Porsche 911 Turbo
For decades, the 911 Turbo has been the stuff of legends, and it remains so today. With a monstrous 540 hp on tap—make that 580 hp in the case of the Turbo S—and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic doing the shifting, Porsche’s all-wheel-drive supercar can hit 60 mph in less than three seconds. Take your pick of coupe or cabriolet; the exterior styling is timelessly gorgeous, and its luxurious interior makes this precious road rocket a genuine pleasure to drive on any road, at any time.
The 911 Turbo and the slightly more powerful Turbo S already were among the quickest cars we’ve tested in the sprint to 60 mph. For 2017, both versions of the Turbo get 20 more horsepower; the basic Turbo is up to 540, and the Turbo S now has 580. A temporary overboost mode adds 37 lb-ft of torque to the Turbo, for a total of 523 lb-ft; the Turbo S gets an identical overboost bump, to 553 lb-ft.
Porsche brought us to Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California, to give us the opportunity to fully unleash both the Turbo and the Turbo S. With the exception of the greater fade resistance and more consistent pedal stroke from the S’s standard carbon-ceramic brakes (they’re optional on the base Turbo), not much of a difference could be detected between the two Turbos. The standard four-wheel steering helps stabilize the rear end and makes it easier to probe the limits of the chassis without much fear of the rear exploring uncharted territory off the tarmac. Left in Sport Plus mode, the transmission never gets a gear wrong. Under hard braking, it snaps down into the right gear and holds it until the engine kisses the 7000-rpm redline. Of course, it’s possible to select gears manually using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles or the console shifter (you now push for downshifts and pull for upshifts), but considering the speeds the Turbo can hit, letting it shift for itself means there’s one less thing for the driver to think about.