Driven - Feb 2021

What just happened?!! 992 Porsche 911 Turbo S driven.

Nothing prepares you for it. All the sports cars, all the launch controls, all the speed – nothing prepares you for it. The 992 Porsche 911 Turbo S accelerates to 100km/h in 2.7 seconds. If the law and the road permit, this bullet disguised as a Porsche will reach 200km/h in 8.9 seconds, topping out at 330km/h. Unfortunately, in South Africa, the law nor the road permits these speeds, so I cannot attest for the vehicles top speed figures. What I can tell you is that you never doubt that this vehicle can reach those speeds with ease. It’s funny when you realise that a fully electric Porsche Taycan Turbo S with an instant torque figure of 1050N.m, gets to 100Km/h in 0,1 of a second slower than the new 911 Turbo S.

What has Porsche done to achieve these figures? At the heart of this weapon is a 3.8 horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine, with two VTG turbochargers producing 478kW and 800N.m. These numbers are then translated to all four wheels via Porsche’s Torque Vectoring Plus (P.T.V Plus) system. This means that no matter what the condition, the vehicle will make sure that those insane kW’s and N.m’s are distributed to the wheels that need it most. This system is rear wheel biased, allowing for a confidence inspiring front axle that doesn’t feel encumbered like other 4WD setups. Given the responsibility of gearing this whole operation is an 8-speed PDK with a dual mass fly wheel. This is the only gearbox I’ve experienced that mimics the feeling of an 8-speed automatic in terms of smoothness.

When driven hard the changes are razor sharp too, but not neck snapping as is the case with other double clutch gearboxes. For those seeking repeated warp speed experiences, the Turbo S will happily launch control off the lights over and over, without putting a foot wrong. On the other end of the spectrum, it’s very happy to be in Comfort mode, pottering around town quietly without drawing too much attention to yourself. This is where you see the brilliance in Porsche’s gearbox engineering as the changes can barely be felt in Comfort, making the Turbo S a true everyday sports car.

To complete the everyday appeal, the 911 Porsche Turbo S needs to provide high levels of interior comfort. Thankfully this is the case as the fascia is modern and chic, well-built and it follows the design cues of its tamer 992 siblings. Most notable is the 10.9-inch infotainment screen which is equipped with Apple CarPlay, intuitive feedback and an easy-to-use layout. The information displayed on the screen can be mirrored to the driver’s digital display, keeping the driver focused on the road ahead. The flow of the interior creates an ergonomically friendly environment, with nothing being too far or out of sight. Seating comfort is also very good, and the rear can actually be used, albeit for humans of the kindergarten and Montessori variety.

So, what’s its actually like to drive? At first the numbers do intimidate, causing you to fire up the engine with some trepidation. Once you get going you begin by nursing the pressure on the accelerator, as this is one pedal that requires your attention and respect.  Once you start exploring and seeing what and how much throttle to use, it becomes easier and you settle into a rhythm. It’s genuinely astounding how civil a vehicle with this level of performance can be. Once you get over the pleasantries you then muster up the courage to see if the claims are true.

The initial launch control will either leave you wanting more, or you’ll happily admit that this amount of performance is not for you. Either way you’ll ask yourself “what just happened?” If you’re part of the former group, the more you use the torque on offer appropriately, the more you’ll begin trusting the front axle, which as previously mentioned is very communicative. Each drive then becomes a well-orchestrated dance, you as the conductor at the wheel with your right foot controlling the tempo. Topping the experience off, is a chassis and aerodynamics that will have you questioning the little you know about physics.

It’s one thing to be able to accelerate rapidly but stopping is another difficult task that engineers need to perfect before unleashing a car like this to the masses. Again, thankfully the Porsche Turbo S stops as if it has seen your sibling warming up the leftovers you had saved while holding your charging cord that was stolen from your desk! No seriously, it actually gets to a point where nausea is on the horizon. You simply don’t expect the bite from the brakes to be as vicious as it is. This is due to the Turbo S being equipped with a 10-piston caliper setup up front. So, it’s good to know that you have massive performance on both ends of the scale, acceleration and braking.

So, what will all this cost you? It’s difficult to guess when you have near hyper-car like performance meant for everyday use. Without any extras, the vehicle will set you back a cool R3.7 million. Yes, this is not pocket change but let’s consider what that price tag gets you. If money is no object, most wealthy drivers would seek a daily driver that offers comfort and frills, making traffic better than what it is. Thereafter on the weekends, a secondary high-performance vehicle would be opted for, one that reminds you why you work as hard as you do. Porsche has remedied the need for this, giving you everything in one. A car that does both brilliantly. So, is R3.7 million still a lot of money, or is it a bargain? It depends on how you look at it.

Those who share the same viewpoint as me will agree that this 992 Porsche 911 Turbo S is worth it. It’s an experience like no other. This vehicle reminds you why Porsche has such a cult following. It’s also a reminder to the competition that this Porsche’s game. The 911 Turbo has always ruled this segment and continues to do so with the 992.

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