2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the porsche 911. and despite being a pentagenarian, the 911 is showing no signs of slowing down. in fact, now that a turbo 991 has arrived it’s moving along quicker than ever. so come along as we hit our favorite road course, savannah’s roebling road raceway, to find out just how much faster and better this all-new 911 turbo really is!
While we are always pumped to drive a new Porsche, just as a race team begins thinking about their next race as soon as the checkered flag drops, we begin dreaming about the next Porsche we get to drive as soon as we hop out of one. So, no sooner did we pull our 911 C4S into pit lane at Roebling Road Raceway last year, we began thinking about this car, the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S.
The 911 Turbo and this 2-mile road course are made for each other. Unlike previous gens of Turbo, with the 991-series, both Turbo and Turbo S models are available right away, with the S adding more standard equipment and more power from the 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6.
Turbo numbers are 520-horsepower and 487 lb-ft. of torque. The Turbo S hikes those to 560 and 516, with up to 553 lb-ft. of torque available at full throttle, with overboost as part of the Sport Chrono package.
If there’s one constant in our society, no matter how much you give, people always seem to want more, and the new Turbo delivers. How much more? Well, the Turbo S is the quickest road going production Porsche ever. On Roebling’s front straight, we managed to hit 60 in 2.9-seconds, with the ¼-mile pass taking 10.8 at 129 miles-per-hour.
And as great as that is, the real reason you should want a Turbo is for the handling. It’s all-wheel-drive of course, and the current system is a evolution of the torque vectoring setup with an added Electro-hydraulic control for the multi-plate coupling that enables more power to be delivered to the front axle faster.
In addition, the Turbo gains rear wheel steer. With an electromechanical actuator for each back wheel, the system provides varying degrees of steering to both tighten turns and increase high speed stability.
But even with electronics managing just about every aspect of the chassis, the drive experience is about as intuitive and easy as it can be. Amazingly enough, Porsche has succeeded in not entirely dialing out all of the driving enjoyment. But if you’re looking for hairball, rear end out kicks, you might have to wait a few more months for the GT3. This car has phenomenal grip. The harder you push it through corners, the more it eggs you on.
Active roll compensation keeps things flat no matter the speed, and the stability and overall manner through high speed sweepers is incredible. Roebling also has a few tight corners and when coming off of them, depending on how much throttle you were able to maintain, you will experience some turbo lag going full off to full on.
We like big brakes and we cannot lie, the Turbo’s standard ceramic brakes are eye popping effective. As for transmission, the Turbo is PDK only, and while purists will surely cry for a manual, we’re beyond that. The PDK’s shifts are incredibly quick, and it makes street driving in every day traffic that much more livable.
Who would have thought you’d need to artificially pump exhaust sound into the 911 to get the full experience, more so, who would have thought we’d enjoy it so much!
Visually, all the usual Turbo clues are here, wider hips, enlarged air intakes, and serious 20-inch wheels. While new active air elements like an extending front spoiler and a slotted rear wing take down force to new levels. Full LED headlights provide bright-as- day nighttime illumination on the Turbo S.
There’s plenty for the tactile senses to enjoy inside as well, from the 2-tone leather treatment throughout to the Turbo specific gauge package.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are also improved to 17-City, 24-Highway, and 20-Combined. That also improves the Energy Impact Score to 16.5-barrels of oil and 7.4 tons of CO2 emitted annually.
As for pricing, does it really matter? While every red-blooded driver should want a Turbo, you either can afford one or you can’t. Sticker shock starts at $149,250; Turbo S at $181,950.
It is truly insane that Porsche has taken the rear engine platform to this level. The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo simply exceeds all rational expectations. Can you have too much of a good thing? As far as we’re concerned, never. And you can be assured that Porsche engineers are already working on delivering even more for the next one. And yes, we are already thinking about driving it!
- Engine: 3.8-liter
- Horsepower: 560
- Torque: 516 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 2.9-seconds
- 1/4 mile: 10.8 seconds @ 129 mph
- EPA: 17 mpg city/ 24 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 16.5 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 7.4 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined