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Porsche unveils 2014 911 Turbo and Turbo S models

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Fans of turbocharged Porsches have reason to celebrate. Fans of manual transmissions have reason to mourn.

A single car is responsible for both.

Porsche debuted the long-awaited Turbo and Turbo S variants of its 911 sports car Friday.

PHOTOS: Porsche's 911 Turbo and Turbo S models break cover

In addition to a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine and all-wheel-drive, both cars will only be available with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. No manual transmission will be available.

Previously, buyers of the Turbo could get a do-it-yourself gearbox, while the Turbo S was only available with the PDK.

Several reasons led to Porsche dropping the manual transmission. For one, few of the people actually spending money on the previous 911 Turbo actually wanted a manual, according to Porsche’s Nick Twork. The take rate for manual gearboxes steadily declined throughout the lifespan of that car, he said.

With fewer customers interested in a manual, the R&D costs became prohibitive, Twork said, and Porsche couldn’t simply take the seven-speed manual out of the lesser Carrera models because it can’t handle the heat or power generated by the Turbo and Turbo S.

Also, for a car bent on maximizing performance and speed, a manual transmission is only a hindrance compared with the lightning-fast gear changes the PDK is capable of, Twork said.

Time spent in a PDK-equipped Carrera S and 4S back up those claims, as the cars’ shifts happen with breathtaking alacrity.

Things will only get quicker with these two Turbo models.

The 911 Turbo’s horsepower jumps by 20 to 520 total, while the torque falls by 29 to 487 total. Porsche says this new power helps the 911 Turbo hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.2 seconds

The Turbo S now has 560 horsepower -- up from 530 -- and the same 516 pound-feet of torque. It will do the zero-60 mph run in 2.9 seconds.

In addition to all-wheel-drive, which has been standard on 911 Turbos for years, the 2014 models will also have rear-wheel steering. Porsche says that at speeds up to 31 mph, the rear wheels will turn in the opposite direction from the front wheels, leading to greater maneuverability in tight curves and when parking the car.

At speeds greater than 50 mph, the front and rear wheels will move in the same direction.

The 911 Turbo models will set themselves apart visually with a wider rear end and unique 20-inch wheels. On the Turbo S, the headlights will be full LED units.

All this kit comes with a significant price increase too. The Turbo’s price rises by $12,800 to $149,250 including destination fees. The Turbo S price jumps by $20,400 to $182,050, though the car comes standard with options that are typically expensive, including carbon ceramic brakes and Porsche’s Sport Chrono option.

The 911 Turbo and Turbo S are scheduled to start rolling into dealerships at the end of 2013.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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