Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Porsche - 911 - Turbo S

Our Opinion

We like
Bonkers turn of pace, immense brakes, breadth of abilities, accessibility of those abilities, amazing wet mode function
Room for improvement
Sheer width a bit much on rural roads or in town, road noise

Mind-bending pace of Porsche 911 Turbo S eclipsed by exceptional user-friendliness

29 Oct 2020



THE latest 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo S is more of everything. More power (478kW, up 51kW over the 991.2 equivalent), more torque (800Nm, a 50Nm advantage over the 991.2 Turbo S), more performance (100km/h comes up in just 2.7 seconds, two tenths quicker than before) and more expensive ($473,500 plus on-road costs for the coupe, up $11,600).


If you want to be seen more, there’s always the drop-top Cabriolet version that will leave your bank balance $21,000 lighter than the coupe. And why not? Based on specifications alone, the Turbo S is not for the faint of heart.


But here’s the rub: You can pretty much pootle the most potent non-GT 911 as gently as an entry-level Carrera when you need to. And for all its intimidating performance stats, the Turbo S is far from a being monster that needs taming.


Instead, it’s a hi-tech marvel of engineering and a visceral demonstration of how much sheer bandwidth Porsche has built into the 992 platform. One that can take you to another dimension of jowl-stretching speed when you want it to.


Drive impressions


Caution. Please adapt driving style. Switch on Wet mode.


This is not the message you want to see on the dashboard of the car you are driving toward a racetrack. Even less so when said car packs 478kW of power at 6750rpm and 800Nm of torque between 2250 and 4000rpm from a twin-turbo flat-six engine slung way out back.


For the residents of Warwick and its surrounds, home to Morgan Park Raceway where we’re headed, this rain is a blessing for their parched paddocks.


Similarly optimistic about the conditions is our chaperone for the track session, Porsche Track Experience deputy chief instructor Luke Youlden, who points out that Morgan Park’s tricky off-camber turns will help the circuit quickly drain once the rain eases.


If it eases.


“Anyway, it’s a great opportunity to experience wet mode in these cars,” he quips.


We’re secretly glad that Youlden will be setting our pace in the monstrous rear-drive GT2 RS on semi-slick Michelin Sport Cup 2 R tyres. If he can get that thing around waterlogged off-camber corners, our all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo S with Pirelli P Zeros should be just fine.


Then again, he has a Bathurst win under his belt and we don’t. Gulp.


As intimidating as it is on paper – not least the window sticker of $473,500 plus on-road costs – we’re relieved to discover how user-friendly this daddy of 911s is.


Following a swift sighting lap aboard a Cayenne Coupe, we saddle up and complete several laps of Morgan Park in the Turbo S without incident, each time pushing harder and, after rain eases and skies brighten during the morning tea break, harder still.


We can confirm that wet mode is incredibly clever and effective. Recalibrating the stability and traction control systems to step in sooner and more subtly by detecting water spray patterns in the wheel arches, this new-for-992-generation technology seems to genuinely work with – and flatter – the driver to boost both confidence and safety in adverse conditions. It’s epic.


Another standout feature we were not expecting is the sublimely smooth steering and how it delicately communicates what the 255-section, 20-inch front tyres and driven front axle are up to. We thought the Turbo S would bludgeon its way around here but there is this surprising delicate touch about it dynamically.


The eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission is another marvel. We left the shift paddles alone for a lap of the circuit and found it to do an amazing job of swapping cogs when our own brain wanted it to do so. To call it telepathic is no great exaggeration.


Grip and traction are also incredible, with a predictable and quickly rectified breakaway at the front reminding us to apply the 911’s preferred slow in, fast out cornering style in these damp conditions. Apart from this, we admired how balanced and neutral the car felt in general.


With 0-100km/h dispatched in a barely believable 2.7 seconds, 0-200km/h in 8.9s and no qualms about the Turbo S qualifying for membership of the 200mph club, there was never any doubt that this car is fast.


A wet Morgan Park doesn’t provide much scope for full-throttle applications in a car like this but late in the day, once the surface had dried, Youlden took us for a hot lap on which he wound the Turbo S up to the ragged edge, memorably linking 11 to turn 12 in a four-wheel drift before blasting up to more than 220km/h along the short main straight and rearranging our eyeballs with a demonstration of the Porsche’s incredible braking into turn 1.


By this point the Turbo S had completed many laps of Morgan Park with no discernible distress from the brakes or dodgy smells from the engine and just as well because it was time for a two-hour road drive back to base.


Although fatigued from our day at the track, the Turbo S proved a comfy luxury cruiser albeit one that is so wide it requires constant attention to positioning on rural roads or in town and, to nit-pick, suffers from more road roar than we’d prefer. But that’s what you get when 315-section rear rubber meets coarse-chip country bitumen.


We noticed the rear-wheel steering more on public roads than the track, providing a useful extra sense of rotation at turn-in as we traversed the Southern Downs.


And that engine delivered otherworldly overtaking punch when faced with trundling B-doubles as the road straightened out. Just keep an eye on your speed when doing so as the Turbo S will arrive at double the national limit before you know it. Don’t ask how we know this.


In addition to considerable prowess at the track, bump absorption and general body control on the public road is impressive too, while that beautifully engaging steering provides satisfaction at real-world speeds even though there’s little change of approaching its limits of grip out here.


For all the 911 Turbo’s widowmaker reputation and snarling performance potential, we found this latest example easily manageable yet still viscerally thrilling.


It’s one hell of an achievement, which will no doubt be savoured by the few who decide to sink half a million dollars into one. A supercar of similar price and on-paper performance would be far less practical or pleasant to use on a daily basis, necessitating the purchase of a second vehicle.


So that makes the 911 Turbo S something of a bargain, right?


And with a La Niña weather event on the horizon promising to bring plenty of rain, the ingenious wet mode is going to come in really handy.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 October 2020

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new 911

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

911 pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here