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2021 Porsche 992 Turbo S review

By Alex Affat, 04 Feb 2021 Reviews

2021 Porsche 992 Turbo S review

The numbers are out of this world but there’s real depth here too

What is the Porsche 992 Turbo S?

It's a downright scary thought: that you can be at a standstill in a Porsche 992 Turbo S, and in little more than 8 seconds be travelling at 200km/h.

But then again, otherworldly performance has always been at the heart of the 911 Turbo’s appeal, ever since the original 930 of 1976.

Amidst the 991.2’s almost range-wide switch to turbocharged forced induction, there was a fear that the Turbo badge would lose its edge and its distinction.

By all accounts, the previous-gen 911 Turbo S laid those fears to rest, and the new 992 Turbo S moves the goalposts along considerably, if not exactly rewriting the rulebook.

Price and value

Costing $473,900, the Porsche 992 Turbo S’ pricetag is equally as stratospheric as its performance figures.

In true 911 fashion, it’s a case of evolution not revolution. There’s more power, more aero, more tech, and more... well, everything.

Including the price which has increased by $17,700 from the preceding 991.2 generation.

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At a glance you should certainly notice more mass; this is the widest 911 ever produced, with huge sculpted hips housing a further 45mm of track up front and a further 20mm out back. Beneath that sit a set of staggered 20/21” wheels shod in grippy 255-section and 315-section Goodyear Eagle F1 low-profile tyres.
Faster rear-wheel steering gives the sizeable 992 welcome levels of agility, and standard 420mm ten-piston carbon-ceramic brakes (390mm four-piston rear) make light work of pulling up all 1640kg of Stuttgart’s finest.

The front and rear end house the various elements that make up Porsche’s Active Aerodynamic (PAA) package: aero flaps and adaptive spoiler up front, and the active rear wing, all of which add up to a 15 per cent increase in downforce at maximum attack settings.

LED matrix headlights frame the front end while that new full-width light bar at the rear makes for one hell of a light signature at night.

For all its wizardry, the Turbo S package comes together brilliantly. In the styling alone, it’s a properly pretty car, far more so than the outgoing and busy 991.2 Turbo.

And the same level of nuanced evolution rings true throughout the rest of the package. The 992’s basic 3.0-litre engine gains bigger turbos, as well as bigger cylinder bores (by 11mm), yielding an enlarged 3.8lt displacement. A redesigned charge air system now features a larger intercooler and twice as many air intakes, while a new exhaust system, electric wastegate and injectors combine for a whopping 478kW and 800Nm of torque. That’s 51kW and 50Nm on top of its predecessor. Behind the new engine sits the Turbo’s signature continuously variable four-wheel-drive system and the latest iteration of Porsche’s eight-speed PDK ‘box.

The 992's interior is a vastly improved space and, while it doesn't appear radically different from the 991.2, does do a good job at dating the old one with better ergonomics and a far tidier layout of buttons and switchgear on the centre console.

Certain advanced driver assists are relegated to costly options (such as adaptive cruise control), while other features - like lane keep assist or lane departure warnings - are unavailable all together (something you might expect in a car nearing $500,000).

Other than certain packaging quirks however, it’s a hard car to fault, and a hard car to match. Short of Porsche’s impending GT3, and unavoidable future RS-branded variants, this is the fastest and most complete 911 of the pack.

How does the Porsche 992 Turbo S drive?

As with any 911 Turbo, one expects the performance to be out of this world. And it is. Our independent testing bested Porsche’s 0-100km/h factory claim and pegged the Turbo S clocking triple digits in a ballistic 2.6 seconds. 0-200km/h happens a full second quicker than in the old 991.2 iteration, a car you’d never position as being a bit lazy off the mark.

And while its straight-line performance is undoubtedly its main party trick, that is by no means its only dimension.

On a tight country mountain road, the Turbo S benefits from its simply massive footprint and, with physically more rubber on the road, displays an inherent confidence and composure even amidst off camber bumps and juts in the road.

Primary ride is firm, although perfectly liveable while the secondary ride irons out an unsealed road surface far better than anything this fast should.

Sport and Sport+ modes have a tangible effect on the car’s demeanour: shift points, throttle response, damping and, of course, exhaust note all sharpen with a mere twist of the steering wheel-mounted rotary dial.

Its immense mechanical grip encourages you to get on the power earlier and earlier out of corners as you rapidly learn the car’s mindbending ability. There’s an extremely high ceiling to the Turbo S and extracting ten-tenths from its abilities is likely beyond most drivers and certainly beyond the rules of our roads.

Such is the Turbo S’ deeply impressive breadth of talent: brain-busting performance aside, you’d be perfectly happy using one as a grand tourer or, in latter-day Turbo tradition, a daily driver.

Verdict

While the Turbo S promises (and delivers) more everything, this is painfully apparent in one area: its price. At a whopping $473,900, the current flagship 911 battles the law of diminishing returns.

Does an extra 140-odd kW and a second off your 0-100km/h warrant more than a $200,000 premium over the already capable 992 Carrera S?

All we know is that if that’s your predicament, it’s a nice problem to have.  And if you do end up in a 992 Turbo S, you sure as hell won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 4.0/5

Like: Breadth of talent; otherworldly performance;
Dislike: High premium; size; many advanced assists either options or unavailable

Engine:3745cc flat-6cyl, DOHC, 24v, TT
Power:478kW @ 7000rpm
Torque:800Nm @ 2500-4000rpm
0-100km/h:
 2.6sec (tested)
Weight: 1640kg
Price:$473,900

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