The current generation of the Porsche 911 was presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the fall of 2018. As is customary with the German automaker, the following months have seen a gradual rollout of several variants of the model. Some 18 months later, enthusiasts finally get to meet the most powerful variant of the range, the Turbo S.
The model was scheduled to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, but in the wake of the event’s cancellation due to the coronavirus, Porsche went ahead with an online presentation.
Positioned at the top of the 911 family, the Turbo S version benefits from a 3.8L, flat-6 engine offering 640 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That's 60 more hp than the previous version. Power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission specific to this version. The powertrain delivers 0-97 km/h acceleration in just 2.6 seconds - a tenth of a second faster than the 700-hp GT2 RS variant of the latest-generation 911. Buyers who opt for the convertible variant will lose that tenth of a second.
For those who still use the quarter-mile as a reference, the Turbo S takes 10.5 seconds to cover that distance. Meanwhile, those who have access to the German Autobahn will want to know top-speed: here it’s 205 mph, or 330 km/h.
After the fun is over, carbon-ceramic brake discs and 10-piston front calipers are present to help stop the Turbo S. But Porsche didn't design the model only for straight-line speed. It has to be as maneuverable as possible, and thus engineers have widened the rear passages to give it more support strength. In fact, the width is 1.8 inches greater at the front and 0.7 inches greater at the rear compared to the outgoing version.
The all-wheel drive system can channel up to 368 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels when needed. Software and hardware settings help the active suspension control body roll, opening the way for faster cornering speeds and more responsive steering. All in all, the Turbo S version will prove to be more stable than its predecessor on twisty roads and more grippy at high speeds.
Keen observers will notice in the images produced by Porsche 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels. The brand’s stylists also carved functional vents in the front bumper and both rear fenders and designed rectangular exhaust tips specifically for the version. But while it looks like a race car, it's also comfortable in the city. Standard features include 18-way power adjustable seats, 10.9-inch touchscreen and Bose audio system with surround sound.
The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S will arrive on the market in late 2020. In the U.S., the offer starts at over $200,000. We'll have to add a few tens of thousands of dollars here in Canada.
Porsche will continue to expand the 911 lineup in the years to come. While it's hard to predict exactly what's coming, we know that the Targa, GTS, Turbo, GT3 and GT3 RS models all need to be replaced. We also don't rule out the possibility of another GT2 RS in the medium term, and rumours continue to circulate about a hybrid model.