Now that it is 2020 (at least as you read this – as I write it I don’t even know who won the bloody election), I’ve been thinking about what Porsche I’m most looking for driving in 2020, and I guess a lot depends on whether we’ll even see let alone get a go in the new GT3. My guess is that even if it’s shown, I won’t get behind the wheel this year. But a new 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo 992? That seems altogether more likely.
There is of course lots we can already take for granted about the car, including that it will be four-wheel drive and PDK only. It will have prodigious power, too – I’m guessing the standard Turbo will be up around the 586-650bhp mark of the old Turbo S, with the new Turbo S the first production 911 not called a GT2 to break through 700bhp. I don’t even know what engine it will use, though if I had to bet I’d say it would be a twin turbo version of the new 4-litre motor already seen in the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder. I’ve always said it’s a hell of an investment to make this engine for two niche products alone, and the extra capacity means it could realise the additional power with barely breaking a sweat.
But that’s not what I really want to know. What interests me more is whether the new Turbo will at last be a 911 Turbo that talks to the heart as much as the head. They used to: there were some rubbish early Turbos as anyone who’s driven a blown 964 should be able to tell you, but they got under your skin. But ever since they stuck two turbos and four driveshafts on the 993, for all they have gained in terms of power and usability, so too has an emotional connection been lost.
A modern 911 Turbo is an awesome device. On the right road (wet, fast, difficult), I still think it’s probably the most rapid A to B missile you can buy. A couple of years back I drove one diagonally across Wales in precisely those conditions and arrived in Anglesey absolutely beside myself with admiration for its abilities. But I still didn’t love it.
But now we have the 992, a car whose greatest accomplishment in standard form is to be fun to drive at all speeds, not just when driven very fast indeed like equivalent versions of the 991. So I’m hoping most of all that the same approach has been taken with the Turbo. Of course it still needs to be the continent-crushing business tool of the range, but I don’t see that as being in any way incompatible with it just being a touch more accessible for those who need to do long distances in short periods of time, but want to have a car that’s at least as fun as it is fast when the moment arrives.
Frankel is hoping that the new 992 Turbo is as entertaining to drive as the 992 Carrera and Carrera S. Hopefully we will find out soon enough