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Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in ou...
Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in our club fans and fans of the legendary series cars Porsche 911. All about 911-901, 930, 964, 993, 996 and new era 997 and 991-series.

If you're buying a used 911 as an investment, send me your address so that I can arrange a visit from the boys. Investors who never drive their 911s bring a word to mind. That word is 'pimp'. As 911 diehards, the boys don't like pimps, so when they arrive, make sure your engine is still warm, the exhaust system is making that tinkling noise and there is evidence in your tyres of some recently accomplished brisk cornering.

All 911s, from 1963 to this afternoon, share a characteristic 911 'feel', but that varies greatly in degree. Bog-standard used Coupes from the late 1970s or 1980s once delivered the goods for sensible money but they might demand some restoration work now.

Choosing a 911 is such a very personal matter. Just go for what you really want, get the best straight car you can find and look after it. Reliability is legendary but repairs can be costly.

My choice is currently the 993 Carrera 2 Coupe of 1993-98. Its predecessor, the 964, was respectable but dull. The 993's different, agile feel makes it terrific to drive and good ones go for less than £30,000 - this week, anyway.
It's the last air-cooled 911 model but so what? Later models lost nothing by being water-cooled. No, pick a 993 for its exhilarating agility, and its price.

A friend of mine paid £26,000 for a superb 1994 993 Carrera 2 in late 2013. He loves it, whether he's tootling about the shops or on a 300-mile blast through the remote Highlands of Scotland, where it truly excels. And that's no more than it deserves.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS
1973 // £500,000
The eternally great, ultimate development of the original 911 concept, it combines high performance and low weight with inch-perfect precision handling. Superb but the price of this model now, sir, is officially‘through the roof'. If you buy one, promise us you will use it.

On an autumn day in 1972 the salesman from Porsche GB came to visit our house. 'We're making a special car,' he told my father. 'Only 200 will be built, and we're offering them to our best clients first as demand is sure to be strong.' They built more than 1500 in the end, and demand was so great that, instead of management having to use them as company cars to use up unsold stock as expected, Porsche sold out the first batch of 500 immediately and had to build two more series.

Why the fuss? Because the RS is so much more than the sum of its parts. It was derived from the relatively humble 2.4S, but with flared rear arches and wider wheels (a 911 first), bored-out engine (at 2.7 litres Porsche's biggest road car motor to date), a rear spoiler (another first, and not just for Porsche, so initially illegal in some markets) and, last but not least, weight-loss that took the RS under the magic 1000kg in 'lightweight' trim.
The result: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.0sec, handling to die for (and you would if you lifted off mid-comer) and a string of victories on every continent including rallies, Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Oh, and you can drive it to the shops.

Mine's been in the family for 42 years and has never once 'failed to proceed'. Beat that, Enzo...


Porsche 911 GT3 (997-series, generation II)
2009-12 // £80,000-120,000
The 997-series Generation II cars were terrific in their time and the naturally aspirated 997 GT3 was a hugely powerful, seriously fabulous machine, subtly better in fast corners than previous GT3 models.
A classic in waiting - bound to be a sound long-term investment.

Any brand new 911
2015 // From around £75,000
Admit it, they are absolutely brilliant. If you don’t want one, you should. Buy it, keep it, service it properly. One day, it will be a classic but, meanwhile, enjoy a few happy decades driving it. The best of all worlds.
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  •   Antonio Ghini reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    There are forms that can only be changed very cautiously, because icons must be immediately recognizable as such. If there is a revolution, then please especially under the sheet metal and in the interior, where Porsche wants to surprise us with a new operating concept and additional assistance systems. #Porsche-911-992 / #2019-Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #2019 / #Porsche-911-Turbo / #Porsche-911-Turbo-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #2020 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-S / #Porsche-911-Carrera-S-992

    An icon at the crossroads: How do innovations like the plug-in hybrid and digitization change the rear-engined classic with the sawing voice and the impossible weight distribution? We have the story - for those who do not want to wait until October 2018.

    Beetle, Mini, Land Rover, 911. All classic without expiration date - or the last Mohicans before the big paradigm shift towards E-Mobility and autonomous driving?

