Porsche 997 Turbo S: the pinnacle of Porsche?
From where I’m sitting right now, it can’t get much better for an exuberant 911 fanatic. Suitably nestled into the carbon-backed, no-cost optional bucket seats inside a 997 Turbo S perched high above the Yorkshire Dales, I’m on what appears to be the very zenith of a beautiful sweeping valley overlooking the sleepy village of Hawes.
However, I might add there’s only Ali Cusick between me and a tantalising drop down – yet the unflappable photographer is continuing to beckon the car forwards.
Unperturbed, I allow the 997 to crawl inch by inch over the uneven grassy terrain towards Ali, as my trust in the esteemed photographer battles with nerves heightened by no longer being able to see the floor in front of the 911s headlights.
And yet as Ali finally signals for me to stop the car and kill the engine, I marvel at how the Turbo S has accomplished this potentially tricky task at low speed so admirably.
There were no engine jolts, and no strain in my left thigh from trying to manually balance some overtly heavy clutch typically designed to revel in extremes of torque and not a near idle speed.
I say this as I’ve been at the wheel of other similarly powered high-performance sports cars marred by such problems when failing to remain composed in stop-start commuter traffic, let alone on an uneven plinth halfway up a small mountain. And yet the 530bhp Turbo S allowed me to negotiate the small path – at a speed of no more than 2mph – with sensationally zero fuss.
It might seem bizarre that I’ve opened my account of an absurdly powered range-topping sports car by discussing its merits at miniscule speed, but its this demonstrable practicality twinned with sheer brutal performance when called upon that’s the very reason why we’ve brought the Turbo S back out for review.
You see, it may be about to be replaced, but with the 997 Turbo S already assured as an incredibly accomplished sports car, the question is can it be knocked off this metaphorical perch by the 991 in the day to day world?
To find out what Lee made of the Porsche 997 Turbo S, as well as our first drive of its successor, the 991 Turbo S, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 105, available to order online, or to download to your digital device.