911 which are not all that ready for the city experience. At an abstinent volume of 133 liters (4.7 cubic feet) the boot up front is one of them. Well, guess we’ll just have to throw the extra equipment on the back seats.

Here in the city, the aforementioned design of the 911 has a two-sided effect. For many passers by, this is as good as the Beetle it once evolved from. Well, many 911 owners love that discretion, while some find it frustrating that their Porsche doesn’t get half as much attention as any other supercars.

Given the practical nature of the 911 Turbo, we find it paradoxical that you have to sculpt your body in the form of the seats, not the other way around. The seats are considerably friendlier than those of the 997 generation and yet your rib areas still won’t like them all that much. Luckily, the softer central areas of the seat base and back make you forget about this as the journey begins.

While the Porsche 911 Turbo comes standard with the 14-way power seats, the Turbo S gets 18-way seats with more generous bolstering. The conclusions above are true for both.
87user rating 90 votes
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autoevolution Feb 2014
92
Value for money: 10/10
History
10
Exterior
9
Interior
8
In the city
8
Open road
10
Comfort
7
Tech facts
10
Gadgets
9
Safety
10
Conclusion
10
87user rating 90 votes
Rate this car!
 
Key Specs
USEU
Engine
3800 cm3 boxer
Fuel
Petrol
Power kw
412
Power hp
553
Power rpm
6500-6750
Torque val
516
Torque rpm
2100-4000
Transmission
7 speed PDK double-clutch automatic
Traction
AWD
Acceleration
3
Top speed
198 mph
Length
177.4 in
Width
74 in
Height
51 in
Wheelbase
96.5 in
Ground clearance
in
Cargo volume
4.7 CuFT
Weight
3538 lbs
Seating
4
Power
412 KW/553 BHP @ 6500-6750 RPM
Torque
516 Lb-Ft @ 2100-4000 RPM
Engine
3800 cm3 boxer
Fuel
Petrol
Power kw
412
Power hp
560
Power rpm
6500-6750
Torque val
700
Torque rpm
2100-4000
Transmission
7 speed PDK double-clutch automatic
Traction
AWD
Acceleration
3.1
Top speed
319 km/h
Length
4506 mm
Width
1880 mm
Height
1295 mm
Wheelbase
2451 mm
Ground clearance
- mm
Cargo volume
133.1 L
Weight
1605 Kg
Seating
4
Power
412 KW/560 HP @ 6500-6750 RPM
Torque
700 Nm @ 2100-4000 RPM
fuel efficiency
mpgOfficialOurs
City17.8-
Highway35.120
Combined24.211.7
fuel efficiency
l/100kmOfficialOurs
City13.2-
Highway6.711.7
Combined9.720
base price
$
182700
base price
197100
this review's
Guest Opinions

Sir May B. Bach

I am offering you a million chances to guess what I find as most interesting about this car.

At the same time, I am willing to bet 0.0000000001 percent of my fortune on the fact that you shall never get the correct answer. I am well aware that the aforementioned sum is... ahem... seriously past your financial possibilities, but I am willing to settle for even a billion times less than that. A reasonable amount.

It all started when some guys over in Japan came up with a car called GT, GR, GTR or something of that sort. That was back in 2008 and they claimed they could defeat this German creation on the racetrack.
They went to that Nürburgring and came up with a lap time that was better than the Porsche’s one. For me, it instantly became obvious that they had cheated, probably using special tires.

I shall put a brief pause to the story in order to explain that I posses a respectable amount of technical know how. One of my... ahem... former mistresses was a Formula One engineer and she explained all I would ever need to know.

Returning to those amusing Japanese, even now, after all these years, they still claim they are battling the Porsche on the racetrack.

And to name the core of our bet, the aspect I am most enchanted by is Porsche’s diplomacy. Upon introducing this vehicle here, they released an approximate Nürburgring time, so that the Japanese could not express their fantasies anymore.

In addition to that, Porsche’s official statement politely adds that the lap time was achieved “naturally with standard production tires.” Now that is what I call quality in terms of public relations. The Japanese, with their agitated “racing-bred” manners, still have not managed to come up with a decent response....

Photo gallery (64)
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