The 60/60 Porsche Turbo
Porsche’s 911 range-topper, the Turbo gets a 60/60 boost with the 997 model. Horsepower rises by 60bhp to 480 (353kW), and torque goes up by 60 Newton metres, to 620Nm. The 3.6-litre six-cylinder boxer engine now has a specific output of 133bhp (98kW) a litre of displacement – an all-time high for the motor. The peak torque is now available in a wider band, from 1950 to 5000rpm, compared with the previous model’s maximum torque, which was available between the 2700 to 4600rpm range.
For the first time in a petrol engine, the turbocharging system uses variable turbine geometry technology to increase engine performance across the rev range. The results are stunning acceleration. A six-speed manual gearbox 911 Turbo will sprint to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and hit 200km/h in 12.8 seconds. It takes 3.8 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120km/h in fifth gear. Porsche engineers say that as well as improving acceleration, they’ve cut average fuel consumption to 22.1mpg.
The 911 Turbo with Tiptronic S automatic transmission does even better, dashing to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and 200km/h in 12.2. In fourth gear it accelerates from 80-120km/h in 3.5 seconds. Its fuel consumption is lower than its predecessor’s, at 20.8mpg. Both transmission variants have a top speed of 310km/h.
The flexibility of the 911 Turbo can be further enhanced with the optional Sport Chrono Package Turbo. By engaging the Sport button adjacent to the gear lever, this feature enables the driver to activate a short-term turbocharger overboost function at full throttle. It increases boost pressure in the mid-speed range by 0.2 bar for up to 10 seconds; torque rises by 60Nm to 680Nm. In this configuration, the manual transmission 911 Turbo will accelerate from 80 to 120km/h in 3.5 seconds. It’s the first time that the 911 Turbo has offered an overboost, and it has been made possible by the variable turbine geometry technology.
At the heart of the innovation are adjustable guide blades which direct the engine exhaust flow variably and precisely on to the turbine wheel of the exhaust turbocharger. The principle of variable turbine geometry unites the advantages of small and large exhaust turbochargers and leads to a discernable improvement in flexibility and acceleration, particularly at low speeds.
The 911 Turbo has four-wheel drive which now has an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch. Porsche Traction Management (PTM) ensures variable power distribution to the two driven axles. Depending on the driving conditions, the all-wheel electronics system constantly determines the optimal torque distribution to ensure the best possible traction. That gives a high level of agility on narrow country roads, good traction in rain and snow, and optimal active safety at all speeds.
The brake system includes monobloc fixed-calliper disc brakes with six pistons at the front and four at the rear. The internally entilated and cross-drilled steel brake discs at front and rear are 20mm bigger at 350mm. Ceramic brake discs are an option. They’re 17kg lighter than the standard brake system, and offer high fading stability because of their consistent friction values and absolute corrosion resistance. The ceramic front brakes are 380mm, the rears 350mm. The front end styling includes tautly drawn cooling air inlets, xenon headlights, deep-set foglights, LED indicators set into the lateral air inlets.
The Turbo’s rear bodyworks is 22mm wider than its predecessor’s. The rear wing now slopes downward slightly at the sides into the contours of the rear wheelarches. The lateral air inlets behind the doors have also been re-drawn and, together with the new air ducts, afford a more efficient supply of cooling air to the intercoolers.
The 911 Turbo will sell for around $320,000.