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Crouching tiger

When Porsche says ‘launch’, it means launch! As soon as you get off the brake, the 911 Turbo’s system waits a fraction of a second for turbo boost to build up to 0.5 bar and then lets the clutch go.

autos Updated: Dec 16, 2009 20:29 IST
Shapur Kotwal

When Porsche says ‘launch’, it means launch! As soon as you get off the brake, the 911 Turbo’s system waits a fraction of a second for turbo boost to build up to 0.5 bar and then lets the clutch go. The acceleration makes you feel like an arrow being shot from a bowstring.

Zero to 40 kph comes up in 1.1 seconds. In two seconds and just 19 metres, you are doing 70 kph and 0-100 kph is dispatched in true superbike fashion in 3.2 seconds!

Using the launch control requires you to select Sport Plus mode, squeeze the brake pedal down with your left foot and depress the throttle with your right. The words ‘Launch control’ then light up on the steering wheel. By this time, the motor is screaming wildly as it spins at 5000 rpm, causing the rear of the car to squat, like a big cat ready to pounce.

Hyper thrust, anyone?
0-150 kph is dispatched in just over six seconds, and 0-200 takes 10.9 seconds. The time it takes to hit 160 is only a second slower than the illustrious McLaren F1 road car. Getting up to 250 or even 280 kph on expressway-like toll roads takes only a few seconds of right foot down. Plus, the incredible stability of the car tells you to go faster.

On a rough patch
When driven on roads full of rough patches and bad repair jobs, the car impressed immensely. With the 19-inch rims and the stiff suspension set-up, the new Turbo makes for a comfortable ride. When attacking corners, the 911 Turbo remains unfazed by constantly changing surfaces, even as speeds and cornering forces build.

Brake a corner
Porsche’s Torque Vectoring system allows you to really brake hard while driving into a corner as it sets the car up perfectly for the corner with individual wheel braking. Of course, on the road, there’s just no using the ‘Sport Plus’ or even the ‘Sport’ button, unless the road is billiard-table flat. Even at 250 kph, you need the extra suppleness of the suspension to flatten out the bumps and that means the car must be driven in its normal street setting.

The only real issue that surfaced with the new Turbo is when it is driven in traffic. In the search for greater fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, the gearbox rapidly shifts up the gears when it’s driven in ‘D’, leaving you to deal with turbo lag below 2000 rpm.

For Indian road conditions, higher-profile tyres would be safer, as would more ground clearance. But with its massive performance, incisive handling, a big safety net and half-decent ride, the 911 Turbo would make a very useable hypercar in Indian conditions. Though expensive, the Turbo has always been a halo car for Porsche, and with a little nudge from the Nissan GT-R, this version could probably be the best one ever.

—Autocar India

PORSCHE 911 TURBO

Top speed:
312 kph
Price: Rs 1.59 crore (ex-showroom)
Length: 4,450 mm
Width: 1,852 mm
Height: 1,300 mm
Wheelbase: 2,350 mm
Kerb weight: 1,570 kg
Engine: 3,800 cc flat six, twin turbo, direct injection petrol
Installation: Rear engine
Power: 500 bhp at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 66.28 kgm at 1950-5000 rpm
Gearbox: 7-speed twin clutch robotised manual
Fuel tank: 67 litres
Brakes F/R: 350 mm ventilated discs
Tyre size F/R: 235/35 ZR19/ 305/30 ZR19