So, the 911 evolution continued and true to form, Porsche wasn’t going to drop the ball with the 991 carrying on the good work. Customer demand and increased safety requirements dictated a 911 that was bigger than the 997, however still (just) compact enough for our small island and of course, with all the day-to-day practicality that makes a modern 911 such an effective touring machine too.
Initially the 991 was launched in standard Carrera and Carrera S form, with 3.4 litre, 350bhp and 3.8-litre, 400bhp engines respectively. Four-wheel drive versions followed, as did the Cabrio and Targa, plus of course the halo Turbo and GT models. With 560BHP, the ultimate 991 Turbo S incredibly had 300BHP more than the original 260BHP 911 Turbo launched four decades earlier.
And of course it’s the Turbo S that we’re interested in here, specifically in Cabriolet form too, which is to say wind in your hair, all the way up to a whisker under 200mph flat out.
We fully admit to being fans of classic 911s at Paul Stephens, but that doesn’t mean to say that the modern stuff doesn’t excite us. On the contrary, who wouldn’t be excited by a 991 Turbo S, which barring the very latest 992, is pretty much the pinnacle of 911 evolution.
Supplied new in April 2014, by Porsche Centre Wilmslow, in S form, this is the ultimate spec Turbo, with an extra 40bhp over the standard car, plus an overboost facility that – in full Launch Control mode, will see it hit 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 198mph.
Big numbers indeed, but it’s the way the Turbo delivers that truly impresses – or simply terrifies. Specifically it’s the mind-bending torque – 700Nm @ 2100-4250rpm (750Nm @ 2200-4000rpm with Sports Plus overboost mode), that you really feel, before the revs take over to deliver the full 560bhp @ 6500-6750rpm. To experience a standing start in this, is something akin to a jet-fighter taking off. The G-force is absolutely real. As is its crushing cross country performance. Whether it’s a Ferrari, McLaren or Lambo they will struggle to shake off a 911 Turbo and that’s before it rains…
And yet, with its PDK transmission, 4 seats and typical 911 practicality, it fully lives up the everyday supercar reputation. Hell, it will even return sensible fuel economy.
But to our stunning black example. With just 37,000-miles covered, it’s in prime condition. The service book is fully stamped with a mix of Porsche Centre and Porsche specialists. Maintenance, as you would expect, has been routine.
Being a Turbo S, it comes pretty much fully loaded, which on top of the extra power, includes active aero, Porsche ceramic brakes and massive 6-pot callipers, plus dynamic engine mounts, teamed with an active anti-roll system. Oh, and there’s the four-wheel steering too.
Interior wise it’s all black to compliment the exterior, which we think is a good thing. Fully electric/heated/adaptive sports seats are a great place to sit. Leather extends throughout and contrasts nicely with the carbon pack, whilst sports chrono is great for performance timing. Radar cruise is standard, as is just about every other creature comfort, including full Bose.
Utterly devastating, or utterly benign? Both really, it’s the devastating performance that usually makes the headlines, with sooo much power and torque, that you could be forgiven for thinking that the gearing is too short as it rips through the revs. Yet it’s the ease that this performance is deployed through its capable 4wd chassis, that ultimately impresses most. The four-wheel steer, you can really feel, making it incredibly agile, whilst in Sports Plus mode with everything at max, the Turbo S feels more mid, rather than rear engined.
And once you’ve got all that out of your system, just activate the electric roof, relax and enjoy the ride. The 911 Turbo, as ever, just does it all.
Porsche have made many reiterations of the immortal 911, from standard RWD through to track focused RS/GT derivatives, however, no matter which generation, the Turbo is still the ultimate all round 911. End of.