Porsche working on a lightweight 911 Turbo

Jonathon Ramsey

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With the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, Porsche copied the launch template it laid out for the Carrera, debuting the hotter S model first. The head of the carmaker's 911 product line, Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, explained the launch cadence to Auto Express with, "70 to 75 percent buy the Turbo S, depending on country and where the car is in its lifespan." That means we can expect a standard, less powerful 911 Turbo later this year. What we didn't expect was news of a faster 911 Turbo. Walliser told AE that there's another Turbo in the works "that also underlines our attempt to make this car lighter, to also emphasize the very sporty side of the car." He described it as a "lightweight sports package" that pairs lighter "small bits and pieces" with potential changes such as removing the rear seats or reducing the amount of sound insulation.

This is probably too much to hope for, but Walliser's comments sound like the beginning of an a la carte Weissach Package for the Turbo S. Porsche launched its hardcore, lightweighting Weissach Package on the 918 Spyder, eliminating 90 pounds and adding aero upgrades to what was considered the most user-friendly hypercar. When the package next appeared on the GT2 RS, that coupe lost 65 pounds and gained production-car firsts like carbon fiber stabilizer bars. The GT3 RS next earned the Weissach distinction, spreading carbon even more liberally throughout and shedding 40 pounds. 

A springier 911 Turbo would go along with Walliser's other comments, that Porsche wanted "to make the Turbo more of a driving machine." That's because as good as the car is, it has earned a reputation as an easy-driving, haul-ass GT cruiser. Men once nicknamed the 911 Turbo "Widowmaker," now they were buying Turbos for their daughters as Sweet 16 gifts and college runabouts. The coming iteration isn't meant to impress only with its 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, options like a new sports suspension and sport exhaust are meant to restore frissons of that original thrill.

Porsche has made a lightweight 911 Turbo before. The 1993 Turbo S Leightbau took the 964-series Turbo — which Porsche engineers considered more portly than they'd like — and removed 364 pounds through swapping some steel panels for aluminum, thinner windows, less sound deadening, and deleting A/C and the radio, among other things. The carmaker only built 86 of them, and they can run to seven figures on the auction circuit now. Porsche won't go that far this time, but any step in that direction counts; the word "lighter" means even more to enthusiasts than "manual transmission."

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