There’s so much more to the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S than its ability to compress your eyeballs into wee-bitty pancakes while inspiring expletives that would make a Russian sailor blush, but such is the ridiculous level of linear g-forces this all-wheel-drive projectile can inflict upon flesh-and-blood humans, once strapped within its leather-lined environs.
Say hell-oh to Launch Control.
And it’s so easy a monkey could do it. No obtuse sequence of button pushing or secret codes required. Simply turn the little drive mode select knob on the steering wheel to Sport Plus, push both feet hard to the floor (note: ensure there is a pedal beneath each one), grip the steering wheel, clench sphincter, then lift left foot off the corresponding pedal (that would be the brake if you followed Step 2 correctly).
Before you can say “Holy F…!” you’ve passed 100 km/h and are well on the way to prison. Or to the underwear rack at Winners if you didn’t follow Step 4.
Now, I’ve never piloted a Bugatti Veyron, but I have driven a Lamborghini Aventador, Lamborghini Huracán, Mercedes SLS AMG, Audi R8 Plus, Challenger Hellcat and McLaren 570S, and the Porsche 911 Turbo S is the only one that gives me “launch” vertigo.
And of course, being a Porsche, it is engineered to do this all day long if one so desires. The main ingredients here are a rear-mounted 3.8L aluminum direct-injected twin-turbo flat-six that delivers 580 hp and 553 lb-ft from 2,100 rpm, a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, all-wheel drive and an inherently brainy management system that directs torque and allows just enough wheelspin for consistent, sub-three-second hole-shot blasts.
An astounding engineering feat in itself.
Okay, we got that out of the way. So what is the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S like to drive day-to-day? A breeze. Unlike some of the more high-strung entrants in the junior supercar segment (McLaren 570S, Lambo Huracán), the Turbo S can be as benign as a Civic when tooling about town.
In normal mode the drivetrain is smooth as silk, and while the adaptively damped ride still shows some of that classic 911 clunkiness, it is still reasonably civilized. And lo-and-behold, on relaxed highway touring the mighty Porsche turns in near-economy-car fuel mileage.
At $214,800 the 2017 Turbo S is pricey, yet considering its capabilities, blue-chip cred, bulletproof build, and all-year functionality paired with near-humane back seats, it’s the runaway left-brain choice in this rarefied segment.
Although who buys supercars with their left brains? Isn’t this all about passion? If you dared level any criticism at Porsche’s über street 911, it would be that it is a bit too aloof. It effortlessly conquers every challenge with a shrug and hiss of tortured air. To the intoxicating wail of the Audi R8 Plus’ 5.2L V10, the Turbo S sounds like an atomic vacuum cleaner.