Speed v Soul: The new heart of the 911

Much conversation and controversy surrounds the move by Porsche towards an almost entirely turbocharged lineup. The visceral scream and responsiveness of the current naturally aspirated engines are already being lamented. But what does this move actually mean for the line up? While the effects on overall chassis balance, drivability and power output are still speculation, we feel confident in making a few assumptions. First is that Porsche has a stalwart commitment to increasing speed, so we are confident in saying the new line of 911s will be faster than the existing models.

illustration of how a turbo works

Turbo lag is the biggest drawback associated with positive manifold pressure, but it is important to note how far technology has come since the original 911 Turbo aka the 930 debuted. That car featured a single K26 turbo charger based on 70’s turbine technology and had a deserved reputation for building boost in a non-linear way.A simple look at dyno graphs of today’s turbocharged engines should quell some of those fears. A new VW GTI, for example, makes an almost unbelievable 270ft/lbs of torque at just 2500rpm- from just 2.0l and a single turbocharger. With significantly more displacement, Porsche has the option of fitting two smaller, even more responsive turbochargers meaning the torque curve will be much closer to that of a new GTI than the 930 of yesteryear. This should add up to an even more responsive mill with vastly more accessible power and torque all throughout the rev range.

Facelift 911 undergoing testing at nurburgring

It is true that the lineup will likely loose some of the howl it is known for, but for many the whistles, whines, and wooshes of a turbocharged engine at full tilt- made famous by the Group B rally monsters of the 80’s- might just be enough to satiate those cravings. Personally, the sound of a turbo at full boost, the wastegate screaming extra exhaust gas and a bypass/blow off valve purging excessive pressure between shifts has a strong appeal.


Our point is this: change almost always causes apprehension. It happened when the 996 was introduced and Porsche strayed from its aircooled roots; again when the 991 swelled in size from the 997. But all these cars were improvements on their predecessors, and we have faith that Stuttgart will ensure the new models will be just as Porsche as ever. And almost certainly faster. We like faster.

New 991 turbo power plant out of car

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