- Max Speed
If you find yourself with the sudden urge to blow a-hundred-and-something grand on a four-wheel-drive, turbocharged 911, should you go for the Turbo S we tested last month, or this Turbo?
There's no denying that, against the £141,000 Turbo S, this £118,000 Turbo looks - by Porsche standards - like a proper bargain: shearing the Turbo of its S badge cuts power by just 39bhp and torque by 30lb ft. You'd notice that sort of margin between two hot hatches, but such is the ferocity of both blown 911s' acceleration that, out in the real world, the not-S feels exactly no slower. Both hurl themselves at the scenery as if fired from a trebuchet, both do strange, terrible things to your eyes under full-bore launch control. Both will outpace just about everything on the planet. Why pay the extra 23 grand?
Aha. Because. Dive into the options list, and the Turbo turns out not to be quite the bargain it first appears. The S includes Porsche's carbon composite brakes (£6,248), PDCC active anti-roll bars (£2,185) and Sport Chrono package (£3,092) as standard: option those three on your standard Turbo and they'd set you back over £11,000. And there's another £6,000 of S extras - wheels, LED lights, carbon trim and more - meaning that 39bhp downgrade saves you barely five grand.
Question is, how worthy are the not-options on the Turbo S? We'd take the posh brakes, for sure. With most cars, unless you're planning on attempting a 'Ring record run, ceramic stoppers seem an unnecessary extravagance. Not here. So quickly does the Turbo S hurl you into terrifying dimensions of speed that you want all the help you can get slowing down.
And what of the active anti-roll bars and engine mounts? On good German roads, we struggled to notice the effects of either, but experience in less ballistic 911s, with and without all the active cleverness, on UK roads shows the tech does a good job of keeping the Porsche composed and calm. And frankly with this amount of fastness on tap, you want all the composure you can get.
Most potential buyers, we suspect, will not worry about such rational optioning, and will go for the Turbo S because it boasts the biggest numbers and an extra letter on its arse. Truth is, whichever one you choose, you'll be the proud owner of one of the fastest real-world cars of all time. And a very light wallet.
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