New Porsche Turbo A Lot Like the Current Porsche Turbo Which Wasn't A Whole Lot Different From The One Before That

Paul Grusche
by Paul Grusche

If the Porsche Turbo looked any the same as the 1976 model unleashed 33 years ago, I’d be fine with it. But that’s silly. While you go through life things get old. They need to be refreshed and eventually get redesigned. It’s a natural evolution, just look at your own hair. In the car business, people stop buying old product when there’s no buzz. If there’s no buzz [Ed: buzz cut?], the products eventually perceived as played. Then, eventually, it peters out. Hence Porsche going back to the salon for the seventh generation 911 Turbo.

Porsche will debut the “new” Porsche Turbo at the Frankfurt Motor Show (September 17 – 27). Porsche’s new model combines a new power unit displacing 3.8 liters (vs. the original 3.0 liter), delivering maximum output of 500 bhp (vs. 260 hp at launch). It does this with lower weight, enhanced driving dynamics and improved fuel efficiency.

The big news: PDK. Paddle shifty thingies. TTAC’s Cap’n Mike didn’t like them on the Cayman, but the guy flies in military jets for a living. And remember: plenty of U.S. buyers opted for Porsche’s Tiptronic. The PDK gearbox will restore their street cred—even if they never use them. Which they probably won’t.

Sales of the new Porsche 911 Turbo in both Coupé and Cabriolet form start in Germany on November 21, 2009, heading stateside in the new year. Which, as always, drops prices on pre-loved versions of the outgoing model. Know what I mean?

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Paul Grusche
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  • Kendahl Kendahl on Aug 08, 2009

    A couple years ago I was shopping for a retirement toy. Criteria were fast, good handling, rear or all wheel drive, manual transmission. It also had to be sufficiently comfortable and quiet so that I wouldn't feel like crap after a 15 hour trip with only brief stops to refuel. One of the cars I tried was a 2001 911 twin turbo with 25k miles in perfect condition. Aside from worrying about what maintenance costs would be, I found two problems with the car that made me turn it down. The first was turbo lag. To test this, I started out at a steady 60 mph in top gear then dropped down two gears and floored the accelerator pedal. It took the turbos a good second to spin up and add another hundred or more horsepower. The experience caused me to add "normally aspirated" to my list of criteria. The other problem was interior noise. I have found that high noise levels contribute significantly to fatigue after a long day. My previous toy was a first generation Mazda RX-7. Toward the end, I wore ear plugs during long trips in it. In the 911, the tires generated too much noise for me to tolerate over a long day. The engine was actually quite quiet while cruising. (I also tried a couple of Caymans. The constant drone from their engines drove me out after only 30 minutes.) I think the Porsche I would be most likely to own is a normally aspirated Carrera 4 with a manual transmission. It is still very fast, doesn't suffer from turbo lag and, with all wheel drive, you can use all the power. Now if Porsche would only do something about the tire noise.

  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Aug 08, 2009

    Well, Australia just got the English microsite this weekend. The cut-away CGI effort is brilliant.

  • PaulyG PaulyG on Aug 09, 2009

    @ PeteMoran Unfortunately, it looks like the GT2 manifold only. From the Porsche press release: "The heart and highlight of the seventh generation of the Turbo is the new power unit displacing 3.8 litres and delivering maximum output of 500 bhp (368 kW). The first entirely new engine in the 35-year-history of the Turbo(bold added by me)comes with features such as Direct Fuel Injection and Porsche’s exclusive turbocharger with variable turbine geometry on a gasoline power unit." From what I have seen at the track is that the non-turbo engine on which this new turbo unit is based has not been shown to be as tough as the old 964-based unit found in the 996/old 997 turbo and GT3.

  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Aug 09, 2009

    @ pgreenberg Thanks for that. I meant to post back after I saw it on the english microsite version.