Here’s the vital stats. The 911 Turbo S packs 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, up 60 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque over the 991.2 Turbo S and 197 hp and 200 lb-ft over the current Carrera 4S. The result of that extra oomph is a blistering zero-to-60 time of just 2.6 seconds (two-tenths faster than the last Turbo S) and a 205-mile-per-hour top speed. So yeah, it’s incredibly quick. To put that into further context, a McLaren 720S takes 2.8 seconds to get to 60 despite a 600-pound weight advantage. Credit not only the 911’s 3.8-liter flat-six, but its specific all-wheel-drive system.
Peak Torque Is Always Available
In the past, the 911 Turbo S could only deploy maximum torque in short bursts. As cool as it is to talk about “overboost,” we’d much rather have that grunt available at the drop of a hat. Stab the right pedal and the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six deploys peak torque, 590 pound-feet, between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm. The previous 911 Turbo S developed peak torque of 516 lb-ft, which increased to 553 lb-ft in overboost. But activating overboost required the driver to be in Sport or Sport Plus or have the right engine setting in the Individual drive mode.
Along with a Turbo S-specific all-wheel-drive system, Porsche tweaked the dual-clutch transmission, too. There’s a new final-drive ratio, and stouter clutches are on hand to manage the flat-six’s significantly enhanced torque. And like the other 992 models, there’s an extra forward gear compared to the 991.2. It’s a good thing the gearbox is so good – there won’t be a manual gearbox.
Going Light, Easily
Cars are heavier than they’ve ever been, and that includes the 911 Turbo S. The 992 Turbo S’ curb weight jumps to 3,636 pounds from the 991.2’s 3,527-pound curb weight. But for the first time, Porsche is offering lightweight options on the Turbo S, features that are normally reserved for the GT3 and GT2. Lightweight glass, available on the front, rear, and side windows, shaves eight pounds, but also limits wind noise with an acoustic film. Owners that want to trim more fat will be able to expand on that $1,250 option with a Lightweight package. Pricing isn’t available yet, but the package shaves 66 pounds by removing the vestigial rear seats, reducing sound deadening, and then a lighter exhaust system, carbon-fiber-backed bucket seats, and the lightweight windows.
Porsche made some significant aerodynamic improvements when it launched the 992, adding a three-position rear spoiler, and adjustable front splitter, and active aero slats in front. The 911 Turbo S, unsurprisingly, goes further. The extendable rear wing is larger and adjusts both its height and its angle of attack between four different settings based on the driving mode. The rear wing also acts as an air brake under heavy braking, a feature introduced on the 992 Carrera S.
But Not Too Slippery
Porsche’s trick Wet driving mode might sound gimmicky, but as we found out during our first drives of both the Carrera 4S and the Turbo S, it’s a helpful driver aid. Sensors detect water spray and automatically make adjustments to the drive systems, although once the car reaches a certain threshold, it suggests the driver switch to the full-tilt Wet mode. This was a helpful feature during our test, aiding the 911’s all-weather capability rather than restricting the overall ability to deploy all 640 horsepower.
It's Still Darn Comfortable
Enthusiasts may issue the loudest praise for less-powerful, rear-wheel-drive 911s, but there’s something to be said for the combination of stability, comfort, and performance the Turbo S provides. Our tester described his freeway stint in the Turbo S as “placid.” That’s despite our tester featuring wider tires than the Carrera S (the fronts grow from 245 to 255s in front and 305 to 315s in back) and the optional sport suspension. The $1,510 setup lowers the ride height by four-tenths of an inch. Even away from LA’s smooth highways, the Turbo S exhibits far calmer behavior than similarly performance-focused options.
Get Wide, Look Good
Porsche purists may have moaned when all 911s adopted the wide hips previously limited to all-wheel drive models but rest easy, for the 911 Turbo S is wider still. Porsche stretched the front track 1.65 inches in front and 0.4 inches in back to accommodate the wider rear tires. Combine the wider hips and front fenders with our tester’s 0.4-inch drop in ride height, and the Turbo S cuts a distinct visual profile compared to the standard Carrera. Other Turbo S touches include the adjustable rear spoiler, which harkens back to the whale tails of old, as well as four square exhaust tips that jut out from the back bumper.
Optional Goodies, Now Standard
Porsche doesn’t do a great job of explaining it but is very good at staggering its standard equipment offerings to (somewhat) offset the big price hikes between trims. In the case of the $203,500 Turbo S, it comes standard with 18-way seats, a fully active suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, the Sport Chrono package, top-of-the-line LED Matrix headlights, a full leather interior, a GT Sport steering wheel, proximity entry, and a Bose audio system. Adding all that gear to a $120,600 911 Carrera 4S requires around $30,000, effectively slashing the premium between the C4S and the Turbo from $82,900 to just over $50,000. That’s not a bargain by any stretch, but it softens the blow of the $200,000 starting price.
The Price Proposition
Yes, you read that last slide right. The Turbo S starts at $203,500 for a Coupe or $216,300 for the Cabriolet. Add $1,350 to that sum for the destination charge. Fortunately, things don’t get too crazy from there. Avoid the purely aesthetic options, and a Turbo S we’d consider well equipped (featuring all the active safety gear and performance options, as well as an upgraded audio system) only carries about $20,000 in options. That’s still a lot of money, but considering how pricey the options can be on more affordable 911s, the options sheet on the Turbo S isn’t such a minefield.
We’ve finally driven the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, the most powerful member of the 992 family. Unsurprisingly, the 640-horsepower 911 wowed us with its straight-line speed, but there’s a good deal more that differentiates the Turbo S from the lesser Carrera and Carrera S.
Porsche addressed nearly every aspect of the 911s performance in creating the Turbo S. The suspension is stiffer and lower, the brakes stouter, and the tires wider and stickier. The Turbo S finds new ways to beat the air into submission, too, with adjustable aerodynamics, and there are even options for reducing the relatively low curb weight. But beyond those performance-focused changes, Porsche made the 911 Turbo S easier to drive, adopting features pioneered on more affordable 992 variants like a Wet driving mode. Beyond that, the hottest 911 adds a tire temperature monitor to the tire pressure monitoring system.
The 911 Turbo S is the most complete 911 yet. Here’s what you need to know about this 205-mph rocket.