Porsche has rolled out the new-generation 911 Turbo S, the quickest and most powerful 911 Turbo model ever, which is saying a lot. The 911 Turbo S offers a mouthwatering 640 horsepower, advanced driving dynamics in terms of aerodynamics and the suspension, and even everyday usability (as far as a sport car goes). And for those who like the wind in their hair, the Porsche 911 Turbo S is also available as a cabriolet.
An Instant Classic
Porsche has been making 911s since before most of our readers were alive. Given the changes in the automotive world in the past half-century, that in itself is a minor miracle and testament to just how far you can push a good initial design. Besides getting bigger and heavier over time (hey, middle age has its way with all of us) the 911 is largely the same.
Oh sure, they took air-cooling about as far as thermally possible and started water cooling their flat sixes a while back, but if you were to put a gearhead from 1965 in a time machine and bring them to today, show them this, the new Porsche 911 Turbo S, they’d spot it right away.
Porsche 911 Turbo S: Engine & Transmission
As with all 911s, it’s always about the engine and putting power to the ground. Turbo 911s even more so. For this version, the engine bay is occupied by a new 3.8-liter six-cylinder boxer plant with two turbochargers, electrically-adjustable waste gate flaps, and piezo injectors. Gone are the 930s of yore and their glacially slow turbo spool up. Turbo lag is a thing of the past, or so says Porsche.
The engine in the new 911 Turbo S puts out a healthy 60 horsepower more than its predecessor. Maximum torque, likewise, gets a bump and now stands at 590 lb-ft., an increase of 37 lb-ft. This plant is paired with a Turbo-specific eight-speed Porsche PDK (Doppelkupplung) dual-clutch transmission. A smart idea, given the bump in power and especially torque.
The bottom line is zero to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds. It plummets to an absurdly slow 2.7 seconds for the cabriolet. Wait, did I say slow? I meant absurdly fast! The mid-2s, coupe or convert, is wickedly fast. And speaking of improvements, that’s a 0.2 second reduction compared to previous 911 Turbos. The standing quarter mile is dispatched in 10.5 seconds and the top speed for both Turbo S models is 205 mph.
Wider Footprint & Big Tires
The new 911 Turbo S is wider than its predecessor by approximately 1.8 inches in front (72.44 inches in total). The overall width is 74.8 inches at the rear axle, with the track now 1.65 inches wider at the front and 0.39 inches wider at the rear. Along with the modified track widths are new tires and aerodynamic treatments.
The aero package now includes adaptive cooling flaps at the front, and the larger rear wing for more downforce. Another first this time around are staggered center-lock wheels: 20-inch wheels at the nose, wrapped in model-specific 255/35 tires, and 21-inch rear wheels with Flintstone-esque 315/30 tires. That’s 10 millimeters more tire width versus the 2020 911 Carrera S models and previous 911 Turbo.
Braking, Exhaust & Suspension
Options are few and far between – actually – there’s only two. There’s Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that lowers ride height by 0.39 inches (a 10 mm drop) over the standard suspension. There’s also a Sport Exhaust System with adjustable flaps and distinct oval tailpipes.
As on the previous 911 Turbo S, there’s Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control, rear-axle steering, and Porsche’s Ceramic Composite Brakes with 10-piston front calipers standard. Also, the front brake rotors have gone up from 410 mm on the previous model to 420 mm.
Porsche 911 Turbo S: Pricing & Availability
The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe starts at $203,500, while the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet will begin at $216,300. Tack on another $1,350 for destination. Porsche says both will be available to order soon and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2020.
It’s a common misconception that if a 911 is your dream car it’s impossible to own one because of cost. Author Robert McGowan has a great book about how to do this. McGowan is an active and respected member of both national and international Porsche clubs and forums, and is currently on his third Porsche. His book explains how you can own your dream 911 even on a budget.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.