Tour de force: New Porsche 911 Turbo S vs McLaren GT

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What happens next in the context of this test is less predictable, not least because I warmed up a lot towards the GT over those 170 miles. Whisper it, but maybe an overall victory now seems possible. The car is ridiculously good on the highway, although it constantly wants to hit triple-digit speeds. At speed, the otherwise booming V8 drops to a lighter weight and the cabin is then significantly quieter than that of other McLarens, also thanks to the suppression of wind and roar from the road.

The body seems to glide so deftly through the air, despite the brutally sharp Tornado-style air intakes looming in the exterior mirrors, and while the new power seats are mounted a bit higher, they’re also voluptuous, soft and smooth. supporting. You then get all the benefits of the MonoCell II carbon fiber monocoque, which has been modified (and the exhaust system routed lower) to incorporate the 420-liter rear luggage compartment. The immense rigidity of the tub allows for spring stiffness which even the most synaptic passenger could not fail to appreciate.

The low earpiece and, in this car, the integrated panoramic roof flood the interior with light, volume and well-being. The effect might not be as pronounced as it is with the 600LT, but in the GT you really feel like you’re perched on an arrowhead, with the road rapidly passing below. I wonder why it took someone so long to try to develop a real mid-engined GT. Done well, the layout clearly offers a sublime feeling of movement and visibility.

So I feel fresh when I snap my eyes on the 911 Turbo S Saunders drove in Exmoor. And, well, wow. It looks incredibly useful, and while the Mac’s exterior design is picky in a loosely die-cast style, the 3.7-liter Porsche’s butch shape is just plain monolithic. Comfortably shorter than the GT, the 911 is only a little narrower and then taller, but its shocked expression and the delusional curves of those rear arches, which are almost horizontal at one point, mean it outshines the supercar for presence. How the hell did this happen?

The hardware of the Turbo S is just as serious. While it doesn’t have a carbon fiber tub and dual wish suspension, instead using MacPherson struts with a multi-link layout for the chunky rear axle, its wheel and tire assembly is much more. substantial, with 315-section rear rubber compared to the Mac’s 295-. Pirellis section. It has loud brakes (with 10-piston front calipers), four-wheel drive (with water now cooling the front differential and harder clutches) and, in terms of brute force, it’s just not a competition. The McLaren’s 465 lb-ft of power satisfactorily peaks at 5,500 rpm, but the Turbo S channels 590 lb-ft at just 2,500 rpm thanks to its beefed-up PDK gearbox. Both, it must be said, are faster than you’d ever need on the road or track, but only one broke your mind before the crank really kicked off.

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