Porsche 911 Turbo

One of motoring’s most famous names delivers searing pace and thrilling handling

Porsche 911 – just saying the words conjures up images of epic performance. Ever since the first turbocharged 911 in 1974, these brutes have been famed for their ferocious acceleration – and today’s model is no exception.

Early examples matched this pace with fearsome handling, but as power increased through the years, so did the work to improve this. As a result, the latest 911 Turbo is established as one of the most usable yet outrageously fast supercars around. With a £99,679 tag, it just sneaks in below our self-imposed price ceiling, too.

On the road, there’s no mistaking it for a lesser 911. To feed the 480bhp 3.6-litre engine with air, the swollen arches feature gaping vents, while a bi-plane rear wing ensures stability at the near-200mph top speed. However, for the purposes of this test, it’s getting off the line as quickly as possible that counts. On every occasion that we’ve road tested the various incarnations of 911 Turbo, it has – without fail – been one of the quickest cars we have ever driven.

With the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the latest version has a claimed 0-62mph time of just 3.9 seconds. But how would it cope with a damp winter’s day?

The answer is with brutal efficiency. Helped by its four-wheel-drive system, we recorded a 0-60mph time of only 3.7 seconds. Launching a 911 off the line to get this sort of time takes a bit of practice. However, the fact that power heads to all four wheels – combined with the weight distribution benefits of the rear-engine layout – ensures that traction is superb.

The power delivery and throttle response are such that this Porsche never feels anything other than staggeringly fast. Just below 3,000rpm, there’s a massive punch as the turbos kick in, and with the overboost system that’s part of the £1,039 Sport Chrono pack, peak torque is a huge 680Nm.

Whatever gear you are in, and whatever speed you are doing, the wave of forward thrust as you apply the throttle is amazing – and addictive. On our airfield test track, the Turbo reached 100mph in 8.6 seconds before running out of runway at 194mph.

However, it’s the response in gear that is arguably most impressive – 30-70mph takes just 3.2 seconds, while even in sixth, 50-70mph is completed in 4.6 seconds. Only the lightweight Ariel was quicker in gear.

But with its powerful brakes, faultless quality and incredible road handling, this Porsche is much more than just a dragster – it’s a highly accomplished performance car. Nevertheless, it’s the thump-in-the-back acceleration that makes the 911 Turbo the enduring legend it has become.

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