CARMONA, Spain - The fifth generation of what Porsche calls the ultimate sports car - the 911 Turbo - will go on sale in Germany in June.
'Like no other car, the different turbo versions of the 911 have been crucial in strengthening Porsche's image and brand values,' said Wendelin Wiedeking, chairman and chief executive of Porsche AG.
The first 911 Turbo was launched at the Paris auto show in October 1974. The latest version is the fastest, most powerful and most technically advanced series production car Porsche has ever built. It has a top speed of 305kph and can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.2 seconds. Its 3.6-liter, 420hp engine offers 560Nm of torque.
The 911 Turbo also delivers impressive fuel consumption figures for a car of this type. Just 12.9 liters of gasoline are consumed every 100km.
The new car is equipped with permanent four-wheel drive, sports suspension and Porsche's Stability Management System.
Turbo power is delivered smoothly, thanks to a new engine management unit.
The 911 Turbo also features a world premier in brake development, the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB). The new ceramic discs are made from specially treated carbon fibers cooked in a vacuum at a temperature of 1,700 degrees centigrade. They are similar in design and size to conventional discs, but are more than 50 percent lighter.
In conjunction with all-new brake linings made of a composite metal, the ceramic discs ensure a 'fade-free' braking process.
If the brakes are applied at 100kph, Porsche says it takes just 2.3 seconds for the car to come to a halt.
The new brake discs are expected to last the life of the car, even under tough racing conditions.
For the first time, Porsche is offering the 911 Turbo with five-speed automatic transmission as well as the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Porsche expects about 30 percent of customers to opt for the Tiptronic S model, which allows drivers to change gear using steering wheel 'paddles' in the manner of Formula One cars.
The prices of the new 911 Turbo (DM234,900, A118,971) and the new BMW Z8 super-roadster (DM235,000) differ by just DM100. But unlike the Z8 (see story on facing page), Porsche says the 911 Turbo will be profitable.
Porsche's net profit for the year ended January 31 was DM120.1 million, compared with DM117.4 million a year earlier. Pretax profit was up 15 percent to DM228.9 million from DM198.8 million. Group sales totaled DM2.91 billion compared with DM2.55 billion a year ago.
Wiedeking said that despite the cost of developing the 911 Turbo -together with the forthcoming Porsche sports-utility and newly modified Boxster S - net profits for this fiscal year should at least equal last year's level.
The production capacity of the 911 Turbo is limited due to supplier contracts and cannot exceed 2,500 units per year.
'The production for the next 12 months is definitely sold out,' said Horst Marchart, Porsche management board member responsible for research and development.
The biggest market for the 911 Turbo will be the USA, which will account for 45 percent of sales. US sales start in August.
Germany will be the second-biggest market for the car, with 25 percent of sales.