2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S first drive, Bilster-Berg, August 2013
But what about the other 99% of the time?
Your commute doesn't include a start/finish line and a pit lane, you say? That's just fine by the Turbo.
In a way emulated only by the McLaren MP4-12C in this performance class, the 911 Turbo and Turbo S are eminently practical.
There's space for a couple of (small) bags in the front trunk space, and more gear can go on the rear seats--there's no real room for passengers back there, unless they've evolved forward-folding legs, or a complete lack of them.
But the ride comfort, quietness (even well into triple-digit speeds), and ease-of-use in the Turbo and Turbo S cabins is exactly on par with the 350-horsepower base model, which is to say: it's about as easy-going on the street as a coupe can be. The PDK automatic handles shifts smoothly; the auto stop-start system shuts the car down as you roll to a stop, re-firing with aplomb (and a minimum of vibration); the adjustable suspension lets you tune the firmness to suit the mood.
DON'T MISS: 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider: Track Day
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo first drive, Bilster-Berg, August 2013So what, exactly, is the 911 Turbo (or Turbo S)?
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo first drive, Bilster-Berg, August 2013Enlarge Photo
Does the Turbo/Turbo S duo qualify for true supercar status? Does it compete with the Ferrari 458 Italias and McLaren MP4-12Cs of the world? Or is the force-fed Neunelfer somehow less because of its more common basis or its quotidian capabilities?
After spending a day with the car on the Bilster Berg circuit and the roads around it, it's clear: whatever the baggage, this is a supercar by any standard. In fact, it may set the new supercar standard for those who'd like to drive their collection's hottest performer more than once a week.
Why? Because underneath the massive speed, rocket-like acceleration, and crisp, tossable handling, the Turbo and Turbo S are, ultimately, 911s. And that's a very good thing.
Porsche provided airfare, food, and lodging during the course of this first drive.