What's the Difference Between the 911 Turbo vs Turbo S?

If you’re buying a classic car, it’s hard to know if you’re making a good investment without doing some research first. It’s tempting to buy the one that gets you revving, but that may not be the wisest choice for your long-term finances. Two of the most popular options for collectors are the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Turbo S. If you’re thinking of buying either, you’ll want to get to know what each car has to offer before making a commitment.

Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Turbo S

Famed for its iconic Bauhaus chassis and status as an elite racing vehicle, the Porsche 911 Turbo was the first turbocharged variant of its 911 namesake. Also known as the Type 930 with its introduction in 1975, this car is renowned for its speed, power, and classic design. Ultimately replaced by the updated Type 964 in 1990, the new Turbo was more driver-friendly than previous iterations, which required great skill and care to handle. Its wider tires and body made it a favorite yet again among racers and supercar lovers worldwide.

Originally designed as a souped-up big brother to the Turbo 911, the S-model debuted in 1991 with a limited homologated run of 20 vehicles. The next year, Porsche unveiled a standardized road version at the Geneva Motor Show with a limited run of 84 vehicles. In the years since, the Turbo S proved to be one of Porsche’s most popular supercar models, continually updated and released almost annually. For buyers looking for power, performance, and unique aesthetics, there are few better options than a Turbo S.

I you are thinking about buying either of these vehicles, you’ll want to dive into the specs before purchasing. While both cars are similar and highly desired among collectors, you may find one better suited to your needs. Whether you want a daily driver or an investment you can admire from the safety of your garage, you can find the car you’ll love.

Top Speed and 0 to 60

According to Excellence Magazine, which specializes in Porsche news, history, personalities and more, the 1992 Turbo and Turbo S could go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and achieve a top speed of 168 mph.

The 1997 Turbo and Turbo S could go from 0-60 mph in about 4.4 seconds and reach speeds of 180 mph and 183 mph, respectively.

The 2004 Turbo and 2005 Turbo S Coupe could go from 0-62 mph within 4.2 seconds and 4.9 seconds when using manual and Tiptronic transmission. The 2004 Turbo had top speeds of 189 mph and 185 mph depending on transmission while the 2005 Turbo S could reach top speeds of 190 mph and 186 mph.


The Turbo S was originally designed as a racing version of the Turbo, which meant it usually offered greater horsepower than the Turbo or had a more sophisticated version of the same engine when horsepower was equal. The 1992 Porsche Turbo and Turbo S both included a 6-cyl. 3229cc/320hp FI engine. The 1997 and 1998 Turbo and Turbo S both used a 6-cyl. 3601cc/400hp Turbo engine. The 2005 Turbo and Turbo S also both have a 6-cyl. 3600cc/450hp Turbo X-50 engine.


Before buying a Porsche, you’ll want to know a few key specs in addition to the above:

  • Air or water-cooled: Cars made in 2005 or later use water-cooled engines and are quieter.
  • Transmission: Some Porsches have a G50 transmission, which could add $15-$30,000 to your asking price.
  • Rust: Cars made before 1976 may be prone to rust as their chassis aren’t galvanized.


Historical Market Value

Concours-edition 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo coupes are hot commodities among collectors, with Hagerty reporting expected sale prices appreciating from $56,300 in January 2014 to $279,000 in September 2018. A Concours 1997 and 1998 Porsche 911 Turbo coupe followed similar path, with Hagerty reporting each to sell for $151,000 in January 2014 and $265,000 in September 2018. Hagerty shows the value of a Concours 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo to be relatively stable, appreciating from $67,700 in January 2014 to $73,200 in September 2018.

According to Hagerty, a 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S coupe in Concours condition could sell for an astonishing $637,000 in September 2018, appreciating from $49,900 in January 2014. A Concours 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S coupe could sell for $270,000 in January 2014 and may have appreciated to $530,000 in September 2018. Hagerty reports that a Concours 1998 Porsche 911 Turbo S coupe could also sell for $270,000 in January 2014, may have appreciated to $530,000 in September 2018. A Concours 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S coupe could have sold for $78,700 in January 2014, potentially appreciating to $89,800 in September 2018.

Should I Buy a 911 Turbo or Turbo S?

While every collector has their own tastes, a 911 Turbo and a Turbo S have clear differences you should take into consideration before buying. If you’re looking for a roadster with impressive performance specs that can leave many of its modern cousins in the dust, you may want to buy the Turbo S. However, if the you want to leave your car in the driveway or take it for a few Sunday drives, the Turbo might be better suited for you. Both models are highly collectible, meaning you can’t go wrong with either one.

Buying a classic car is always an exciting experience, but you’ll also want to approach its current and future value in mind. Your new toy could also be a solid addition to your portfolio if you do your homework ahead of time. Porsches are some of the most desirable cars on the market, but with so many makes and models, you’ll need to research your options before making your commitment. With a little bit of effort, you can find a car you’ll want to protect for the rest of your life.