Test Drive: 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S

A thrilling drive on a deserted road in the Stuttgart-based company's extravagant new sports car

It’s common knowledge that Porsche 911s are fast—really fast. Old or new, the implicit promise of a rear-engine sports car from the Stuttgart-based company is that it will deliver a thrill. But then there’s the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, a car so fast that it warps a driver’s very notion of speed. Porsche says that the coupe version of the extravagant Turbo S (which costs a minimum of $203,000) will race to 60mph in just 2.6 seconds—an almost implausible pace.

Even more inexplicable is the absolute ease with which a driver can rip to upper-speed limits. Climbing in and twisting the left-hand key to activate the 3.8-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine (the most powerful 911 engine currently in production) proves exhilarating enough. But to take this car (and its 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque) out to a long stretch of flat, deserted road is a dream for drivers—and one we gladly experienced.

On this type of road, the car needs to be placed into launch-control mode. The driving modes are located on the steering wheel itself, so you simply twist the small knurled dial to Sport Plus mode, turn off the traction-control by depressing a switch and then use your left foot to firmly hold the brake. Pin the gas pedal to the floor until a beep sounds off, and then release the brake. What follows is an infinitesimal moment of stillness before your head jounces back into the leather headrest as all four wheels give a sudden hard twist upon the asphalt.

Normally, drivers tend to stomp on the brake pedal pretty quickly, activating both the ceramic composite brakes and a bevy of active aero features like the front spoiler lip and rear wing that act as air brakes. If desired, the car will stop as abruptly as it launched.

The Turbo S is one smart machine: it takes a big computer brain to deliver just the right amount of torque to all four wheels at all times, allowing maximum traction. The active suspension makes some 200 calculations per second, adjusting the shocks for comfort and suppleness. And this car is comfortable, perhaps surprisingly so. Some of Porsche’s other models (like the 911 GT3 RS) are overly firm and unforgiving; best experienced on a racetrack. The Turbo S features comfortable seats, efficient electronics and a lovely interior that lends itself to longer rides.

Available as a convertible (or “cabriolet” in Porsche parlance), the car is incredibly wide, front and aft, and looks even more compelling with the roof down. Also available is a Sport Design package, which includes side skirts painted in the body color and a reworked, slightly funkier rear wing. Undeniably lavish, the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S delivers a thrilling ride—albeit a dream one.

Images courtesy of Porsche