The Germans have a phrase for it: “Gibt es keinen Ersatz - there is no substitute”. And when it comes to the 2021 Porsche Turbo S, you just have to agree.
I do like German cars. The engineering and technology is always guaranteed to be top notch, good performance is taken for granted, and - personal view this - the styling and design says quality, efficiency and precision.
On the 911 Turbo S, you can add in mind-boggling speed. It is the fastest ever in the long line of iconic 911 sports cars, with neck-breaking acceleration of 0-100km in just 2.7 seconds. With a comparatively modest 3.8 liters of engine, that is considerably faster than many other super sports cars that have significantly bigger capacity.
The technology is best in class. You want front and rear spoilers at the push of a button? You got it. You want to avoid crunching the speed bumps by lifting the front of the car on approach? Flick of a switch. You want automatic door opening via a built-in finger print reader on the handle? That’s there too.
But it is behind the wheel that the Turbo S really impresses. You just somehow feel that is always has so much in reserve that there is no tricky road situation that could throw you. Instant acceleration - thanks to the powerful turbos - could get you out of any tough spot, and four-wheel drive and state-of-the-art braking ensures you can handle the car with assurance in even the most extreme of conditions.
One quirky detail that shows the attention to fine detail: to keep the front low on the road even in high-speed conditions, the rear wheels are slightly bigger than the front. Fiendishly clever, but simple dynamics.
Different driving modes - controlled by a switch on the steering wheel - take you from “normal” to “supersport” in the blink of an eye, and turn you into a Nurburgring legend at the flick of a switch.
In an era when cars are increasingly being promoted on the levels of silence from their engines, it is gratifying that Porsche has decided against all that new-age messaging.
In “normal”, the 640bhp engine is a growling lion, but slip it into “supersport” and it becomes a roaring tiger, ready to beat anything else on the road. It is a thrilling drive, even in a country where you cannot hope to get near its top speed of 330kmh - as, of course, you can still do in theory on many parts of the Germany autobahn network.
I especially liked the driving cockpit. Easy to get in and out for such a low-slung vehicle, it has everything you need and more in a hi-tech environment that oozes efficiency and functionality. There is no flash gimmickry, just 100 per cent precision.
The Bose surround-sound audio system would allow you to enjoy a Beethoven piano sonata even at top engine revs.
Although there is space for two fairly petite passengers in the back, this is obviously not a family car. The front luggage compartment will take a couple of weekend bags, but that’s about it.
Some people say that Porsche lacks imagination when it comes to body design, that one model looks pretty much like any other, regardless of price or specification. Why pay all that extra money for the Turbo S - around AED750,000 in the UAE - when it looks like any other 911?
I didn’t see it that way. The shape and design of the 911 is the iconic symbol of one of the greatest German car makers, and has been refined and fine-tuned over the decades without ever looking dated, just eternally aero-dynamic.
There is no substitute for class, quality and heritage, and the 911 Turbo S has those aplenty.