It’s not easy putting into context the ever-increasing performance of the world’s fastest sports cars, like the Porsche 911 Turbo S revealed today. But let me offer a few examples:
By the time your eyes reach the comma in this sentence, the new Porsche 911 Turbo S can hit 60 mph. At top speed of 198 mph, the 911 Turbo could outrace a Boeing 747 on takeoff. And the 2013 edition of the 911 Turbo S with 560 hp has double the motive energy of the original 1974 model.
The 911 Turbo always promises the meanest and maddest version of the 911, but this version arrives with every technological trick Stuttgart could muster. Start with the engine: the 3.2-liter flat-six gets mated to two variable-turbine turbochargers, with power set at 520 hp in the non-S edition. That power leaves the engine via a seven-speed PDK automatic; of all the available options, a manual transmission isn’t one of them, as Porsche has found even its customers prefer to let computers shift faster than they could. That transmission links to an all-wheel-drive system that can handle more power to the front wheels; Porsche says the new 911 Turbo can hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds — 2.9 for the Turbo S — and lap the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes, 30 seconds — on stock 20-inch wheels.
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