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Car reviews - Porsche - 911 - Turbo coupe/cabriolet range

Launch Story

17 Feb 2010

PORSCHE has taken about 30 Australian deposits for the upgraded 911 Turbo and says it expects to sell about 80 examples in its first full year of sales, despite prices ranging between $360,100 for the manual coupe and $394,100 for the PDK-auto cabriolet.

Reflecting the continuing economic downturn, that’s down 20 per cent from the 100 sales in the first year of the outgoing 911 Turbo, the most successful Porsche to wear the hallowed moniker both globally and in Australia.

“People are still bruised by the GFC, so we’ve pegged back our expectations for this year, but the 911 Turbo is the one car they will want, GFC or not,” said Porsche Cars Australia spokesman Paul Ellis.

“We’re not in the business of forcing sales – we won’t over-supply the market at the expense of resale values – so every single sale will be a legitimate sale.”

Mr Ellis said about 90 per cent of 911 Turbo pre-orders were for the more puristic coupe instead of the cabrio, while an unprecedented 95 per cent were for versions with the Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch automated manual transmission, which is available for the first time in Porsche’s flagship 911.

Now on sale in Australia, the facelifted 997-series iteration is the latest in a 35-year model line that dates back to 1975’s inaugural 930-series 911 Turbo, whose 3.0-litre boxer turbo engine produced 194kW of power and 350Nm of torque, whistling the first-generation 911 Turbo to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds.

Since then every 911 Turbo has delivered more peak power, torque and standing-start acceleration, usually at the expense of fuel consumption.

Not so with the 2010 model, which packs a larger new direct-injection 3.8-litre flat six to replace its predecessor’s 3.6-litre boxer-turbo and, despite being the most powerful 911 Turbo, is also the most fuel-efficient.

We drove the newest 911 Turbo at its European launch in Portugal last October, after the debut of Porsche’s quickest road car at the Frankfurt motor show in September, but many of its specifications are simply too outstanding not to recap on the occasion of the Stuttgart flagship’s Australian launch.

The 2010 911T’s ballistic power output of 368kW (or a neat 500hp) at 6000rpm has already been eclipsed by the forthcoming 911 Turbo S, which slams down 390kW and goes on sale here August at $423,300 as a coupe and $442,800 in cabriolet guise, following its world debut at next month’s Geneva motor show.

Meantime, Porsche's facelifted GT2, which will also be an order-only proposition in Australia, is expected to complete the current 997 series two 911 range next year, when it’s likely to set a new 911 price benchmark above its predecessor’s $447,500 sticker, before the next-generation 997-series model emerges in 2012.

However, the new 911 Turbo’s wholesome 700Nm torque peak (between 2100 and 4000rpm, when fitted with the optional Sport Chrono Package in overboost mode) remains undefeated by the Turbo S.

The ‘garden-variety’ 911 Turbo may produce ‘just’ 650Nm of torque from 1950rpm, but it’s enough to propel the latest 911T, which is up to 25kg lighter than before, to 100km/h in a claimed 3.7 seconds in its most basic manual-transmission guise (3.8 seconds for the cabriolet) – down from 3.9 seconds for the current 911 Turbo manual.

Fitted with the PDK gearbox, the new 911T hits the legal highway limit in just 3.6 seconds (the same as the manual version with the Sport Chrono pack), but the PDK version with Sport Chrono stops the 100km/h clock in a new Porsche road car benchmark of just 3.4 seconds.

Despite peak performance increases of 15kW (up from 353kW) and 30Nm (up from 620Nm) that deliver a 0-100km/h acceleration improvement of eight per cent, however, the new 911 Turbo is claimed to consume an average of 16 per cent or 2.2 litres per 100km less fuel and emit up to 18 per cent less CO2.

Fitted with the first all-new turbo engine in the model’s 35-year history, the latest 911 Turbo returns combined average fuel consumption of just 11.6L/100km (11.4L/100km in PDK form) and CO2 emissions of 272 grams per kilometre (PDK: 268g/km).

New features include a Sport Plus button on PDK-equipped models, which activates a ‘Race Track Gearshift Strategy’ for both upshifts and downshifts, while the Sport Chrono Package Turbo also comes with dynamic engine mounts, which aim to reduce vibration around town while increasing body stiffness at speed.

Joining the Turbo’s Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive system is the first-time option of Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), which combines the Porsche Stability Management electronic stability control system with a mechanical rear differential to brake the inner rear wheel as required, further increasing potential corner speeds.

Aside from Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) variable damping control and the carryover option of Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), the new 911T also gains bigger brakes, comprising 350mm front and rear discs with six-piston and four-piston front and rear callipers respectively.

Differentiating the ground-breaking 911 Turbo is a new front bumper with larger air intakes and bar-shaped LED direction indicators, double-arm wing mirrors, titanium-coloured louvers in the side air intakes and LED daytime driving lights replacing the previous model’s foglights.

At the rear there are vastly larger exhaust outlets, a split wing and LED tail-lights, while new options include dynamic bending lights that swivel up to 15 degrees according to steering lock, larger wheels than the standard 19-inch alloys and a steering wheel with PDK shift paddles for the first time, to replace the standard new three-spoke tiller.

Standard solid paint colours for both the coupe and cabriolet in Australia will include Black, Guards Red, Carrara White and Speed Yellow, while metallic hues comprise Basalt Black, Macadamia, Arctic Silver, Meteor Grey, Dark Blue, Aqua Blue, Ruby Red and Porsche Racing Green.

The range of standard interior leather colours includes Black, Stone Grey, Sand Beige and Ocean Blue.

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