Review: 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo
This 2007 review is representative of model years 2005 to 2011.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
Goodness knows, the regular Porsche 911 is more than plenty fast with 325-355 horsepower. So imagine how fast the new Porsche Turbo is with its twin-turbocharged 480-horsepower engine.
The sixth-generation Porsche 911 Turbo looks much like the standard-issue 911, but functional features such as extra air scoops and wider rear fenders give it a tougher look. The small car isn't especially light at 3,495-3,572 pounds. But Porsche has made it 11 pounds lighter than its predecessor, despite a wider range of equipment. Holding down weight are such items as aluminum doors.
The 911 Turbo is the ultimate 2007 sports car from this revered German automaker, which is doing so well it recently bought a good chunk of giant Volkswagen, with which it has occasionally developed cars since 1970.
Acceleration with the $3,420 5-speed automatic transmission is even faster (3.4 and 7.8 seconds). This transmission can be shifted manually via small rocker type switches on the steering wheel. It makes the 911 Turbo the first Porsche sports car that is faster with an automatic than with a manual.
My test 911 Turbo had the automatic, which delays upshifting to a higher gear a little if you abruptly floor the throttle for a downshift and then quickly takes your foot off the gas pedal. Porsche says the delay occurs because the transmission assumes you want to stay in a lower gear for a few seconds for better control on, say, winding roads. An upshift during such a maneuver might result in less speed on such roads—or in a lower lap time on a track.
Automatic Transmission Annoyance
No matter what transmission, few drivers in America will experience the fierce acceleration of the 911 Turbo. And it's doubtful that many owners of the car will reach its 193-mph top speed.
Besides heroic performance, the 911 Turbo has a good number of comfort and convenience items, along with availability of many of Porsche's typically costly, desirable options—such as the ceramic brakes.
I was impressed with the acceleration of the first Porsche Turbo when I drove it in the mid-1970s, when it was one of the few really fast, relatively affordable sports cars of that decade. Porsche has pulled the 911 Turbo from the U.S. market several times since then, but always returned the car in improved form.
The latest 911 Turbo's excellent aerodynamics, new rear spoiler and redesigned all-wheel-drive system let it easily cruise at 100 mph in sparsely populated states with good roads and high speed limits. After all, it reportedly can happily cruise at much higher speeds on European high-speed roads.
Horsepower of the new 911 Turbo is up from 420 to 480. Torque is available over a wide engine rev band for sharp response at all speeds and has climbed from 415 pound-feet to an even more neck-snapping 460 pound-feet.
The engine's new variable turbine geometry turbocharger system allows virtually no turbo lag—a condition that causes delayed throttle response in some turbocharged cars.
Decent Fuel Economy
As with all 911 models, the 911 Turbo has Porsche's traditional, compact 6-cylinder engine with horizontally opposed pistons. The smooth engine only has a displacement of 3.6 liters, or 219 cubic inches. Extracting so much horsepower from such a relatively small, docile engine is an engineering feat.
The 911 Turbo is loaded with complicated technology, but Porsches are known for being rugged and trouble-free despite a high level of sophistication.
An $1,840 Sports Chrono Package option boosts turbocharger pressure for 10 seconds to allow quicker acceleration in the medium speed range.
I ignored the analog speedometer with its offbeat mph markings and used the digital speedometer. Control buttons are small.
While small, the front trunk area is deep and nicely shaped. If more cargo room is needed for a long trip, you can flip the rear seatbacks forward and toss stuff in the back. The 911 Turbo makes it exciting to take a trip of any length.