Make it Again: The New Porsche 992 Turbo S
Out of every car manufacturer in existence, it's virtually undeniable that Stuttgart's auto powerhouse is at the top of their game right now. Whenever we stop and think "damn, how the hell are they going to make this any better" they just up and do it again and again.
And so goes the theme of their commercial: make great, great again. And with long anticipated release of the Turbo S, I think Porsche has done just that.
I have to admit that when the 992 first launched, I wasn't exactly keen on it. Some of the proportions looked a bit odd, a little misshapen. The door mirrors looked especially disproportionate to me, especially compared to the 991 design and the straight-cut hood just didn't jive with the surrounding curves to me. Porsche was quick to defend the new styling direction by calling it a "homage" to a more classic design language. Frankly, I really hate it when modern auto manufacturers try to do the "retro thing". With rare exceptions, the cars just end up looking more like modern caricatures than retro enhancements—everything that made the old cars special, the unrestricted styling, the passion, the sheer excitement of figuring out how air works—all those things, more often than not, simply don't exist in a world dictated by mandates and computer algorithms.
But as these things go, the car has begun to grow on me. Admittedly, the interior is a very nice place to be. Even with a blindfold on, it feels undeniably like a sports car, yet sumptuous where it matters. Where other cars just can't find the balance, the 992 Turbo S hits all the right retro notes. It walks the line where just about everyone (non-car enthusiasts included) could sit in it and appreciate everything at face value, while hardcore, concours Porsche-philes could pick away at its nuances and come to an approving nod.
Largely, the automotive world is becoming a foreign place to me as an enthusiast. Maybe it's all of the computer / data driven styling, maybe it's all the rules, maybe it's because most car companies are trying to make cars for people who don't really like cars. Maybe it's just because whoever is designing them now is just trying too hard to fit in diamond stitching, a few dozen more speakers, cupholders, or self-parking party tricks, and passing it off as "premium". Sorry, but if your car has to flap its doors at you synced to some Top 40 pop song, it means it's compensating.
By contrast, the formula for this Turbo is refreshingly simple—it's all centered on making a very great driver's car and everything experiential has to focus on that singular task. Everything after that, is a bonus.
And bonuses it has. While I did find some oddities in the standard 992 design, everything is in its right place somehow on the Turbo. The 997.2 is still the prettiest water-cooled Porsche to me, but Porsche's first go at the 992 is still a handsome thing and I imagine it has loads more to offer once you bury that go pedal. Has Porsche does it again? Make no mistake, they absolutely have, but it's not my favorite work from their gleaming portfolio.
Images via Car & Driver