Right now, the entire automotive world is buzzing over the 991-generation Porsche 911 Turbo. Comparing and contrasting with cars such as the 997 Turbo and the controversial 991 GT3 that would leave Porsche engineers in tears if they looked at any internet forums. Almost forty years ago, Porsche first unveiled the 911 Turbo, also called by Porsche aficionados as the 930. At the time, the car featured 300 horsepower, quite a lot for 1978.
Now, though, 300 horsepower is not even enough for a Cayman S, a car which is known for being the go-to Porsche for people who couldn’t afford the 911. So expectedly, the new 991 Turbo has to live up to the reputation that previous turbocharged Porsches have, being scary powerful.
If I told you that the performance figures that Porsche advertised were the actual performance digits that lives within the car then I would have to deposit some change into the lie jar. Wondering what I mean? With the 997 Turbo S, Porsche said the car could do 0-60 in 3.2 seconds with the help of the potent 530 horsepowers coming from the flat-six turbo engine. That’s a good deal of performance, certainly enough to turn a relaxing cruise into a adrenaline-filled sprint.
As if that wasn’t enough, however, these figures were an immense understatement. In the real world — and in the proper hands, of course — the car could sprint from a standstill to sixty in 2.6 seconds thanks to the not-so-humble flat-six’s capability of producing up to 600 horsepower. Enough to make police officers call it quits? I think so.
That being said, what might the performance figures actually be with the 991 Turbo? Unless Porsche was sworn to tell the truth with the hands of the engineers and salesmen placed on a 911 owner’s manual, some basic arithmetic should help us find our answer.
Let’s go back to that 997 Turbo S. The car was claimed as having 530 horsepower but instead made about 600. Yeah, I know, information you’re already aware of. However, notice that that is about seventy horsepower more than the claimed figure. So, take the 560 horsepower that the 991 Turbo S is claimed as having and add either sixty or seventy horses. The number that should come out — or the ‘sum’ if you’re a math teacher — and the car could make 620 to 630 horsepower. Obviously the car has not yet seen a dynomometer, so this is still just a possibility. Still, enough power to turn the Paranormal Activity movie series into a light-hearted comedy.
Now while that is a lot of power, what can we expect of kinetic performance figures? The 997 Turbo S was, as aforementioned, claimed of being capable of going 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. In the real world, the car could do it in less than 3 seconds, in fact, 2.6 seconds. Again, back to the scratch paper. The 991 Turbo S has a claimed 0-60 of 3.1 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than the claimed time for the 997-generation. Keep in mind that the realistic time for the 997 Turbo S was six tenths of a second quicker to sixty than the claimed time.
Therefore, the 991 could possibly see a 0-60 time clocked in at either 2.6 or 2.5 seconds. To put it in perspective, that’s a few tenths of a second faster than the $397,500 Lamborghini Aventador and, I forgot to tell you, this car has a base price of less than $190,000. A bargain for that kind of performance? Possibly, but you can’t forget about that notorious Porsche options list.
As far as straight-line performance is concerned, both the Turbo and the Turbo S are claimed of having a top speed of 197 mph. However, do you really expect that a car with 600-plus horsepower to not be able to go over 200? Of course not, so expect for the 991 Turbo and Turbo S to have top speeds in excess of 200 mph. But don’t expect the straight-line performance to be the highlight of this car’s performance capabilities. It is a Porsche, mind you. And do you really think all of those Nordschleife spy videos of the Turbo running around the ‘ring in less than seven and a half minutes were for improving the car’s quarter-mile performance?
To be honest, I think this car may actually be cooler than the GT3. Sure, the two cars do share certain features such as all-wheel steering and a PDK only transmission — although there still is a future possibility for a manual on the GT3, so start your petitions now. And the all-wheel drive may cause some Porsche enthusiasts to turn into a modern-age Martin Luther and nail 95 theses of why the 991 Turbo should have rear-wheel drive onto the Porsche factory door in Stuttgart. Maybe it’s the pedigree that this car is being born into. It’ll be interesting to see what this car can do, especially if a full ‘ring lap shows us that the car can indeed lap the Nordschleife in less than seven and a half minutes. Hopefully whoever’s driving the lap will have brought a spare firesuit. Just in case, you know?