Dropped in to see Jonas Zambakides and a pair of perfect Porsche 911 Turbo S models this morning and catch up on used Porsche sales activity. Some interesting discussions on the state of the market and whether values have indeed peaked: I think we’re on the same page, but that’s a post for another day.
Classic Porsche fans who don’t hang on every detail of newer 911 machinery may be unaware of the 997 & 991 Turbo S. Both of these Weissach-tuned performance Porsche 911 Turbos have just sold, so it’s interesting to compare them in fantasy garage style and wonder what the choice would be if funds allowed.
Porsche 997 Turbo S
Introduced in 2010, the 3.8-litre Porsche 997 Turbo S was developed in response to customer demand for a bit more excitement. How about 523 bhp with 516 lb ft of torque and the sole transmission offering of 7-speed PDK with standard Turbo four-wheel drive. PDK gives launch control, offering 3.3 seconds to 60 mph and a top speed of 196 mph.
Spec includes PCCB (ceramic brakes), dynamic cornering lights, carbon seats, Sport Chrono and centre lock wheels. The Dynamic Engine Mount system is one of my favourite new-Porsche concepts and that is standard on the S. Porsche Torque Vectoring is an active diff that splits power across the rear axle depending on what the car is doing, improving traction and stability.
Porsche 991 Turbo S
New to the market last year, the 2013 Porsche 991 Turbo S beats the 997 in Top Trumps: 552 bhp, 197 mph and the grunt to sprint to 60 in 3.1 seconds. Interestingly, Porsche says it is faster around the Nürburgring than the GT3 RS 4.0, managing a 7:24 on Pilot Sport Cups. Hardly a surprise, but not a point one might expect Stuttgart to make.
Weighing just over 1600 kgs, the 991 Turbo S features the latest active rear wheel steering, active anti-roll bars and active/adaptive aerodynamics. EVO magazine knocked the 991 Turbo for a fuel-saving intermediate PDK gear setup, which shifts the car up a gear earlier than normal. Their tester said it made the car “deeply unresponsive: it feels like it’s on the verge of stalling”. As the latest 911, it is also fresher faced but, parked up side-by-side, all I can think of is how good the 997 still looks.
Brand new, the Porsche 997 Turbo S cost £123,000 from new, which is about £137,500 in today’s money. List price for a Porsche 991 Turbo S is £140,850, so a little bit dearer. The Porsche 991 Turbo S was a pre-owned example with 1,300 miles on the clock and sold for £135,000, while their Porsche 997 Turbo S had less than 25,000 miles and was closer to £75,000. That’s a 60 grand difference for new versus (not so) old.
Not saying the 991 is not worth the money or that the 997 is super cheap but it certainly puts choice and value into perspective. The reality is that someone looking at the 991 Turbo wants a 991 and the real purchase choice is this versus used McLaren, or used Ferrari. In comparison, the 997 Turbo S is a well priced list topper for those in search of the ultimate GT 911.
Given £75k to spend on one 911, would you go for a Porsche 997 Turbo S? Or would it be early 911 – maybe a simple 911T? 930 of some description? I could be tempted to opt for the 997 Turbo S. That shape rings true in my head: more than I remember a 993 or 996 ever doing.