The 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo made its North American debut at the New York Auto Show today to much fanfare, and the company is hoping observers won't be disappointed by the new version of its flagship sports car.
The supercharged car can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in only 3.4 seconds, and its engine produces 480 horsepower at 6,000 rpm -- 60 horsepower more than its predecessor.
With a sticker price of more than $122,000, it's not for everyone. But the company is hopeful its 911 Turbo will continue to draw in elite customers.
"It really is in the last 1 percent of the market. It's very much a car for the visible achievers. It's very much car for technology aficionados," said Michael Bartsch, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Porsche Cars North America.
"Self reward is a really important part of their life -- they've worked for it, they've earned it and they go for the best."
The sixth-generation 911 Turbo goes on sale in the U.S. in June. Bartsch said the new model incorporates years of design planning.
"Most of these models take about five years to go from the concept on a clean bit of paper to the dealership showroom floor," he said.
Porsche says the new 911 is the first gasoline-engine production car to have a variable turbine geometry turbocharger, which maximizes engine flexibility and torque at low engine speeds, according to Porsche.
"Basically, what they've built into this car a big turbo charger and a little turbo charger all in one, which means that you don't have any of the turbo lag or any of the turbo pressure build-up," Bartsch said.
A deploying split-wing rear spoiler adds to the car's aerodynamic efficiency, and electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management keeps things under control.
The street version of Porsche's production-based racing cars, The 911 GT3, will go on sale in the U.S. August, starting at $106,795. Porsche plans to sell about 800 in the United States the first year.
The company prides itself on building the world's best sports cars, and Bartsch said owners of the car will appreciate the attention to detail. Driving it, he said, is an experience to remember.
"Too often now you get into a car and you don't feel anything -- you don't feel it through the fingertips, you don't feel it through the backside," Bartsch said. "We want everything to come back to you -- we want you to know what the road's like. That's what Porsche has been about from the very beginning."