A week with a Porsche 911 Turbo S

Posted in DriveL by Richard Porter on Friday, May 30th, 2014

AWW911TurboS_1Day one: The 911 arrives. It is a deep but quite attention seeking shade of red with an even more strident interior. The seats, the dashtop, the steering wheel, almost everything beyond the instruments and the buttons is an alarming shade of bright red. It gives you some sense of what it would be like to become trapped in a whale’s vagina.

Day two: I have some errands to run. You’d think this would be somewhat beneath a 553 horsepower supercar. Yet the 911 is extraordinarily good at trundling around in a mundane manner. The ride is very acceptable, the auto mode on the double-clutch gearbox is subtle and smooth, the boot at the front has a surprising amount of room for things and made a small child wide eyed in amazement as he watched me apparently lowering some groceries into my own engine.

Day three: I have nowhere to go and a new baby at home so the Turbo doesn’t get driven today. Staring at it from my living room window, I think it’s a handsome thing, even in haemorrhage red. The centre lock wheels, standard on the Turbo S, are rather cool too. Although I imagine they might confuse your local Kwik Fit. As most things do.

Day four: Right, a proper drive. Starting with a quick trip up the motorway. Clog it off a slip road and the engine gets louder but not massively so, sort of like hearing someone shouting in the next room. It’s not an especially tuneful noise, truth be told. Off the motorway, onto some nice A- and B-roads, into Sport Plus mode and holy mother of sweet baby Jesus H. Corbett. This car is fast. Not a bit fast, not quite fast. There’s really no other way of saying this. It’s fucking fast. At one point, zooming down some lovely bit of windy road I realise I’ve been intermittently checking the rear view mirror. But what’s going to be there, short of a Ferrari 458 or a Eurofighter? I’d love to describe the fine nuances of how the 911 Turbo S makes its way down a country road. I’d love to tell you how you can feel the stability management, the rear wheel steering, the anti-roll system, the active engine mounts and the torque vectoring working together to make this car so devastatingly fast but frankly for most of the time you’re just concentrating on making sure you turn for the next corner which just two nanoseconds ago seemed a good eight miles away. What I can tell you is that Sport Plus makes the ride a bit bumpy and the turn-in so aggressive as to be almost alarming but you can switch it to mere Sport mode and everything is well. Apart from your brain, which is scrambled.

AWW911TurboS_2Day five: There’s one bit of tech in this car that’s a quite odd. At a steady speed where a higher gear would cause the engine to bog down, the ECU engages two gears at once and slips both clutches to make a sort of ‘virtual’ gear in between. Porsche says they’re wet clutches and this isn’t bad for them. But anything involving the words ‘slipping clutches’ still sounds bad. Once you know about this you start trying to detect it happening so you can disapprove of it.

Day six: I catch my neighbour Sam outside my house having a poke round the 911. Sam works in music publishing. ‘This would be my platinum album car,’ he mutters wistfully. I tell him it’s 140 grand. ‘Oh,’ he says gloomily. ‘A bit more than platinum then.’ It is quite pricey. But it also cruises as comfortably as many luxury cars yet attacks sweeping roads with a speed and fury you’d struggle to find anywhere else. On that basis, you wouldn’t feel they were ripping you off.

Day seven: I’m off to register my son’s birth. The area where I’m doing this is a twat to park in and has spitefully vicious kerbs. The thought of kerbing a centre lock alloy is too much to bear and I use my car. I would like to take the baby for a run in the Porsche. This press demonstrator even has the optional ISOFIX mountings on the passenger seat which would make this possible. But you need strong neck muscles to enjoy what the Turbo does best and babies famously don’t. So, erm, no.

AWW911TurboS_3Goodbye: Bye bye ruddy coloured super Porsche. Earlier this week I put a picture of it on Twitter and got into a bit of an argument with a man who basically said it was just silly and flashy and pointless. I completely disagreed. What Porsche has summoned up is the same sort of pioneering spirit that put a man on the moon and finds cures for diseases. They’ve conjured up all the mechanical and electronic technology they possibly could to push the boundaries of what a normal, useable road car can do. And it’s incredible. In Britain, or anywhere with speed limits and traffic and a legal system, I cannot see how you’d possibly want or need anything faster. Unfortunately, it’s so good and so fast, I don’t think I could have one. Knowing what it can do, I just wouldn’t trust myself with it. When they finally caught me, I’d be going fast enough to become a news item. But that doesn’t stop the Turbo S being a truly remarkable piece of engineering.

The car talked about here is a Porsche 911 Turbo S. It has a 3.8-litre twin turbo engine producing 553bhp. According to Porsche, this enables it to go from 0-62 in 3.1 seconds and on to 197mph. It costs £142,120.

25 Responses to “A week with a Porsche 911 Turbo S”

  1. Gavin Sullivan says:

    That’s not red; that’s pink… Doesn’t matter how good it is or how masculine you are that colour should only be available on a colour chart “Pour les femmes” or the German equivalent (fur die Fraulein?)

  2. Max Henry says:

    Having been to Germany, I’m not sure frauleins “do” pink…

  3. Jennifer Warts says:

    Unfortunately, people are already apt to think you a “bit of a poncey twat” driving one of these, lord help you in a Salmon Pink model.
    Paint it back and i’ll have two.

  4. Jennifer Warts says:

    Paint it BLACK is what I meant.

    What the hell do Porsche call this colour anyhoo?

  5. Sniff Petrol says:

    Since you ask, Porsche call it “Amaranth Red”. The interior is “Carrera Red”. The paint isn’t as pink in really life as it appears in pics but it’s still pretty strident. They also do a brown. I’d have that.

  6. Ash says:

    Odd that G-TR owners have not been on to comment on the price differential…

  7. KKen says:

    I’d imagine it would get somewhat tiring being hauled out of the driver’s window by passing paramedics who would naturally assume that you had been in some sort of horrific accident involving your carotid artery.

  8. Jennifer Warts says:

    Or been accidentally ingested by a large salmon.

  9. Cumulo Nimbus says:

    Pioneering spirit, my arse! Since you don’t actually need anything that travels faster than 70 mph in the UK, what’s the bloody point of producing a car that is capable of speeds that, if exploited, are apt to either result in a lengthy driving ban or, at worst, a shunt of biblical proportions. Personally, I couldn’t care less about whatever misfortune may befall anyone who drives like a total and utter twat on the public roads, but I do give a damn about any poor sod who is the innocent victim of said twat’s irresponsibility. And so, Mr. Porter, should you.

  10. Dany Bahaha-hahanrahan says:

    Is the guy above a genuine reader of this website? If not, what is he doing commenting in such a high-handed manner here?

    And furthermore, what sort of inept argument is this? Given that EVERY car on sale today can comfortably exceed 70mph, this is stupidity of the sort of order that sees someone driving along at 95mph in an A3 TDI in the pissing rain, up the chuff of everyone who dares to go in the Audi lane of the M1 purely because ‘it’s a quattro and it must be safe’. Presumably, going by top speed ratings, the only car Cumulo Nimbus would consider buying is a 2CV. If so, why don’t you go and comment on a Nigel Farage story on the Guardian website instead, and save us all the bother of reading your whining nonsense?

    BTW, Sniff – been in this particular car myself, the interior certainly takes your breath away the first time you see it!

  11. Dave says:

    @ Jennifer Warts – did they call you genital warts at school?

  12. Jennifer Warts says:

    Dave, if you summon up every last morsel of intelligence at your disposal and think really hard about the question you just posted, you may hear the distant sound of a penny dropping.
    You don’t drive an Audi do you?

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