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2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S: Does This 1 Quality Ironically Subvert Its Perfection?

Many people dream of the thrill of driving an amazing car, flying along the road with the wind in their hair. The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S could be the answer to this dream.

However, MotorTrend calls that into question, wondering whether something could be too perfect to be, well, perfect. Here’s a look at the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S.

The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S

The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S is a lightning-fast sports car. Its twin-turbo, 3.7-liter flat-six engine produces 640 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s 60 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque more than last year’s model. The 2021 Turbo S comes with an eight-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission — there’s no manual transmission option. This rear-engine car is all-wheel drive.

The 2021 911 Turbo S can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds flat, beating the 2020 model year’s time of 2.6 seconds. Car and Driver found the 2021 Turbo S to be one of the fastest 0-60 cars it has ever tested. Oh, and it can complete the quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds at 137 mph.

Is there such a thing as too perfect?

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MotorTrend says the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S is “just shy of perfection.” Why? Well, its perfection is “precisely the problem.”

“Can a car be too clinically excellent?” MotorTrend wonders. The publication loves that this “insanely quick” 911 Turbo S is “absolute magic on a back road.” It also finds it to be a “wonderful GT car.” However, the review also says the “magic [is] replaced by cold competency on the track.”

The biggest issue with the 2021 911 Turbo, as in past years, “is the car’s cold, emotionless virtuosity when pushed to the limit.” MotorTrend had hoped the new 992 generation had gotten rid of this problem, but it was not to be. “This car is so perfect it’s anodyne, unobtrusive,” MotorTrend road test editor Chris Walton said. “There’s no bother, but no excitement. It’s super-capable. It does everything so well that you can’t mess up with this car. It solves everything. It is so uniquely competent.”

Driving the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Despite the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S’s power, MotorTrend didn’t love driving it in every situation. The new 911 Turbo, in both coupe and convertible, bested McLaren and AMG in earlier MotorTrend tests. It moves just as you want it to, requiring very little from the driver. But while the 911 Turbo S makes driving easy, it also doesn’t provide much excitement.

MotorTrend senior features editor Jonny Lieberman thought the 911 Turbo S was great on the highway but not that exciting on the racetrack. And race car driver Randy Pobst felt the car was an extension of himself on the track but not challenging or entertaining on the road. As MotorTrend points out, “competence doesn’t necessarily stir the soul.”

MotorTrend pins the blame partially on the car’s tires. It has Pirelli P Zeros, which are great on the road but not enough for the 911 on the track. Corsa or Trofeo R tires would let the 911 Turbo S achieve faster and more exciting cornering speeds, according to MotorTrend. Porsche has explained that 911 Turbo S customers haven’t expressed interest in higher-performance tires, although MotorTrend believes the option could inject more personality into this otherwise excellent car.

Of course, perfection comes at a hefty price. The starting MSRP for the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S is $204,850, and the version MotorTrend tested cost $224,780. Whether its perfection makes it capable or colorless is up for debate.