2017 Porsche 911 Turbo

What can you say about a car that hits 60 mph in 2.6 seconds? That it’s quick, and that quick is beautiful. From the high perch of a crossover, the Turbo might look like a thousand other 911s, but that’s because the reactor core behind the rear wheels can’t be seen from above. We’d call that inner beauty, and isn’t that what’s important?
At the heart of this love affair is a twin-turbocharged flat-six that ingests enough gas and air to provide 540 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. That’s a meaningful 20 more horses than last year’s Turbo and a remarkable 142 horsepower per liter, improvements that come from increases in boost and fuel-injection pressures. If that’s not enough, Porsche offers the 580-hp Turbo S, though it’s no quicker to 60 mph and costs $28,900 more.
Boost from the variable-vane turbos builds so fast that the Turbo has the kind of instant thrust we now associate with Tesla’s powerful electric motors. While some of the shove is due to the clever turbos, some of it is due to the Dynamic Boost function that keeps the throttle open, the turbos spinning, and the engine stuffed with boost even when the driver lifts off the throttle. The system cuts fuel, but the turbos continue to move air into the engine in preparation for when the driver gets back on the gas. It works like magic, because this Turbo never leaves you waiting.
So what if all 911 models have turbochargers now? The Turbo designation might sound as if it’s on its way to becoming an ultra-luxury trim level in the Mercedes-Maybach vein, but we can assure you that it’s not. The 911 Turbo has always flirted with decadence by offering everything wrapped in hides, and this Turbo’s bovine- and Alcantara-draped interior continues in that tradition. But the new Turbo convincingly posits that sports-car decadence should really be measured by performance. In that regard, the Turbo’s quarter-mile time of 10.7 seconds at 129 mph is right up there on the excess meter with the optional $1200 leather-covered air-vent slats.
On a track, the Turbo claws its Pirelli P Zeros into the tarmac. Effusive feedback comes through the steering, and the car remains flat even without the optional active anti-roll bars. Rounding the skidpad, the Turbo posts 1.02 g’s relatively easily. The wide P Zeros in back and the standard four-wheel steering conspire to hide the fact that 62 percent of the Turbo’s 3656 pounds sits over the rear wheels.
Some of the credit for the Turbo’s high-speed stability does have to go to the wing, vents, and active aerodynamics that distinguish it from lesser 911s. But even with its many special design elements, the Turbo at the as-tested price of $167,225 lacks the ­colorful exterior of the mid-engined peacocks with which it competes. Those competitors include hustlers such as the Audi R8 and McLaren’s 570S and 570GT. Those cars get noticed; a 911 just gets you places quickly. But as a car you might drive daily, its relative anonymity is an advantage.
Also consider: Exotics fall out of fashion as soon as the next model drops. Judging by the obscene prices early 911 Turbos sell for today, a Turbo’s inner beauty never fades.

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