This is coming a little late, considering the new 997 Porsche 911 Turbo was launched a month ago in Malaysia on the 21st of July 2006, but then again I don’t think many of you are in a rush to go out and buy this fine piece of engineering in the form of a supercar, are you? Even if you wanted to. Sniff. Anyway. Let’s have a look at what new technological goodies are packed into the new 997 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo.
The new Porsche 997 Turbo‘s main highlight is the new engine that comes with Variable Turbine Geometry. The 3.6 litre flat-6 engine is twin turbocharged with two VTG turbines on each bank of cylinders, as well as two intercoolers. The result is 480hp at 6,000rpm and 620Nm of torque between 1,950rpm to 5,000rpm. Fantastic torque curve. For more information on how VTG works, check out my previous blog post “How Does Variable Turbine Geometry work?”
All that torque is put to the ground with the aid of an improved all-wheel drive system which benefited from Porsche’s dabbling in SUVs. The experience Porsche gained from the Porsche Cayenne results in Porsche Traction Management, which uses an electromagnetic multi-plate clutch to distribute power between the front and rear wheels. Porsche Traction Management responds within fractions of a second to changing road conditions. For the manual transmission, there is an optional Limited Slip Differential for the rear axle which helps with rear axle traction on variable grip surfaces.
This is one of the few cars I know where the automatic transmission is rated to have a faster acceleration speed than the manual transmission. The 911 Turbo equipped with the automatic Porsche Tiptronic S transmission goes from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, while the six-speed manual gearbox version takes 3.9 seconds. It must be hard shifting fast enough on a manual transmission with that crazy amount of torque available across the rev range. Top speed is a good 310km/h.
There’s also this very arcade-like overboost button if you get the Porsche Sports Chrono Package Turbo. This package adds an OverBoost feature, where pressing a Sports button increases turbo boost up by 0.2 bar to 1.2 bar for the low to mid rev ranges, increasing maximum torque in those ranges to 680Nm, after of which it drops back to 1.0 bar of boost producing 620Nm. OverBoost is available for 10 seconds only. Other than that, the Sports button sets the Porsche Active Suspension Management system to a sportier mode. More on PASM later.
The optional Tiptronic S transmission allows you to control the shifts from buttons mounted on the steering wheel, as seen on the photo on the left. If there is no manual input for 8 seconds, the system reverts to automatic mode. Even in fully automatic mode, the Tiptronic S is intelligent enough for track use, for example the Fast-Off function that prevents the transmission from automatically shifting up a gear when the driver eases on the gas pedal. This ensures you can maintain optimum throttle control while staying in the right gear. This ensures no disruptive upshifting and downshifting during a corner which causes changes in load, this might cause instability.
The car rides on the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. PASM uses sensors to monitor car body movement under acceleration, braking or uneven services. This sensor data is used to adjust individual damping forces. Other than that, there is two preset modes – Normal and Sport. The Sport mode is harder, however if bumpy roads are detected, the dampers are set to a softer value but still within the sports range of settings. This setting reverts to the harder setting once road conditions improve.
Safety features include 6 air bags – 2 front, 2 head and 2 side airbags, antilock brakes and four-channel ABS. Although the stock 350mm crossdrilled discs with six-piston calipers at the front and four-pistons at the back, there is an option for Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), which enlarges the front discs to 380mm. The PCCB front and rear discs are also made from a specially treated carbon-fibre compound – a material harder than metal and more resistant to heat. But the key feature of PCCB is weight reduction of approximately 50% – 17kgs lighter! To accomodate those huge brakes, front wheel dimensions are 8.5J x 19 with 235/35/ZR19
tyres. Rear wheel size is 11J x 19 with 305/30/ZR19 tyres.
Drag coefficient is 0.31 cD, as a comparison the Proton Satria Neo‘s drag coefficient is 0.35 cD. The Toyota Prius has a drag coefficient of 0.26. The Mercedes Benz bio car that looks like a fish has a drag coefficient of 0.19, looks like fishes ARE aerodynamic after all. Lower numbers are better. For high speeds, a contoured split wing increases downforce at the rear.
When it’s not a track weekend, you’re ensured you can cruise around the KL nightlife with clarity – the new 997 Porsche 911 Turbo comes with Bi-Xenon gas-discharge headlamps. Front indicator lights as well as the rear apron third brake light use LED diodes.
The interior is fully customisable with a variety of colours, you have single tone colours, two tone colours. The customisability even affects dashboard dial backgrounds. I’ve sat in the car before, and I have to say the seats are pretty comfortable. And it’s been a really long time since I’ve actually felt really nice plastics used to make a car’s dashboard. Hard to find that in new cars these days.
You can either pick standard seats or sports seats. The standard seats offer full electric adjustments of fore/aft position, height, backrest angle, squab angle and lumbar support. You can have the sports seats at a no cost option, which offers firmer upholstery and higher side bolsters. If you want something better, there’s adaptive sports seats, a paid option which offers electric adjustment of almost everything including the side bolsters. The rear seats are really tiny, but they serve their purpose in case you really need to stuff more than two people including yourself into the car. Fold them up and you gain an extra 190 litres of luggage space. There is also a 105 litre trunk at the front of the car.
The in-car entertainment system is integrated into the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system. The PCM system includes radio, CD, satellite navigation and on-board computer controls. There’s also an optional telephony, logbook and CD changer modules. The on-board computer calculates average fuel consumption, average speed, range until empty, journey time and external temperature. It also provides readings from the optional Tyre Pressure Monitoring sensors. The audio system is a BOSE Surround Sound System, which comprises of a 7-channel MOST digital amplifier. MOST is a fibre optic bus network. This is hooked up to a 13 speaker system, which includes an active subwoofer and a centerspeaker.
Not very likely to get a test drive of this beauty, but I did get to sit in it and I got to hear the engine revving when they started it to let the guest of honour rev it a little. It was orgasmic. Whoever has RM1.5 million to part with for this baby is very lucky indeed. For the rest of us, we’ll just look at more photos!
One of the many colour combinations for the interior.
Blue arrows indicate cool air, hot arrows indicate hot air. Notice the triple radiators.