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?