Test Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet car test drives porsche luxury cars
Test Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet car test drives porsche luxury cars
Test Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet car test drives porsche luxury cars
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. Click image to enlarge

Review and Photos by Lesley Wimbush

You’d probably be surprised to learn that I responded to an invitation to drive the new Porsche 911 Turbo S at the Bilsterburg track in Germany last fall… with dismay.

“Dismay” is putting it mildly, since I unleashed a torrent of nasty superlatives that would have had George Carlin whistling in admiration.

Wouldn’t you know it – I’d already committed myself to a couple of days in some godforsaken small town in Michigan, sitting through endless presentations on hybrid powertrains and trying to come up with an excuse to get out of the on-track-flogging-of-economy-cars exercise.

Sigh.

But salvation came recently in email form.

The Turbo S Cabriolet had just arrived on the press fleet, was I interested in booking it?

Interested?

When the library sends me a notice of new books, I’m interested.

When a litre of gas costs less than a cup of coffee –  I’m interested.

A liqueur-soaked Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte dangled over the heads of my weight-challenged gym buddies wouldn’t elicit this level of Pavlovian whimpering. I’d have dragged out my sleeping bag and camped on Porsche’s doorstep like the brainwashed hordes lined up at Future Shop for an XBox, if I thought I’d get my hands on one of those P-car-shaped key fobs any faster.

Fortunately, I wouldn’t have to.  The car was mine if I wanted to collect it two days hence.

I’d driven the previous rendition of the Turbo S both on track and off and it had pretty much altered my relationship with four-wheeled entities from that point on.  For me personally, it represented the ultimate experience behind the wheel, the measuring stick by which I would come to evaluate the level of engagement it was possible to have between driver and machine.

This is a sports car to stir your inner Walter Mitty – provided your pocketbook’s as lofty as your dreams.  Although “racecar driver” is about as likely to appear on my resumé as “eminent neurosurgeon”, behind the wheel of the 911 Turbo S, I feel almost invincible.

Seven generations of precision engineering, fifty years and a pinch of alchemy have all come together to produce what is probably the world’s most versatile sports car.  It’s certainly the fastest production car Porsche has ever built – quicker even than the track-purposed GT3 and GT2 RS.

Deep within those powerful rear haunches is a twin-turbocharged 3.8L flat-six engine that puts out 560 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque – increased to 553 lb-ft when equipped with the optional Sport Plus package. The Turbo S Cab can launch from 0-100 km/hr in a blistering 3.1 seconds.

Test Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet car test drives porsche luxury cars Test Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet car test drives porsche luxury cars
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. Click image to enlarge

From a purely artistic point of view I’ve always felt that a convertible compromised the continuity of a sports car’s roofline.  But in this case, the contrasting black cloth top does little to diminish the car’s sex appeal.

The eye moves up and over the bulging haunches –wider than ever before and further accentuated by gaping brake ducts, and lingers on the powerful shoulders before being drawn down to the tapered snout. It’s an elegant face, with the automatically activated chin spoiler tucked neatly away out of sight, and it’s nicely finished off with new LED driving lights.

The Turbo S squats low on 20-inch split-spoke wheels, through which the craquelure surface of enormous carbon-ceramic platters and signature yellow calipers can be seen. Centre-locking hubs are an almost ridiculous exercise in overkill, but what the heck – this is one car that can pull it off without risking the “poseur” label.  The pert little rump has an active spoiler, which, depending on speed or driver preference, automatically adjusts to control downforce.

While outwardly my tester is a respectable shade of metallic silver, the interior is a delightfully decadent study in Carrera red. I can’t help recalling a colleague’s disbelief after driving the previous generation’s Turbo S.  “Two-hundred and fifteen thousand dollars, and it’s got carpet on the doors,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief.

Porsche may have been criticized in the past for the less than luxurious cockpits in their sports cars, but no more – this is truly lovely.  Seats, dash, door panels and console are covered in premium leather, and the finish is first rate.  The leather interior is standard on the Turbo S trim level, but there are additional little custom touches available – for a price.  If you want your steering wheel finished with “deviating” stitching, it’s $1,090.   Instruments surrounded in leather? No problem – that will be an extra $430.




About LesleyWimbush

In 5th grade, Lesley traded drawings of muscles cars for chocolate bars and things really haven't changed much since then. When not cursing the gremlins behind the insidious check engine light on her 400 hp modified Dodge Dakota, Lesley can be found lapping her Mazda MX3 KLZE at Mosport.