Philip Raby Porsche

Porsche Sales and Service

Porsche 911 Turbo – fuel economy vs depreciation

Porsche 911 Turbo – fuel economy vs depreciation
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New Porsches offer remarkable fuel economy, a fact which fellow motoring writer Richard Aucock today flagged up on Twitter with this photo (above) of a Porsche 991 Turbo which he’s been testing and managed to eek 34.4mpg from on a daily commute.

It’s an astonishing achievement for a supercar that packs 520bhp, and one that Porsche’s engineers should be applauded for. Making cars more frugal has to be better for the world (and for us) in the long term.

But in the short term is it better for your wallet? I’ve done a few rough calculations on the back of a proverbial envelope which show that buying a brand-new 991 Turbo for its fuel economy doesn’t make sense.

Let’s look at Richard’s 34mpg figure. At a typical UK fuel price of £6.50 a gallon (yes, that’s about what we’re paying when you convert back from litres), that equates to 19p a mile. Compare that with a Gen2 997 Turbo which, when driven carefully, will return 28mpg, or 23p a mile. That means that the older car costs 4p a mile more to run.

Now let’s assume you cover 10,000 miles a year (which is actually a high mileage for most Porsches). The 991 Turbo will cost you £1900 in fuel, and the 997 Turbo £2300. That’s a mere £400 a year difference in fuel costs which, let’s face it, isn’t a lot of the great scheme of supercar ownership.

But factor depreciation into the equation and things start to look scary. A new 991 Turbo starts at a hefty £120,000 before you add options ( and it’s easy to clock up £10,000 of extras), whereas a late 997 Turbo comes in at about £80,000 (actually, that’s top money – you will find plenty for less). That’s a £40,000 difference – you’d need to drive 4 million miles in the 991 Turbo to make up the savings in fuel! Best to wait a year or two for 991 prices to drop – or buy a 997 Turbo.

And should you feel shortchanged driving the older generation 911 Turbo? Not at all – I actually think the 997 Turbo is the more interesting car to drive of the two. In fact, go back in time to the Gen1 997 Turbo and it’s even more fun and will only cost £40,000 to buy! Still too much for you? OK then, the older 996 Turbo offering astonishing value for money with good ones starting at just £25,000, although they’re not quite as involving as the 997 Turbo.

Food for thought. Or should that be fuel for thought?

997 Turbo

Porsche 997 Turbo – great fun for a great price


  • CraigM says:

    Philip, as you stated, the most interesting aspect of this is truely the engineering prowess to achieve that kind of efficiency whilst still providing the high performance. A pretty astounding feat and advancement in the last few years. Hopefully by continuing down the low weight track they can enhance both and driving dynamics further in the future.

    The calculations offsetting against purchase/depreciation obviously shine a strong light on the ridiculousness of some of the claims, but I think you overlook one point in the 911 favour. I’m sure a number of owners (prospective?) might have considered a second vehicle for ‘distance’ trips or as a commute vehicle, maybe with some added practicality of more passenger/luggage space. For many it seems to be a RR/RRS/Cayenne or its ilk that has fulfilled this role, possibly diesel as well to overcome its weight foibles whilst retaining economy …

    I think the latest 911 generations might have reached a point where some can seriously consider the one vehicle for much of their use. The 996/997/991 turbo (and GTS?) are such a great daily driver that without the extremes of load carrying bearing down on an owner, they really can be the ideal ‘single’ sport/supercar.

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