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 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined