In a move that will delight Porschephiles around the world, the German automaker has just unveiled the new 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo. This isn’t to be confused with the other 2017 Porsche 911 that was unveiled back in October, and also happens to be turbocharged. In fact, save for the GTS and the GT3 models (for now), the entire 911 lineup is set to ditch natural aspiration. And considering that the company currently offers 21 different 911 models, that’s a big shift for the company. It’s also left us wondering what it’ll do about its legendary standalone Turbo model. If every model is turbocharged, then having a specific Turbo model is the epitome of redundancy, right?
Well, thanks to what we know now, it’s safe to say that it isn’t. After all, since 1975, the Turbo has been the 911 fan’s 911. The original 930 model 911 Turbo was the one to have, with its flared fenders, whale tail spoiler, and penchant for violent snap oversteer. That cute little trait earned the brute the nickname “The Widowmaker,” and since then it’s been universally renowned as the “real” 911 to snobs, for better or for worse, making it the benchmark of the 911 lineup. Porsche wouldn’t let an icon like that go to pot that easily, so rest assured, the 2017 Turbo will still carry the mantle with ease.
In comparison, when we took a look at the new Carrera and Carrera S back in October, we said:
The all-new engine is 0.4 liters smaller than the outgoing NA mill, but both models enjoy a 20 horsepower bump, with the Carrera now putting out 370, and the S up to a formidable 420. The twin-turbo setup shaves 0.2 seconds off the cars’ zero to 60 times as well, with the Carrera now at four seconds, and the S at 3.7.
The Carreras are plenty potent cars, but sticking to the brand’s stubbornly hierarchical power structure for within model, the ’17 Turbo also gets a 20 horsepower bump, bringing it up to 540, with the Turbo S model jumping to a healthy 580 horsepower. So don’t worry, no one will be mistaking this thing for a Carrera anytime soon.
While the Turbo’s flat-six stays the same size at 3.8 liters, the power bump is thanks in part to a few key improvements, led by two new turbos with larger compressors. As a result, the base Turbo now scrambles from zero to 62 in three seconds flat, and tops out at 198 miles per hour. The Turbo S’s extra 40 ponies are good for a 2.9 second zero to 60 sprint, and break the magic 200 mark by five miles per hour.
Porsche’s updates to the 911 have famously been incremental, and the 2017’s updates are no different. A new front fascia, standard 20-inch wheels, and new taillights that produce an “aura-like illumination” make it stand out from the current model, as do rear deck louvers that tastefully recall classic Porsches. The Turbos also gain the company’s new infotainment system, the Sport Chrono Package, which features a modified steering wheel and controls from the 918 Spyder, and an added Sport Mode to the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system.
Overall, the changes may be relatively minor, but it doesn’t mean that the 2017 911 Turbo is cold fish. Like its predecessors, it’s likely to prove that the car is yet again arguably the best driver’s car in the world, much to the delight of Porschephiles, and to the chagrin of anyone who isn’t one. The days of being able to tell a turbocharged Porsche from its naturally-aspirated brethren by sound alone may now be a thing of the past, and you may be confused trying to figure out which Turbo 911 people are talking about for a while. But don’t worry, just remember the 911 Turbo and Turbo S are still kings of the hill, no matter how confused you may get by the brochure.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.
Follow Derek on Twitter @CS_DerekS