What it is like to drive the new Porsche 911 Turbo S
Daniel Resnick takes off at the Sydney Airport launch of the newest Porsche 911 Turbo S.
I recently had the ultimate privilege of test driving the new Porsche 911 Turbo S at the car brand’s ‘Launch Control’ event in Australia. For Porsche diehards and serious car enthusiasts, this astonishingly designed car delivers 478kW of power at 6,750rpm, as well as 800Nm of torque from its 3.8-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo boxer engine. The Turbo S can explosively travel at 100km/h in 2.7 seconds, and in 8.9 seconds can reach speeds of 200km/h – it has a blistering top speed of 330km/h.
This legendary car is one of the world’s fastest and most luxurious sports coupes. Parked motionless in its temporary showroom is enough to evoke its feeling of power.
The venue for the launch of the new model 911 Turbo S was Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport. The day was coordinated with multiple government and regulatory agencies to ensure safety and temporarily close runway 16L/34R, one of two runways that extends out into Sydney’s Botany Bay. This gave VIP guests and potential Porsche customers the unprecedented chance to test-drive the new 911 Turbo S down a long and straight stretch of Sydney’s International Airport runway. Due to COVID-19, international travel has virtually come to a standstill. So what an ideal replacement for the lack of aircraft.
I was in attendance to participate in a two-part test drive that included a 400-metre and a 1,000-metre drive. To say I was apprehensive, nervous and incredibly excited all at the same time was a gross understatement. This sleek and magnificently designed beast I was about to test drive was unlike any vehicle I had ever driven before.
Fortunately, all my fears dissipated quickly once we were advised that supervision was being provided by Porsche ‘Track Instructors’ led by Bathurst 1000 champion Luke Youlden – each driver would have an instructor with them in their car.
Prior to the test drive we had to wear a balaclava and helmet for safety purposes. It was suggested that before launching I had my helmet pushed up against the headrest, such was the force I was about to experience upon takeoff.
There were three cars available for the test drives, and once I was allocated a car and instructor, I drove very slowly to the takeoff position. Once stationary, I was then instructed how to set up the car up for a ‘launch’ start.
To reach maximum speed, my left foot was utilised to compress the brake as hard as I could and my right foot pushed the accelerator flat to the floor. With the car set in ‘sports mode’, my instructor told me to release the foot brake; with the accelerator slammed to the floor, the sound of the intense revving engine and the speed that I ‘launched’ was out of this world. It was like what I imagine a pilot taking off in a stealth fighter jet would feel like.
My phenomenal once-in-lifetime test drives yielded times of 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds for the 400-metre run, and a scorching 300km/h for the 1,000-metre run.
With the amount of power the 911Turbo S produces, it should have wings, so this venue for a test drive could not be more appropriate.
Exiting the car after my test runs felt like I’d just won a Formula 1 championship, such was the buzz. It was the most surreal feeling, and all I wanted was to do it over again. I’ve never experienced such an adrenaline rush to that extent. The thundering power and stability the 911 Turbo S exerts is something I’ll never forget.
After the drive, Porsche aficionado Dr Fadi Yassmin – who managed to get the car to a staggering 306km/h in the 1,000m run – informed me that he owns the preceding turbo model of the car. The new Porsche 911 Turbo S, he said, exceeded all expectations.
As for me, a Porsche novice, it was definitely a fantasy fulfilled and a day to be remembered.