Porsche isn't letting the rampant coronavirus ruin its surprise. The new 911 Turbo S that had been scheduled to break cover at the now-canceled 2020 Geneva Motor Show has made its debut online with a generous 60-horsepower bump over its celebrated predecessor.
Positioned at the top of the growing 911 range, the Turbo S states its business with the roar of a 3.8-liter flat-six engine turbocharged to 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The six spins the four wheels via a Turbo-specific eight-speed automatic transmission, and it blasts the coupe from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. That's a tenth of a second quicker than the 700-horsepower GT2 RS variant of the last-generation 911. Enthusiasts who order the Turbo S as a convertible lose that tenth of a second, but we don't think they'll notice.
If you're planning on visiting a drag strip, know the newest Turbo S takes 10.5 seconds to cover a quarter mile. Alternatively, if you're more into cruising on the German Autobahn, both body styles max out at 205 mph.
Carbon-ceramic brake discs and 10-piston front calipers bring the Turbo S to a stop. Porsche didn't design it solely for straight-line speed, though. It needs to handle as well as it accelerates, so engineers made the rear wing bigger to provide additional downforce. It's wider than the last Turbo S by 1.8 inches up front and 0.7 inches out back, while its all-wheel drive system channels up to 368 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels when needed. Software and hardware tweaks help the active suspension keep body roll in check, paving the way for quicker cornering speeds and more communicative steering. All told, the Turbo S should feel even more stable than its predecessor on a twisty road, and super-glued to the ground at triple-digit speeds.
Car spotters need to keep an eye out for the big rear wing and the center-locking wheels, which measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the back. Stylists also chiseled functional air vents into the front bumper and both rear fenders, and they drew rectangular exhaust tips specifically for the Turbo S. While it looks like a race car, it doesn't feel like one when you're cruising around town. The list of standard features includes 18-way power-adjustable seats covered in leather, a 10.9-inch touchscreen, and a Bose surround-sound system.
The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S will arrive in American showrooms in late 2020. Pricing starts at $204,850 for the coupe and $217,650 for the convertible once a mandatory $1,350 destination charge enters the equation. To add context, the outgoing 2020 models cost $191,950 and $204,250, respectively, after a $1,250 destination charge. New additions to the historically extra-long list of options include a sport exhaust system with adjustable flaps and oval tips as well as a sport suspension that lowers the ride height by about 0.3 inches.
Porsche will continue expanding the 911 range in the coming years. While it's difficult to accurately predict what's next, we know the Targa, GTS, Turbo, GT3, and GT3 RS models are all due for a replacement, and it's not too far-fetched to assume we'll see at least one of them before the end of 2020. We wouldn't rule out seeing another GT2 RS in the medium-term future, either, and the rumor mill keeps billowing rumors of a hybrid model.