Count us among the many automotive enthusiasts that believe that Porsche is the ultimate sports car brand. So, being surrounded by this sea of current and classic Porsches is for me, automotive nirvana. But the great thing about Porsche is that they never stop trying to top themselves. And even with this great collection, this latest edition of the Porsche 911 turbo has us drooling and driving!
Say the word “turbo” to any Porschephile, and they instantly know you’re talking about the 911 Turbo. And for 2007 the ultimate Porsche road warrior gets even more turbo boost! Thanks to the addition of twin variable-vane turbochargers for the 3.6-liter flat six dry-sump engine, its flexible geometry jumps peak power 14-percent to a thrilling 480 horsepower. Maximum torque also jumps high to 460 pound-feet, which is available as low as 1,950 rpm.
The optional Sport Chrono package allows for more aggressive engine mapping and turbo overboost that raises peak torque to a pavement warping 505 pound-feet. Putting all that power securely to the road is Porsche’s Traction Management which couples stability control with a more flexible all-wheel-drive system. It features an electronically-controlled multi-disc clutch that continuously balances power rear to front, allowing up to 100% at either end. The driver controls that power through a 6-speed manual gearbox. A 5-speed Tiptronic S automatic with sequential manual mode shift is optional and actually is the faster choice.
Still, we prefer the manual, and its available limited slip rear differential. It allowed us to slam the 997 to 60 in a rapid 3.9 seconds, 3-tenths faster than the previous car. The quarter mile hammers by in 12.2 seconds at 120 miles-per-hour. It’s super strong off the line, but power really hits above 3,600 rpm; and then its rocket-like thrust to the 6,600 rpm redline. But it’s also incredibly smooth. It is the best combination of power, refinement, and flexibility in the super car engine ranks.
But this lighter, aluminum intensive 911 Turbo is about much more than just stunning acceleration. The front MacPherson, rear multi-link suspension utilizes Porsche’s Active Suspension management system that instantly tailors shock damping to road conditions.
We put all this hardware and electronic aids to work on West Virginia’s Summit Point Raceway, where it displayed not just astounding grip, but superb handling response. Early Turbos suffered from abrupt oversteer. While more recent all-wheel-drive versions had more than a hint of understeer. Compared to them, this 997 is very settled, pushing the front-end just a bit, which quickly scrubs off excess mid-corner speed to maintain its excellent balance. It gets you through a corner, and on to the next one, quickly and confidently, making every road or track seem smaller and shorter.
That expertise extends to braking as well. Our car’s optional $8,500 Ceramic Composite Brakes hauled it down from 60 in a seat belt-stretching 109 feet. That’s short.
Despite this tremendous track ability, the 911 Turbo remains an exceptionally refined road car. And, while hardly green, it’s also better at the gas pump than many less exciting rides. Government fuel economy ratings are 18 city and 25 highway for our manual. We averaged 18 miles-per-premium-gallon.
The 911 Turbo delivers that incredible driving experience while also offering an environment as superbly equipped as many high-end sedans. Fine leather stretches from doors to dash to seats, which in our car are the optional adaptive sport seats that hold you tight while delivering top-notch comfort and support.
The exterior is also looking pretty advanced with a new front fascia, larger air intakes, bi-xenon headlights and LED turn signals—all heading up wider bodywork from the Carrera 4. Tall 19-inch forged alloy wheels, with tire pressure monitoring, wear 35-Series front and wider 305/30s in the rear. And there is a redesigned rear wing that automatically deploys at 75 miles-per-hour.
It’s a stunning automotive creation that carries a stunning price. Base for the sixth generation 911 Turbo is $122,900. Add our car’s long list of options, from Sport Chrono to ceramic brakes and the price is a heart-stopping $141,715. It’s a classic case of you get what you pay for. And what you get is a thrill ride that puts roller coasters to shame.
The 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo is metal, rubber and leather soaked in pure adrenalin. An astounding effort that truly lives up to the Turbo legend and one that we can’t wait for Porsche to top.
Engine: 3.6-Liter Flat Six Dry-sump
Torque: 460 Lb Feet
0-60 MPH: 3.9 Seconds
1/4 Mile: 12.2 Seconds @ 120 MPH
60-0 MPH: 109 Feet
EPA: 18 MPG City/ 25 MPG Highway
Mixed Loop: 18 MPG