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For The Porsche 911, The Third Time Proved Less Charming

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/18/2014 Ron Kiino

Winning three titles in a row isn't easy. Just ask the Miami Heat. Or the Porsche 911. This year marks the first in the last three in which Germany's preeminent sports car didn't nab our coveted Best Driver's Car crown. But hey, it's not like it didn't put up one helluva fight..

Like with any champion, defeat can be the ultimate motivator. For Porsche, next year opens the door for the GT3, a 911 variant we wanted for this year's test, but couldn't get because of a delayed engine fix. So, if the stars align, next year's GT3 should be wearing an RS badge, signaling the 911's most extreme track tool to date. If any 911 could win back the BDC crown, it'd be the GT3 RS.

This year's 911 was the highly capable 560-horse Turbo S, a car so adept in all facets that it almost flies under the radar. Almost. Not too long ago, I sat down with 911 chief engineer August Achleitner and asked him about the state of the 911, the Turbo S, and the GT3.

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S The 911 has won back-to-back Best Driver's Car titles. Moving forward, how do you keep the car at the top? New variants?

There had been space left for Targa and, of course, this is filled up right now. And because these open places are fewer right now, and it's not a secret to tell that we have to continue engineering the next generation step and we are looking to improve the car, this characteristics spread is necessary. It's only one hint of cost performance because it's a sports car. And on the other hand, of course, fuel consumption. It's just necessary.

Will we see smaller displacement engines in this generation?

Maybe.

Of all current 991s, do you have a favorite?

I think I would take the Carrera S. It's not because of the class of horsepower, which you can use only in rare conditions, but it's the surplus of torque, which makes the car better for everyday drivability. Interestingly, the fuel consumption is almost better than with the smaller engine in the real world. But to be honest with you, I would take a Turbo S.

A Turbo S over a GT3?

No, a Turbo S.

Well, you're the man who's the chief engineer of the Turbo S...

No, no, no. That's not the reason. I like this engine with this extreme high torque. It's so fantastic.

Have you run both the Turbo S and GT3 on the same track for comparison?

Yeah, on the Nürburgring. But, these cars are not -- they are different. Different character.

For The Porsche 911, The Third Time Proved Less Charming

Are the 'Ring times pretty close?

Yeah, almost the same. If you change to the same tire from the GT3, the [Turbo S] lap time is faster. The car is completely different in weight and weight distribution compared to the GT3, and so this fact­ -- that this tire works on the Turbo -- is interesting.

With the Turbo S, can you feel the four-wheel drive?

It depends on the situation. If you look at the torque split on the display, you see in most cases this car is used as a rear-wheel-driven car. Only by transmitting higher forces, not torque, it's automatically putting more to the front, but then again depending on the driving situation. This works -- quite perfect, I think.

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