2014 Porsche 911 Turbo. Click image to enlarge
Since my childhood, this word has held an almost mythical aura of power and speed. Early on, I had no clue about its actual function or application. To me, it just meant fast.
It still kinda’ does.
Despite learning over the years that a turbo is short form for turbocharger, and in vehicle engines it is a little (or sometimes large) turbine attached to tubes coming out of an engine’s exhaust and with separate hoses going back into the engine’s intake, and that the turbo is now in application in anything from Formula 1 racecars to commercial diesel trucks shipping goods all over the world, the mythos remains.
Without getting too technical, a turbocharger makes the booms bigger inside the cylinders, and bigger boom make car go faster (sic).
Now that we have all that technical gibberish out of the way, let’s dive into the franchise that helped elevate the word “Turbo” in the mind of a child to an invocation for performance and speed.
Without further ado, I present to you the 911 Turbo.
First conceived in 1975 with a turbocharged 3.0L flat-six derived from Porsche’s racing efforts, displacement increased to 3.3L in 1978, and carried on in the original chassis until 1989, though it was considered unique enough as to earn its own chassis code, 930. It was the fastest Porsche of its day and the fastest production car in Germany at its introduction. That generation was a car (and a spoiler) that likely tinged this overgrown child’s imagination and built this reverence for the word turbo.
So this 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo, as fast and capable as it is, is just another rung in the ladder to Porsche glory, something for the speed demon that might not want the punishing commitment required of GT3 drivers, or the exorbitant costs of special editions like the speed demon GT2 or even a Turbo S. Wait, did I just say that the 2014 911 Turbo is an alternative to exorbitant costs? But really, the step up for just one little letter and 40 hp is upwards of 36 grand! (Okay, there’s quite a bit more that goes into a Turbo S justifying that cost, but are we really here to debate brake materials and seat adjustability?) The previous generation GT2 cost $70K more than a Turbo… that’s enough for a whole Cayman! Are they worth it? Well, that will be a subject of a future review… hopefully one or both by yours truly.
Is this 911 Turbo – starting at $172,400, accelerating to gone in 3.3 seconds, braking that will make your eyes bleed, and providing cornering grip that gives you convertible hair in a coupe – worth it?
Yes, dear lord, yes.
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo, taillight, dashboard. Click image to enlarge