Top trumps Turbo a quick start for NZ

The performance flagship of the 911 range is hot-footing to New Zealand.


NEW Zealand appears to be an early recipient of the top model in the 911 series.

Distributor-cited May arrival timing for the latest editions of the 911 Turbo and Turbo S means these range halo models come here two months after a global debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11.

Porsche New Zealand, part of the European Motor Distributors Group, says local pricing and specification will be confirmed nearer to the launch date and has declined to disclose its broad thinking.

The four outgoing equivalents – two coupes, two convertibles - list from $336,500 for a Turbo Coupe up to $419,000 for a Turbo S convertible.

The flagship is not a huge seller here; conceivably 24 variants of 911 have been available to this market in 2015 and of the 56 cars sold, just six have been Turbos, most of them being Coupes.

However the car holds obvious importance as a key status model and achieves high attention from a performance fanbase that is probably much larger than the actual owner set.

Certainly, many 911 buyers do gravitate toward the more … ‘expressive’ … derivatives.

When asked which derivative claimed the most sales, Porsche NZ sales and marketing manager Jamie Taylor said: “It varies depending on launch cycle. The Carrera S Coupe is generally the most popular. (Yet) In NZ we have a high ratio of the “hot rod” derivatives (GT3, GT3 RS, Turbo).”

Speed freaks will not be disappointed by the claims associated with the incoming Turbo.

Porsche cites a 0-100kmh time of just 2.9 seconds for the S and 3.0s for the Turbo – in both instances making these some 0.2s faster than the official time of their already rapid predecessors and comfortably faster than the now turbocharged regular 911, also now starting to land. That’s the value of the upper-case ‘T’.

The Turbo S is also claimed to boast a 12kmh higher top speed, with official performance claims pointing to a potential maximum of 330kmh. That leaves it on equal standing with the 2010’s limited-edition 456kW 911 GT2 RS.   

It’s a matter of doing more with less: The bi-turbo six-cylinder 3.8-litre engine in the 911 Turbo now has maximum power of 397kW, a gain achieved by modified inlet ports in the cylinder head, new injection nozzles and higher fuel pressure.

The 911 Turbo S raises the stakes with 427 W of power thanks to new turbo- chargers with larger compressors. Porsche is still the only manufacturer to utilise turbochargers with variable turbine geometry in petrol engines.

Both versions have a new dynamic boost function, allowing drivers to get back on the power more quickly after lifting off.

As expected, the Turbos adopt styling updates to keep looking fresh, with LED headlights and reshaped vents being the main changes at the front, while at the rear there are new exhaust pipes, a new engine cover and reworked tail-lights. New 20-inch wheels are the biggest change when looking at the car in profile, with the Turbo getting the same size wheels as the S.

Inside, the most obvious change for the driver will be the new steering wheel, derived from the one in the 918 Spyder hypercar. It comes as standard with a Mode Switch, which allows the driver select from Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. These change the suspension, gearbox and exhaust settings – with the driver even able to mix and match different features. 

The cabin also features sports seats, a seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav and infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, Bose speakers and leather. Online navigation is standard, with real-time traffic updates and satellite images displayed on the glass screen. Drivers can also ‘write’ sat-nav destinations on to the touchscreen with their fingers.

In key overseas markets, smartphones can be connected using a cable, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However in NZ only the Bluetooth and USB functions are operating.

Turbo models come with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and the Sport Chrono Package as standard. PSM Sport Mode, a new feature, alters the system’s level of interference. It’s expected to appeal to owners who intend to use their Turbo on a track, allowing drivers to get closer to the car’s limits without disengaging the electronics completely.

Fuel economy is marginally improved in the new models, too, with the coupés claiming 9 litres per 100km and the Cabriolets 9.4L/100km.