2014 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S Revealed With 4-Wheel Steering, No Manual Option
All photos courtesy of Porsche
We all knew when Porsche unveiled the newest iteration of the 911, it was going to be considerably different than its predecessors. Porsche fanatics seem to resent every new model, as it typically signifies something about the mechanical or driving dynamics was about to change. For the 996, it was the infamous switch from an air-cooled to water-cooled engine. In the 997, it was direct injection and variable steering ratios. For the current 991, electric power steering was the harbinger of the 911’s demise (although, to be fair, most Porsche drivers have noticed a lack of feel in the steering wheel, so some of those changes have legitimate complaints). Well, go ahead and add “lack of manual transmission” to the list of gripes with upper-level versions of the 911. It’s always disappointing to see a sports car eschewing a three-pedal version in favor of some sort of robotically-controlled system, but I get it. Car buyers nowadays want everything possible with one car, so why not have a GT and a sports car in one package? By all accounts, Porsche’s PDK transmission can shift much faster than any human can, and the driver doesn’t have to worry about blowing up their transmission during a wrong gear change. Plus, Porsche drivers don’t have to worry clutch engagement when they don’t want to, like in terrible traffic or starting up steep hills, but have the option to sweat that stuff any time they choose. Maybe that’s why the new Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S won’t be available with that option, but the cars still aren’t for the faint of heart.
Like the Carrera S, the Turbo models utilize a 3.8L flat-six, although the addition of twin turbochargers boosts output from 395hp to 520hp in the Turbo and 560hp in the Turbo S. Adding the Sport Chrono Package Plus to the Turbo means that car can sprint from a dead stop to 60mph in 3.2 seconds, while the Turbo S makes the journey at 2.9. Both cars have top speeds at just under the 200mph mark, which begs the question as to why Porsche even bothers selling two different versions, with an optional package as well (in true Porsche fashion, the company charges a premium for a “Sport” button and modified suspension mapping).
The Turbo/S benefits from the 991’s vastly improved interior, which adopted the Panamera sedan’s center stack layout and infotainment system. Older 911s were somewhat lacking in that area, and the 991 brings the 911 in line with its competitors.
The all-wheel drive system has been changed to deal with the Turbo’s new four-wheel steering. Below 31mph, the rear wheels turn opposite of the fronts, aiding low-speed cornering and parking, while traveling at greater than 50mph means that the rears run parallel to the fronts. Porsche has also included three stages of front and rear active aerodynamic systems, allowing the driver to change whether top speed or cornering performance is preferred in any given moment.
The Porsche 911 Turbo/S will go on sale in the U.S. at the end of the year. Pricing begins at $148,300 for the Turbo and $181,100 for the Turbo S ($30,000 seems like a hell of a lot for 40hp, though). That is, of course, before the dictionary-sized optional extras list is taken into account.