Recently, Jonny Lieberman and his crew were filming an upcoming Ignition episode that will feature Jonny’s current, favorite Lamborghini. Viewers know that this often leads to Jonny saying, “There’s only one way to find out!” Likely, the next scene takes place at Willow Springs International Raceway in nearby Rosamond, California. After lapping the Huracan Performante (you’ll have to wait until March 7, 2018, to watch for yourself how it did), we noticed that our resident pro driver, Randy Pobst, had arrived in and parked a car on loan for another Motor Trend OnDemand program, Put Up or Shut Up. Why was a low-mileage 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S sitting idly by when we had an empty race track that was already paid for? Let’s do this.
The last time a 911 Turbo S lapped “Big” Willow was back in 2015 after Porsche had increased the car’s output to 560 hp and added rear-steer to the all-wheel-drive coupe. The lap time then was an impressive 1:27.81, or just 0.59 second away from the track-focused 2015 911 GT3’s 1:27.22 best. Porsche has since made updates to the “991.2” version of the car, including upping the output, yet again, to 580 hp among other things. On his first lap, Randy’s time eclipsed not only the previous Turbo S and the GT3, but he nearly charged right past the 2015 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar. With a 1:24.26 lap, the latest version of the Turbo S, on Pirelli street tires, dropped 3.55 seconds on the 2.42-mile circuit. Astounding to say the least, and this places it just 0.72 second behind the 918 Spyder. It appears Motor Trend’s hardest launching car ever tested can also do a number on corners.