The current iteration of the horsepower wars is frankly a bit absurd. Today’s fastest street cars would be required to have full roll cages and chassis certification under NHRA rules. Even the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is fast enough to require a 6-point cage to make passes at your local drag strip. For the last several decades mind-bending acceleration has been part of the Porsche formula. Beginning with the 959, when all-wheel drive traction entered the fray, Porsches have become known for reeling in the horizon with astonishing speed. Thanks to their broad torque curves, an accelerating Porsche Turbo has never been easily caught. Today’s episode of Porsche Top 5 immediately follows the last. We are once again joined by Lars Kern for some good, old fashioned drag racing.
The Real Top 5?
As is occasionally the case with these Top 5 videos, this episode misses the mark just a bit. Four of the five vehicles featured are current Porsche production models, and the fifth is the Carrera GT. In order to squeeze the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid on the list, Porsche needed to choose an older supercar that didn’t match its acceleration. The notoriously tricky-to-launch Carrera GT is somewhat down on power and grip compared to the Panamera, and loses by some .5 of a second. Over such a short sprint, that’s a substantial gap.
The Panamera’s 3.4-second sprint is astounding, especially considering its immense mass. The Carrera GT, however, does not deserve to be on this list, impressive though it may be. If the #5 slot is going to be occupied by a traditional Porsche model, there are examples that are both faster and more closely fit the classic Porsche mold. Back in 1997 the 993 Turbo S achieved a 3.6 second sprint. Roll back the clock another decade and the 959 managed the same figure.
Save for the misstep with the Carrera GT, the rest of the list procedes in a very logical way. Two 911s, including the GT2 RS, appear on the list. For the sake of context, I think the 959 and the 993 Turbo S would have been worthwhile to include. The 991.2 Turbo S and GT2 RS are absurd, but their absurdity is almost tradition at this point.
Of course, this list is centered on road cars. If racecars were permitted (under the condition that they could be registered in an understanding locale) the ludicrous 1,500 horsepower 917/30’s 1.9 second sprint to 60 miles per hour would annihilate even the 918 Spyder.
Now where did I leave my Vermont plates…