2010 Porsche 911 Turbo Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
FAST FACTS
  • New 3.8-liter twin-turbo powerplant
  • Rated at 500 horsepower
  • Available 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission
  • Direct-injection improves power and efficiency
  • 18 percent more efficient than its predecessor, according to Porsche
  • Freshened exterior with LED lamps
  • On sale early next year

Introduction

2010 Porsche 911 TurboWith its flat-6 engine unconventionally mounted behind the rear wheels, Porsche's venerable 911 series is arguably its most celebrated model. Bred on the racetrack, the Porsche 911 has participated in, and won, the majority of the world's most esteemed races, rallies and hill climbs, and is likely the most successful competition car ever manufactured.

In 1974, Porsche added a turbocharger to the 911, calling it simply the "911 Turbo." With upgraded brakes and suspension, the 911 Turbo sported distinctively wide front and rear wheel arches, a deep front splitter, and an oversized rear "whale tail" spoiler. They were all functional character traits that backed its high-performance mission. The popularity of the 911 Turbo (or "930" as it was often known-that was its internal type number) encouraged Porsche to continue production of the Turbo, and eventually retain it as its flagship "grand touring" model.

Last updated for the 2007 model year, the Porsche 911 Turbo sits atop the 911 model range, which is comprised of more than one dozen different models. Purists would argue, correctly, that the limited-production GT3 and GT2 offer increased performance over the 911 Turbo, but at the expense of ride comfort, and day-to-day drivability.

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2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

Model Lineup

The 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo will be available in both Coupe and Cabriolet body styles, as was the 2009 version. All will wear freshened front and rear fascias, including integrated LED front and rear lamps, and will feature the upgraded infotainment systems introduced on the standard 911 models last year. The 911 Turbo features a long list of standard equipment, however, many consumers custom-tailor the car using the extensive Porsche options and accessories list to make every 911 Turbo unique.

Hardware

While its predecessor was fitted with a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter engine, the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo is fitted with a new twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-6 powerplant-the first entirely new engine in the 35-year history of the Turbo model, according to Porsche. Utilizing advanced technology such as direct fuel injection and variable-vane turbocharger geometry, the 6-cylinder generates 500 horsepower. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual, with Porsche's 7-speed "PDK" dual-clutch transmission optional. All 911 Turbo models feature all-wheel drive as a standard feature.

Porsche claims the 2010 911 Turbo will accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 194 mph. While such performance is usually associated with inefficiency, the automaker says the new Turbo will avoid the "gas guzzler tax" as it is nearly 18 percent more efficient than its predecessor.

To harness the increased performance, Porsche has upgraded the vehicle's Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system and added Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) to improve agility and increase steering accuracy, the automaker says.

2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

Safety

Like all 911 models, Porsche equips the 911 Turbo models with driver and passenger front air bags and the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POISP) system. The innovative POISP system includes two side air bags: one located inside the door panel, the second located in the side of the seat. When deployed, the air bags are designed to protect the torso, head and thorax region of the passenger. In addition to the air bags, all 911 Turbo models receive standard anti-lock brakes, newly enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

Technology

The 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo is available for the first time with the automaker's new double-clutch gearbox. Named the Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), the 7-speed transmission with an automatic mode replaces Porsche's Tiptronic S automatic on the 911 Turbo (it was available to the standard 911 model range for the 2009 model year). Based on racing technology pioneered by Porsche more than two decades ago, the PDK transmission features two parallel clutches designed to seamlessly switch between gears without any interruption of power delivery. With a computer-controlled ("launch control") start, the PDK transmission is so quick, according to the manufacturer, that it is able to accelerate the 911 Turbo to 60 mph faster than a professional driver with a 6-speed manual transmission. While all PDK-equipped 911 models feature shift levers mounted on the steering wheel, the 911 Turbo is the first to offer F1-inspired paddle shifters with the proper race-bred shift pattern (the right paddle is for shifting gears up, left paddle is for shifting gears down).
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