As expected, the Porsche 911 Turbo's acceleration is the stuff of legends. Leaving the line is like blasting off from a launch pad. The all-wheel-drive grip and manual transmission encourage a delicate yet aggressive starting-line technique. If you get too aggressive off the line, the rear axles will do the two-step hop, fighting back and forth for grip. Since that doesn't allow for the smoothest of launches, a lower rpm before letting out the clutch seemed to be the better answer. Once moving, the revs come up so fast that it's hard to catch second gear before hitting the 6,750-rpm rev limiter. Into second gear, you actually have a second or so to think before grabbing third and then, just as quickly, fourth. The six forward gear ratios are so closely spaced that it does require fourth gear to get through the quarter-mile.
We typically start with the braking portion of the test in order to test the brakes at their coolest. We had just set up some new parameters in the computer, and our first run ended up being a bust with no reading. The second and third runs were also busts due to technical problems. On the fourth run we got it right. Since it took us until the fourth run to get any reading at all, we're sure that the Porsche could have been slightly better with completely cold brakes. That said, for all four runs the Porsche stopped straight, true and incredibly quick. We can only wonder about how good it could have been.
Surprisingly, this Porsche was not as stable as the Carrera 4 Coupe we had tested last fall. Add on 115 throttle-induced oversteering horses and the rear is bound to move around some more. During the first few runs, the rear felt planted and we got some really good run times. But as we got more heat in the tires, the back end seemed to go away. It was a handful. The steering has a non-assisted feel to it, even though it does have power steering. After many years of driving over-assisted steering, we found this to be a pleasant surprise. The quickest way through the cones was to drive with as little movement from the rear as possible; in other words, a nice tight line. Even with the PSM engaged, the rear never felt as planted as we would have liked. That being said, the 911 Turbo did go much faster through the cones than the previously tested Carrera 4.