Cars & Tech

Why the Porsche 911 was ahead of its time

It’s like Porsche somehow knew that turbocharging would catch on in the coming times.
ILLUSTRATOR Alysse Asilo
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Since 1975, the Porsche 911 has had two schools of thought—it was either naturally aspirated, or turbocharged. The Turbo was a difficult beast to tame, with so much lag to handle before the boost kicked in (and it usually happened while you were turning a corner). Despite this, it emphasized its tail-happy character and commanded a lot of respect. The naturally aspirated Carrera, on the other hand, was the foundation of the model range: already something special on its own, and everything you could ever look for in a 911.

In recent times though, small-displacement boosted engines with increased output and better efficiency have been the natural progression, so normal aspiration slowly fades away. Which makes the Carrera range now turbocharged, making this 0.2 upgrade the most extensive yet. While everyone is looking for this improved performance by way of smaller force-fed units, Porsche has already been putting turbo technology to good advantage since the late ’60s.

While everyone is looking for this improved performance by way of smaller force-fed units, Porsche has already been putting turbo technology to good advantage since the late ’60s.

991.2 Carrera S, has a 3.0-liter twin-turbo fl at-six, putting out 420hp and 500Nm. That’s a 20hp and 58Nm increase from its naturally aspirated 3.8-liter predecessor. Equipped with the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe gearbox and the Sport Chrono Package, it can hit the century mark in just 3.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of 308kph. Good luck finding a stretch long enough to confi rm those numbers. The PDK gearbox has also been improved. Those who prefer swapping cogs manually will be disappointed, as the manual isn’t available in our market.

Equipped with the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe gearbox and the Sport Chrono Package, it can hit the century mark in just 3.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of 308kph.

So why fi t the new turbo to this platform rather than introducing it in the next generation? Because this will be the basis for further development, and fitting it now means extracting more performance along the way. Competition is tight at this level, and if improvements aren’t applied at the right time, you’ll be left behind. It’s as simple as that.

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Highlighting the new performance is a sharper look—air intakes with new flaps, LED headlights and taillights influenced by the 918 Spyder, and best of all, a new retro-looking yet functional air vent, along with air exits behind the rear wheels for optimal breathing. The car’s rear wheels and tires are also slightly wider for better handling.

Speaking of handling, the suspension has a wider travel, increasing the spread between setups. Porsche says the improvement gives the 991.2 Carrera S an 8-second lap time advantage over the 991 Carrera S on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Eight seconds! That’s huge! The new one also has a 6 percent shorter braking distance from 100kph.

A Sport Response Button on the tiller is also taken from the 918, and gives you 20 seconds of maximum boost—pretty much like KERS in previous-generation Formula 1 cars. The standard wheel is 375mm, with an optional 360mm GT sports steering wheel. A bit of a no-brainer choice.

Keeping your behind cool are air-conditioned seats—ideal for our hot and humid weather conditions. Air sucked in rather than blown out give the seats a snugger feel. The new Porsche Communications Management system, meanwhile, is easier to sift through with a friendlier interface.

So how does the turbo’d Carrera S drive? While you had to push to the midrange to get the best out of the naturally aspirated predecessor, there’s now more low-end torque—just before 2,000rpm—and the rev range is linear all the way to the redline.

So how does the turbo’d Carrera S drive? While you had to push to the midrange to get the best out of the naturally aspirated predecessor, there’s now more low-end torque—just before 2,000rpm—and the rev range is linear all the way to the redline. The dual-clutch gearbox is seemingly smoother, with less of a jolt. Don’t get ahead of yourself assuming the old sound of the naturally breathing flat-six has disappeared. It still sounds great. Plus it’s amplified by an exhaust button and the optional sport exhaust. They really thought of everything to keep that familiar noise. It’s like Porsche somehow knew that turbocharging would catch on in the coming times. It is the wisest way to go, and the Carrera would’ve gone this direction sooner rather than later.

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Jason dela Cruz
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