- Apr 2015

Porsche Turbo S: S for Sensible?

One of the latest additions to Porsche’s armory is the new 911(991) Turbo S.  Still featuring the 3.6-liter Turbo power plant, the turbo S pushes out 412kw with 700Nm (750 Nm overboost) launching you to 100kph before you can count to 3. If you have ever felt your organs shift into the back of your body, then you might have some inclination of what it is like to ride in the Porsche turbo S. The power delivery to the 4wd system is superb and smooth, the gear changes feel like they never even happened.

What I love about the Porsche Turbo S is that  it  can be a fire breathing track eater, but it can also be the business man’s comfortable daily driver.  It is not as hard and ruthless as its competitors, for example the Ferrari 458.  In its normal mode, it can be driven easily in a quiet and comfortable cabin.  Shift it into S mode and things start to get livelier, like most of us after we’ve have had our morning coffee. You can go one step further…Sport Plus. It is like going from the sauna at your local gym to stepping into an active volcano. The exhaust note is increased dramatically and the suspension becomes harder and more reactive. The gearbox shifting goes from the speed of sound, to the speed of light as the engine is squeezing every last horsepower out like when you put an orange in a juicer.

The Ferrari 458 is fast but it’s a hard ride, (it kind of makes you feel like they swapped out the dampers with solid metal rods).It sounds like a symphony  orchestra and it is extremely fun. I’d be hard pressed to find another car I would enjoy to drive on a beautiful blue skied summer day, say for example around Chapman’s peak. But therein also lies a problem, it is always loud and always hard. Of course there is much more improvement over older models in terms of drivability, but it’s still a Ferrari. That’s what I love about the Porsche Turbo S, with a Nurburgring time of 7:32, it can be up there with the likes of the 458 in terms of performance. It can also take a step back and take a break from the steroids when you want it to. It can be comfortable, quietish and a pleasant daily driver. Another great advantage is that it’s a 2+2 seating arrangement, so it’s more practical. My father always tells the story of when he brought his first Porsche back when I was 2 years old. Him and my mother occupied the front seats with me in the back and we road tripped from the middle of the UK to the south of France.  Now you can’t do that in a Ferrari can you?

I’m taking nothing away from Ferrari here, they make a fantastic performance vehicle. The thing is if I was the type of guy who drove many kilometers but still wanted to make my wife scream, had a family and still wanted to feel my eye balls turn in my head, the Porsche Turbo S is the car I would buy. Maybe the “S” stands for sensible.