Porsche 911 Turbo S 2014

Back in the 2012 guide, we predicted the new 991 911 would be available with “all-wheel drive in 2013, Turbo and GT3 trims by 2014, and in GT2 guise by 2015.” So far, we’re batting 1,000. Of course, there have been surprises. A special anniversary trim celebrates 50 years of the 911. And we would have never guessed the two 2014 releases would spell out the demise of the manual transmission, but when Porsche limits its superstars to the PDK, we know the H-gate is going the way of landlines and checkbooks. The writing has been on the wall. Automatics of the ’90s sapped power and offered slow shifts, but technology soon sur­passed the best of man, first with the rough shifting sequential manuals and now the dual-clutches. The worst part: it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Take a fast jaunt in a PDK-equipped 911, and you won’t need one of Dr. Egon Spengler’s EEG skull caps to know that your eyes, ears and finger pads are being flooded with stimuli. The up and down shifts are there, even better placed than you yourself could have done and made with, what our senses can decipher only as, instantaneity. Besides, the rate of speed is so immense in the new 911 Turbo S that it’s probably better to just focus on the road, and not the tachometer.

The Porsche 911 Turbo just keeps getting faster and faster. The 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six started life in 2005 with 350 horsepower. Direct fuel injection, twin turbochargers and other upgrades bring us up to 560 horsepower just six short years later in the Turbo S. Porsche, which often downplays its performance statistics, says it is capable of going from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. That’s fast.

Yet, the Turbo isn’t even about outright track per­formance like the GT cars. While we wait to see how it will handle the GT2 for 2015, we have the GT3. It’s based on the Carrera S (i.e., it is naturally aspirated and rear-wheel drive), but while both offer 3.8 liters of displace­ment, the GT3’s engine has been totally reworked. It weighs 55 fewer pounds, makes 75 more horsepower and can run all the way up to a screaming 9,000-rpm redline. It sits lower, snaps off faster shifts, offers an assortment of aerodynamic aids, makes new strides with rear-wheel steering and, best of all, costs $181,100. Don’t get us wrong; that’s big money, but we predict you’ll want it anyway.

Porsche 911 Turbo S 2014 photo3Porsche 911 Turbo S 2014 photo1Porsche 911 Turbo S 2014 photo2Porsche 911 Turbo S 2014 interior

Price: $181,100
Engine: 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged F-6
Horsepower: 560
0-60: 2.9 seconds
Top Speed: 198 mph
Torque: 516 foot-pounds