Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet: A (too) perfect sports car

 

Like potato chips you can never have just one.
Like potato chips you can never have just one. Photo by Abigail Bassett

 

I’ll be the first to admit it.

I have a problem.

A Porsche Problem–and the 911 Turbo S, has only made that problem worse.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to slip into bespoke suit or dress, you know that the feeling gives you goosebumps. The fabric slides over your skin as if it had always been there; there’s a hand to the material that slips silkily across every curve. It. Just. Fits.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S feels exactly the same way. It defies physics with its performance as a near neutral balance car, even though the engine sits behind the rear wheels. I found myself thinking the car into spots that would normally be impossible. It felt like an extension of my body, my fingertips were the nose of the car, my hips and back, the curvaceous tail. The Turbo S is the practically perfect Porsche.

That doesn’t mean that I there are a few niggling things that I might want to change up.

First of all–the sheer amount of power in this car is unreal.  Forget launch control–it is literally mind bending. Road and Track did a review of this amazing feature and asked Porsche how many times the Turbo could perform launch control without power degradation?  The answer was: infinite.  So they did one for every year that the 911 has been around, and each time the result was exactly the same… all four wheels briefly spin, the car launches forward, warping space and time around it for a mesmerizing 2.6 seconds and the next thing you know, you are off. Each launch was exactly the same and while the technological feat is simply astounding, there’s just something missing. Hear me out on this one—the car is perfect–but its so constant and reliable–that it has removed some of the unpredictable “fun” of taking a car right to the edge. It removes some of the “driver feel,” if you will.

Let’s be realistic though–how many people will actually use launch control?When you get down to it, the Porsche Turbo S, at cruising speed on the highway is a comfortable, reasonable, subtle commuter. Take it out of sport/sport plus mode and the steering could be that of a luxury sports sedan.  Bumps are noticed, but even on the winter induced, pock-marked roads of NY, nothing is harsh or jarring.  My biggest single complaint is the steering. If you have never driven a 911, 964, 993, 996 or 997 you might know what I am getting at. There’s a sensation that you get driving any of these models, that reminds you, albeit subtly, that you are driving a playful performance machine. The steering feel in the 2014 Turbo S has dampened some of that sensation, and while the control is direct and perfect, it’s also a touch numb for a Porsche purist….I know, I know…niggly niggly.

All this is instantaneously forgiven the second you put the Turbo S into a corner.  The rear wheel steering that consists of two electromechanical actuators fitted on the rear axle allows for 2.8 degree of motion in the opposite or same direction as the human controlled (for now) front wheels.  The system essentially steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front up to 31 mph and the same direction over 50, thus creating a shorter wheelbase car for those demanding exit ramps and a longer one for highway sweepers. It. Is. Phenomenal.  Combined with the all wheel drive system, PDDC, PASM, PTV and other grin inducing acronyms made up by our friends at Stuttgart, this car shreds any corner with ease.

And In case you’ve come into that corner a little too fast, *cough, cough*…the carbon ceramic brakes combined with PTV will surely provide relief for the over-eager driver.  Of course there is still is PSM (AKA Porsche Save Me) as the last resort.

The interior is beautiful and for the record…. an unnamed sales manager that tried to dissuade a friend of mine to not order the Burmester sound system to meet a price point….has got to be tone deaf.  It is hands down the best stock audio system in a car.  It comes to life with the top down with its adaptive volume controls and it is worth every penny. Add to that, the sport adjustable seats with so many adjustments that it makes it feel like a custom seat made for the driver, and you have a stadium-style concert experience.

At 215k (all in) the Porsche Turbo S Cabriolet begs one other question….what else is out there?  One serious compare would be the new the McLaren 650S or a 12C? Reach a little higher and you could go for a new Lamborghini Huracan. While Porsche has always been the attainable supercar–could there be such thing as too perfect?

 

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Abigail Bassett

Abigail Bassett is the Executive Editor at CNTRL MEDIA, LLC. She is also a freelance content creator and curator whose work has appeared in publications like Forbes, Fortune, Automobile, Motor Trend, Money Magazine and on CNN. Her passion is telling unique stories using a variety of media and taking the visitor places that they have never been–whether it’s into the cockpit of a rare supercar, inside an exclusive home or hotel, or behind the scenes of a fashionable event. She is also a Yoga Alliance Registered 200-hour yoga teacher. She teaches at a number of public, private, and corporate venues, around Los Angeles, CA.

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