This year is the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, and the 40th anniversary of the iconic Turbo model. So it's a fitting time for Porsche to introduce all-new versions of the 911 Turbo and the 911 Turbo S, which are based on the latest 991-generation of the 911. The pair of forced-induction coupes goes on sale in the U.S. at the end of this year.
Both models use a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine, but in slightly different states of tune. The 911 Turbo produces 520 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque, increases of 20 hp and 7 lb-ft compared to the 2012 911 Turbo. Porsche predicts a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. The 911 Turbo S turns up the variable-geometry turbochargers to produce 560 hp and 516 lb-ft, a gain of 30 hp versus the 2012 version. The run to 60 mph is pegged at 2.9 seconds and the top speed is 198 mph.
As is the case with the 911 GT3 that launched earlier this spring, the new Turbo and Turbo S will be equipped only with seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmissions. Porsche believes that its PDK is quicker and more fuel efficient than traditional three-pedal manual transmissions, and many customers already gravitate toward the dual-clutch option when given a choice. Engine stop-start is standard, although fuel economy ratings have yet to be determined. An updated version of the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive system can send more power to the front axle than before, thanks to strengthened components and improved water cooling.
The Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S adopt the rear-wheel-steering system introduced for the 911 GT3, which allows the rear wheels to pivot 2.8 degrees to improve handling. Below 31 mph, they steer opposite the front wheels to reduce the car's turning circle, while at higher speeds the rear wheels turn in tandem with the fronts to improve stability.
The Turbo models also feature active aerodynamics for the first time. Below the front bumper, a three-piece spoiler can lower pneumatically, while the rear wing can electrically adjust to three different positions. This means the car's computer can configure its aerodynamic aids either for low drag to improve fuel efficiency, or for maximum downforce to increase grip. Porsche claims this feature shaves two seconds of the car's Nürburgring lap time; the Turbo S is said to lap the German track faster than 7:30, even on its factory street tires.
To tell a Turbo model apart from other Porsche 911s, look straight to the rear fenders. They are 1.1 inches wider than those on the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S, meaning the Turbo is a total of 1.9 inches wider than a rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera and Carrera S. The haunches are so wide, in fact, they appear nearly horizontal from behind; Porsche says there's enough space to rest a hand atop the arches. The Turbo twins wear unique twenty-inch wheels, and on the Turbo S the wheels have a racing-inspired central locking hub.
Several performance features that are optional on the 911 Turbo are standard on the Turbo S: Sport Chrono Package Plus with dynamic engine mounts, Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control active anti-roll bars, full-LED headlights, and automatic high-beams. In addition, the Turbo S receives black-on-red interior trim, 18-way power sports seats, and a Bose sound system. The options list includes a Burmester sound system, adaptive cruise control, and carbon-fiber trim pieces.
The new Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S are the quickest, most powerful versions of the company's sports car. Although the forced-induction powertrain is debuting only in coupes for now, experience tells us that cabriolet models will arrive shortly. The 2014 911 Turbo goes on sale later this year for $149,250 (including a $950 destination charge), and the 911 Turbo S costs $182,050.