The base Porsche 911 is a very speedy machine, but its top level variant takes its performance to extreme levels.
Here are five things you need to know about the Porsche 911 Cabriolet Turbo S.
THIS IS THE FASTEST PORSCHE YOU CAN BUY
The 911 is Porsche’s halo sports car, and the 911 Turbo S crowns the range as the most potent model today. When the cheapest 911 is a turbocharged weapon capable of a 4.2 second dash to 100km/h and a 293km/h top speed, the “capital T” 911 Turbo S has to bring something special.
In this case, the new Turbo S has a whopping 478kW of power and 800Nm of torque, enough for the convertible to reach 100km/h in 2.8 seconds before meeting its 330km/h top speed. A lighter, track-focused 911 GT3 is just around the corner, but it won’t catch the Turbo in a drag race.
THE NUMBERS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE
Sophisticated all-wheel-drive traction, a snappy eight-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox and carefully honed launch control systems ensure the Turbo S launches like nothing else. It smacks your head against the seat, squeezes air from your chest and pulls scenery forward in genuinely shocking fashion. While our drive in the Cabriolet took place on the road, we had a chance to sample its coupe cousin on the far side of 300km/h at Sydney Airport in October, where Porsche proved the potential of its top model in unforgettable fashion.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The topless Turbo is a little heavier than the coupe which blunts performance a little. The trade-off is that you’re more exposed to its theatre, taking in the heavily boosted engine’s whistles, flutters and crackles on a brisk drive. The canvas top folds in 12 seconds and can operate at speeds up to 50km/h, meaning you’re unlikely to be caught out by a storm.
YOU CAN USE IT EVERY DAY
This isn’t the loudest, lightest or most track-oriented Porsche, but it is the quickest in a straight line and far more usable on a daily basis than limited models with roll cages and racing harnesses. The Turbo is luxurious and beautifully built, featuring seats with 18-way electric adjustment, a Bose surround sound stereo, 10.9-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone mirroring and more. Outward vision is far superior to similarly speedy supercars, and the Turbo’s firm ride is comfortable enough around town. Four-wheel-drive traction lends confidence in the wet, where the car can sense moisture from the road and adjust its torque, stability control and driveline responses to suit. You can even option it with a clever system to lift the nose clear of low driveways, active cruise control with automatic stop-and-start to handle traffic jams, and a thermal camera to spot pedestrians or wildlife.
PORSCHES DON’T COME CHEAP
Here’s the catch. The 911 Turbo S Cabriolet costs $494,500 plus on-road costs (about $530,000 drive-away) before you factor in optional extras – almost $30,000 worth on our test car. The cabriolet costs $21,000 more than the Turbo S coupe, and more than double the price of a standard 911. It’s arguably the most complete supercar on sale, but it’s not twice as impressive as a regular 911 Carrera.