Remember when turbos were a big fat middle finger to the naturally aspirated status quo? The horsepower renaissance has seen the forced induction phenomenon go from badass add-on (Turbo 'Vette!) to battle cry for efficiency (Kia Optima Turbo). From econoboxes to high-end holdovers like Ferrari and Aston Martin, everybody's doing the turbo shuffle. But what does that mean for the gang from Stuttgart – and more importantly, the top-of-the-line 911 that has called itself Turbo since the mid-1970s? I spent a day in the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S to find out. Now is a particularly fitting time to evaluate the latest iteration of the venerable Porsche 911 Turbo. Our scrutiny comes at a moment when standard-issue Boxsters, Caymans, and Carreras have finally adopted turbocharged platforms. The Turbo S has a top speed of 205 mph, marking the first time the model has crested the 200-mph barrier. Spoiler alert: Rather than radically transforming its long-evolved essence, the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo has made incremental changes that makes it, well, more Turbo than ever. Horsepower for the Turbo and Turbo S climbs 20 each, to 540 and 580, respectively; 0-60 times drop to a scant 2.9 and 2.8 seconds, and these top dogs now have terminal velocities of 198 and 205 miles per hour, marking the first time the model has crested the 200-mph barrier. The forced-induction flagships have different engine hardware, another first for the lineup, with the S gaining larger turbo impellers and housings. A revised differential enhances the precision of power transfer, while the PDK dual-clutch transmission (the only gearbox available) gains a centrifugal pendulum for smoothness. The dynamic engine mounts now work harder for crisper response, and the variable damping rates have been extended at both ends for a wider range of settings. If you're a fan of hanging the tail out, you'll be pleased to know that a new Sport mode enables greater yaw angles. And if you dig indiscreet bursts of acceleration, there's now a Dynamic Boost function that preps the drivetrain for a little extra oomph by dropping down a gear and holding the throttle open to maintain turbo pressure, increasing torque from 487 to 523 pound-feet, and from 516 to 553 lb-ft in the S. Standard equipment now includes a Sport Chrono Package, camera-equipped parking sensor, and the Porsche Dynamic Light System. Engine flexibility is outstanding, allowing peak torque to start at only 2,250 rpm. A (Brief) Date With Kyalami I flew 22 hours to South Africa to drive the new Turbo models, and my day started with a surprisingly brief stint at the new Kyalami Circuit in the Midrand region of the Gauteng Province. The track, whose history goes back to the glory days of Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, and Michael Schumacher, is fresh from a restoration that made it faster – music to our ears, given the 911 Turbo's long legs. Chasing a 911 GT3 RS driven by Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister, the Turbo S has a slingshot-like …
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|MPG||19 City / 24 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||540 @ 6400 rpm|
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