When supercars suffer such immense depreciation the moment they leave the dealer’s lot, the shrewd enthusiast has to wonder if buying new is a smart way to go. The clever collector takes into consideration the unfortunate drop in price cars in this range suffer almost immediately, then find that which will suit their tastes, budget, and intent. These two “grand tourers” boast similar numbers and cost roughly the same, but their characters and the experiences they offer are remarkably different, and require a deeper look to determine which is the better buy.
There are some—a few—machines which straddle the fence between outright supercar and usable sports car. The Porsche 991.1 Turbo S is one of those, and it’s obviously the friendlier, more approachable, and more practical of the two featured here. But it’s the exploitable performance and capability in every department which make this Turbo S such a formidable machine—and possibly the faster car in real-world conditions.
Four-wheel drive, 553 lb-ft from 2,900 rpm, and the sort of stability that encourages one to push over damp backroads like few supercars do. Perhaps that’s why the Turbo S is often, as possibly unfairly, relegated to a position of hyper-capable sportscar. To some, the status of supercar is reserved for things that are wilder, unwieldy, and a little slinkier than a 911—even one of the most capable 911s around.
The most approachable of the McLaren lineup is still very much a hardened sports car for a weekend drive. True, the 570GT has a decent trunk and a livable cabin, but it’s still a slightly strenuous event every time it’s taken out. With 570 horsepower powering the rear wheels alone, the driver must be aware of the conditions. That said, the traction is immense, but it still lacks the everyday usability as the Turbo over crowned and cambered roads.
What the 570GT might lack in all-weather performance, it makes up for in exotic appeal. The low scuttle, the futuristic interior, compact packaging, and the sharky nose all lend a sense of occasion that the Porsche doesn’t have. It’s a matter of whether it’s the heart or the intellect which signs the check.
For me, and this isn’t my Porsche bias speaking, I’ll take the Turbo S. Good manners, exploitable performance, cheaper servicing, and the ability to decimate just about everything over backroads beat exotic looks and a greater sense of occasion—but to each their own.