Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: Porsche Turbo S may be ultimate 911

Sometimes it's easy to lose track of how many versions — a couple of dozens — of Porsche's iconic rear-engine 911 are available. Well, the Turbo S carves out a new niche, equipped as it is with Porsche's rapid-fire dual-clutch automatic, which makes it a civilized supercar in daily driving.

Appearance: The Ice Blue Metallic is one of the most striking exterior colors we've seen on any car. It works really well on the 911, softening the broad, extra-wide body with its side air intake and auto-extending rear spoiler.

Performance: The important numbers from this 3.8-liter twin-turbo 6 cylinder: 530 horsepower, 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph. Whew. All that power is delivered smoothly through the 7-speed PDK transmission. This may be the first time we've ever driven a sports car and not missed having a manual gearbox; the automatic with the large alloy paddle shifters is that quick. The steering is tight and precise, and road feel is superb. As Lyra said: "You can put it where you want it." (Traction management, all-wheel drive and 19-inch wheels help.) Even without using launch control, the straight-line acceleration is simply exhilarating. The Sport Chrono package allows you to change the performance with the press of a button, which may be its most amazing feature. In Sport Plus mode, the car's personality changes from almost docile to beastly: There's more aggressive throttle response, the shift points change (goodbye seventh gear) and the ride stiffens. To handle all that power, the optional ceramic composite brakes give immediate response and sure stopping power. Amid all this performance, we had one nit: Any slight tap of a paddle shifter puts the car in manual mode; you can do it inadvertently when turning the wheel.

Interior: The leather-wrapped cockpit is as sharp as the exterior, with titanium blue and black trim. The adaptive sports seats adjust their bolstering to your driving, hugging you tight in aggressive cornering. There are rear "seats," but they are mostly a formality — even a child will be cramped — and put to better use with the seatbacks folded down for shelf space. The front "trunk," however, has 3.7 cubic feet of room, which is large enough for a weekend bag and then some. Of course, this being a Porsche, there's an attractive and easy-to-read five-gauge instrument cluster and electronic gadgets: a 6.5-inch 3-D navigation screen, Bluetooth and MP3 hookups.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Color: Ice Blue Metallic is an eye-catching departure from your normal sports car color.

Performance: Again, I say: wow.

Transmission: The dual-clutch PDK seems a perfect fit for all this power.

Lyra Solochek

Stunner: The most beautiful blue we've seen on a car.

Performance: Smooth, steady and extremely powerful acceleration, plus great handling.

Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde: Take your pick: mild or wild.

The bottom line: Porsche purists can argue over whether this is the ultimate 911, but for all-around drivability and performance, the Turbo S sure feels like it to us.









2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Price: $160,700, $162,460 as tested

Powertrain: 3.8-liter rear-engine flat-6 with twin turbo, 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic, AWD

Horsepower: 530 at 6,250-6,750 rpm

Torque: 516 pound-

feet at 2,100-4,250 rpm

Curb weight: 3,494 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 92.52

Length, 176.26

Width, 72.91

Seats: 2+2

Fuel economy:

17 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway

Safety features: Traction and stability management, ABS, automatic brake differential, active suspension management, brake readiness with brake assist, Boron steel safety structure, side impact protection, airbags for front, thorax and head

Website: www.porsche.com/

usa/models/

911/911-turbo-s/

The Daily Drivers: Porsche Turbo S may be ultimate 911 09/09/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]