Facing increasingly tough competition, the Porsche Turbo gets substantial improvements under its skin.
More than one year after the regular Porsche 911 migrated to Phase II of the 997 architecture, the Turbo follows. The most important change: A new twin-turbocharged, direct-injection flat-six engine with higher compression (9.8:1, from 9.0:1), a displacement of 3.8 liters (up from 3.6) and 20 more horsepowerâ€”the new 911 Turbo makes 500 hp at 6000 rpm, versus the previous model’s 480 hp. Maximum torque for the new car is 479 lb-ft at 1950 rpm (516 lb-ft at 2100 rpm with the optional Sport Chrono package), while its predecessor delivered 460 lb-ft (505 lb-ft with Sport Chrono).
Porsche says the revisions improve the Turbo’s already stellar performance, with the company claiming the run to 60 mph now takes 3.2 seconds; a 0â€“60 sprint of 3.4 seconds is the best weâ€™ve recorded for the previous model. Top speed rises 1 mph to an ungoverned 194. However, a more noticeable improvement is the Turbo’s efficiency. Carbon-dioxide emissions are said to be 18 percent less than before, and while U.S. EPA ratings are not yet available, combined fuel economy in the European cycle has increased from the equivalent of 18 mpg to 20 mpg for 2010.
Part of the improved fuel economy is due to the optional ZF-supplied, seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch automated manual transmission. It replaces the former Aisin five-speed automatic, and its seventh gear is extremely tall for more-efficient cruising. As with non-turbo 911s, the gearbox also is configured to upshift more quickly when you push the “Sport” or “Sport Plus” button, which also are part of the Sport Chrono package. More important, though, is that the counterintuitive and awkwardly positioned steering-wheel buttons that operate the manual-shift functionâ€”they require you to push away to upshift and pull towards you to downshift, and are easy to hit accidentallyâ€”can now be replaced with proper, wheel-mounted paddle shifters; pull the left one to downshift, the right one to upshift. Bravo to Porsche for offering the option and we hope the new steering wheel becomes available across the companyâ€™s entire lineup.
Of course, you can also opt for the standard six-speed manual, which weâ€™ve found in the previous model to be smooth, precise, and perfectly suited to the Turbo. All-wheel drive remains standard and a new, available torque-vectoring system is likely to push the Turbo’s agility and handling limits to new heights. Also featured are the dynamic engine mounts introduced on the 2010 911 GT3, revised traction- and stability-control systems, optional carbon-ceramic brakes, and available multi-spoke, 19-inch RS Spyder wheels with center-locking hubs.
There are surprisingly few changes to the exterior. The front fascia is unchanged, except for slightly accentuated horizontal strips on the huge front air intakes. The xenon headlights are carried over from the regular 911. Most noticeable are the current 911’s LED taillights. The rear bumper is slightly altered for bigger exhaust openings, but you really have to see the old and new car next to each other to tell the difference.
At $132,800 for the coupe and $143,800 for the cabriolet, the 2010 Turbo is priced about $2000 more than the 2009 model. And it’s facing strong competition, namely from the Nissan GT-R, and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Audi R8 5.2 V-10. Only the rear-wheel-drive GT2 has yet to be fitted with the 997â€™s latest advancements. However, Porsche already is busily working on the next generation of the 911, internally called 991.
The new Turbo will officially debut in September at the Frankfurt auto show, with European sales starting November 21 and U.S. deliveries commencing in January 2010. We hope to drive the new car shortly after its unveiling, at which time we will of course bring you our initial thoughts of it on the road.
Stuttgart. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is proudly presenting a new top model at the pinnacle of its broad range of production sports cars: The new Porsche 911 Turbo combines far-reaching innovations in technology with fine tuning and supreme refinement in design. All key features of this high-performance sports car have been significantly improved, the new 911 Turbo combining a substantial improvement in fuel efficiency and lower weight with more power, even higher speed, and enhanced driving dynamics.
Particularly in terms of fuel economy and dynamic performance, the new top-of-the-range 911 from Zuffenhausen now stands out even more than before from its competitors in the market. Porsche’s new top model will be presented to the public for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show from 17 – 27 September.
The heart and highlight of the seventh generation of the Turbo is the new power unit displacing 3.8 litres and delivering maximum output of 500 bhp (368 kW). The first entirely new engine in the 35-year-history of the Turbo comes with features such as Direct Fuel Injection and Porsche’s exclusive turbocharger with variable turbine geometry on a gasoline power unit. And as an option, the new six-cylinder may be combined for the first time with Porsche’s seven-speed PDK Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (Double-Clutch Gearbox).
Models equipped with PDK are also available with a new, optional three-spoke steering wheel with gearshift paddles as an alternative to the standard steering wheel with its proven shift buttons. Fitted firmly on the steering wheel, the right paddle is for shifting up, the left paddle for shifting down. In conjunction with the optional Sport Chrono Package Turbo both the gearshift paddle and the PDK steering wheel with its shift buttons come with integrated displays for Launch Control and the Sport/Sport Plus mode, which are however designed differently on the two steering wheels.
The combination of PDK, Direct Fuel Injection and turbocharging ensures an unprecedented standard of efficiency, agility, responsiveness and performance, the Porsche 911 Turbo reducing CO2 emissions versus its predecessor by almost 18 per cent and therefore ranking unique in its segment also in this respect. Depending on the configuration of the car, the new top model requires just 11.4 – 11.7 ltr/100 km (equal to 24.8 – 24.1 mpg imp) under the EU5 standard. And unlike most other cars in its segment, the new Turbo remains even further below the crucial level of fuel consumption for gas guzzler tax in the USA, the special tax imposed on cars with substantial fuel consumption. All this despite acceleration to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. Top speed, in turn, is 312 km/h or 194 mph.
The Turbo driver of the future will also enjoy a further improvement in driving dynamics, detailed enhancement of PTM fully controlled all-wheel drive and PSM Porsche Stability Management being further supported by new PTV Porsche Torque Vectoring available as an option. This makes the car even more agile and precise in its steering for an even higher level of driving pleasure.
Sales of the new Porsche 911 Turbo in both CoupÃ© and Cabriolet guise are starting in Germany on 21 November 2009. The Euro base price without value-added tax and national specifications is Euro 122,400.- for the CoupÃ© and Euro 131,800.- for the Cabriolet. The gross retail price in Germany, therefore, is Euro 145,871.- for the CoupÃ© and Euro 157,057.- for the Cabriolet, in each case including 19% value-added tax and national specifications.