The Porsche 911 Turbo has always been the quickest point-to-point car in the real world. Its compact size, enormous performance and prodigious grip made it not just an everyday supercar, but one that could get you from A to B quicker than anything else. True, other cars had better headline performance (but very few), but in real-world situations the 911 Turbo was king.
But times move on, and other car makers are starting to produce cars that can be used every day and have comparable performance. One startling entry is the Nissan GT-R, but even models from Lamborghini, Ferrari and even Audi are getting close on performance and usability.
So it’s time for a tweak or two on the Porsche 911 Turbo to keep it at the top of the heap. Porsche has announced that the latest version of the 911 Turbo – a 2010 MY car – will get a useful boost in power when it officially launches next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Power in the 911 Turbo will now come from a 3.8 litre (up from 3.6) – a blown version of the 3.8 found in the Carrera S. The increased displacement, coupled with revised variable vane turbochargers, uprated fuel systems and intercooler, adds a useful 20bhp, taking the 911 turbo to 493 bhp (500 hp).
One of the (very few) frustrations of the current 911 Turbo is its neutrality. Porsche’s traction management systems work very hard to keep the car planted and pretty neutral. So it’s a bit tricky to go and play and push the back around a bit. So Porsche has tweaked the traction systems to deliver a more ‘playful’ feel. Also added is ‘Porsche Torque Vectoring’, which is said to make the 911 Turbo more agile and precise, particularly on the twisty stuff.
A six speed manual comes as standard on the 911 Turbo, with the option of a 7-speed PDK ‘box. And for the first time Porsche has decided to offer proper paddle-shifters. The old ‘thumb’ buttons are not that intuitive to use – particularly when hustling – so the addition of proper paddles behind the wheel is a big plus.
Even at this level big play needs to be made on economy and emissions. Despite the increase in displacement – and performance of 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 194 mph – the new Porsche 911 Turbo manages to reduce emissions by 18% and delivers between 24.1 and 24.8 mpg.
All this is enough to keep the Porsche 911 Turbo as the quickest everyday supercar you can buy. It goes on sale in the UK on 21st November, following its official launch at Frankfurt. Prices start at £101,823 for the Coupe and £109,048 for the Cabriolet.
Full details in the new 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo Press Release.