Obviously the most instantly recognisable difference when you drop into the seats is the houndstooth fabric, made from a new material called Pepita. It looks and feels special, despite Porsche rolling it out across a few limited editions.
It’s important, this, because if you’re spending over £200k on a 911, you need reminding at every opportunity as to why. The rest of the interior is largely normal 911, save for some detail bits like leather on the central vents and wood trim across the dashboard, but that’s no criticism. The seating position is spot on and the seats themselves are wonderfully supportive and comfortable.
Twist the ‘key’ to start and then reach across to the stubby gearlever. It’s then that you’re hit with a slight disappointment as you remember it’s the seven-speeder. There is an engineering justification for this – the six-speeder from the GT cars can’t be used because it only works with GT components – but it’s still a let down.
There’s nothing wrong with the gearbox’s action, because it has a neat and precise throw, but cramming seven ratios across the gate means you can’t slide from third to fifth, say, with the same degree of confidence you get in a six-ratio ’box. It’s more of a staccato movement.
That’s one of the few disappointments. As you’d expect with that sort of power, pace is never an issue. From 1750rpm, the power and torque just build relentlessly, pushing on and making a folly of all sorts of laws of physics. There’s minimal let-up even well beyond 100mph (on a derestricted autobahn).
What’s interesting, though, is that it’s not quite as mind-bending as other fast car experiences these days. Maybe we’ve all got too used to electric’s incessant torque, but the 911 Turbo engine, at least in this application, isn’t quite the retina-detacher it once was.
On a hot summer’s day, the grip and traction are such that you can’t tell the car is no longer four-wheel drive. It’s only when you really start to press on, and in tighter bends, that it’s possible to feel a bit more wiggle from the rear end. But you’d still have to be going some to get the rear 315/30 ZR21 Pirelli P Zero tyres to come unstuck.