First Drive: 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

Oh, and an apt descriptor for the shift paddles on the optional three-spoke steering wheel would be "Thank God." The standard way to manually shift the PDK without taking your hands off the wheel are ill-placed buttons on the spoke that are wired counterintuitively. Porsche was very quick to point out that journalists have complained about the buttons more than owners, but the fact is, the buttons are backwards from every other manufacturer. (Convention at this point is to pull back using your index finger for an upshift, push using your thumb for a downshift. It's the same logic that's our preferred layout for center-console-mounted shift controls, which Porsche also does the "wrong" way.)

Anyway, the paddles are mounted on the steering wheel rather than the column itself, probably just to annoy us. But they're at least arranged correctly (right paddle us upshift; left is downshift).

The rest of the Turbo, just like other 911s, is a known quantity. It receives a similar facelift to the one given to the rest of the 911 lineup last year, though with turbo-specific air vents and LED daytime running lights. As usual, the interior is stunningly well put together and the chassis - whether you're in the cabriolet or coupe version - is as solid as they come. It's also as expensive as it comes, with the hardtop Turbo starting at $133,750 and the convertible at $144,750. And as always with Porsche, options don't come cheap.

The 911 is a unique combination of driver involvement, luxury, speed, handling, and impeccable build quality. The Turbo adds "muscle car" to that list, combining the GT cars' outrageous straight line speed with daily-driver huge mid-range torque, and with only the slightest of sacrifices to driver involvement. And it's now socially acceptable with two pedals in the driver's footwell.

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The Porsche 911 Turbo is perfection.posted 11.19.05 - "Karleton Helfer is self motivated, goal driven and consistently recognized for exceeding objectives."

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