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Porsche 911 a turbo tearaway

Turbo terrific: Porsche's new water-cooled 911 Turbo is due in Australia around September, 2000, priced about $300,000.

Porsche's line-up will be spearheaded by the fire-breathing 911 Turbo late next year

28 Jul 1999

PORSCHE has released the first official pictures of its new 911 Turbo, due here around September, 2000, at a price around $300,000.

The Stuttgart stormer is powered by a blown water-cooled 3.6- litre engine that produces an eye-watering 309kW at 6000rpm and a hefty 550Nm from 2700rpm to 4600rpm.

It will replace the air-cooled 993 Series 911 Turbo which was discontinued in June, 1998. This version was no slouch either, thanks to power outputs of 304kW and 539Nm.

But the newcomer should offer greater levels of tractability, as well as producing lower emissions.

Power is relayed to all four wheels by a six-speed manual gearbox. Depending on the traction requirements, between 5 and 40 per cent of the power is directed to the front wheels.

Porsche claims the new 911 Turbo can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds while 160km/h is attained in just 9.2 seconds.

Top speed is a largely academic 305km/h.

The searing straight-line performance will be matched by huge competition-derived ventilated disc brakes at all four corners. Anti-lock brakes are standard, of course.

Visually, the new Porsche flagship stands apart from its normally-aspirated sibling through its revised headlights, massive 18-inch alloy wheels and large cooling ducts in the front bumper.

The flared rear wheel arches house prominent air intake ducts for the intercoolers while the rear end is characterised by a new retracting wing.

Previous generation 911 Turbos have earned a somewhat fearsome reputation for being a handful at the limit - thanks to the rear-engined layout allied with a huge power output.

But the introduction of the 996 series has shown that even this physics-defying layout can be made to work effectively.

Like its normally-aspirated sibling, the 911 Turbo is equipped with Porsche Stability Management (PSM) which applies braking to individual wheels if it senses the car is sliding off course.

Consequently, it promises to be quite user-friendly even with its ballistic performance potential. By the same token, it will take a highly skilful driver to fully tap its capabilities.

Its pricing will put the 911 Turbo up against the likes of the Ferrari 360 Modena and Mercedes-Benz SL500. These three cars promise vastly different driving experiences thanks to their widely contrasting design philosophies and engine configurations.

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