    Probably something of both. Porsche has to take care of the 911 without scare the purists and ignore the signs of the times. "In the 911 there will be no four-cylinder in the medium term," promises chief conductor Oliver Blume. "But we are working on a plug-in variant and will probably use it later." What Blume does not say: Model 992, which debuts at the LA Auto Show in late 2018, is the last of its kind. Because the generation after next generation is already based on the completely new, in all essential elements scalable sports car platform of the future (SAZ), which was developed earlier this year. Lamborghini remains initially out, but Bentley, Audi and probably even Bugatti are considered set in the SAZ network.

    Before the eighth in Zuffenhausen conceived rolls from February 2019 to the dealers, Porsche still wants to tell the story of the 991 to an end.

    The penultimate chapter takes place in March at the Geneva Motor Show, where the winged GT3 RS, which is said to have 520 hp, celebrates its premiere. As part of the racing reunion, a classic event scheduled for September near Paris, Porsche wants to draw the last 991 derivative from the hat in the form of the strictly limited Speedster GT.

    After the 911 T, the Speedster is the second model in the Heritage range. The next 911 generation hears the abbreviation 992 and builds in essential elements on the current series. So it remains at the rear engine - the rumored exchange of boxer and transmission should be completed in 2025 with the so-called Ferrari Fighter (Project 960), the future of course, is still uncertain. Since the duo 996/986, Elfer and Boxster / Cayman share a modular architecture. This constructive approach is in principle, but it is still unclear to what extent the successors of Cayman and Boxster are knitted after the proven pattern and whether Audi is allowed on board. As of December 2017, everything from the big facelift to the radically innovative electric sports car is in the realm of possibility.

    The new 911 is born in uncertain times. As early as next fall, legislators are tightening the exhaust gas standard for gasoline engines with the Otto Particulate Filter (OPF). The measures to comply with the two-stage RDE (Real Drive Emissions) limits cost engine power and money. Quite possibly, that's why Porsche also takes the BMW M-way in the next step and has to provide the expensive water injection. Against the background of the exhaust gas discussion, the classic naturally aspirated engines of GT3 and GT4 inevitably become discontinued models.

    Because at the same time more stringent noise protection regulations threaten, also the intake and exhaust systems must be quieter. A tightening on a broad front brings the upcoming fleet norm of on average only 95 g CO2 / km. But do not worry: the enemy picture of a 911 with four-cylinder boxer without e-module is a chimera, at least in the medium term.

    The graduated start-up of the 992 is based on its predecessor:

    • Carrera 2S and Carrera 4S Coupé, Presentation 10/2018, launch 2/2019;
    • Carrera 2S and 4S Cabriolet, presentation 1/2019, sale from 4/2019;
    • Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 as coupé and convertible, presentation 4/2019, at the dealer 7/2019;
    • 911 Turbo Coupe and Carrera GTS, presentation 9/2019, start of sales 2/2020.


    Together with the new car, a revised engine generation (EA9A2) goes into production.

    The 3.0-liter boxer mobilizes as #MHEV (Mild Hybrid) 15 kW more power and 70 Newton meters more torque, provides additional variability in the mixture preparation and reduces the already hardly measurable particulate matter emission by a factor of 10. The base Carrera 400 PS Strong twin-turbo propellant brings it in the S versions to 450 hp. From 2022 will be increased as part of the facelift again by 20 hp.

    In the GT3 successor it remains at 3.8 liters of displacement, but the first-ever artificially ventilated six-cylinder in the sharpest 911 should increase in the first stage of development from 500 to 550 hp. Spearhead of the series remains the 911 Turbo; he stands with up to 620 bhp / DIN even better in the feed than before. In most cases, a new eight-speed double clutch (8DT 80HL) from ZF will provide the power transmission.

    Inside there's an exciting mixture of classic and modern. Porsche was the only mechanical round instrument to rescue the centrally positioned tachometer into modern times. Although it remains at a total of five clocks, but the two displays on the left and right of the heart rate monitor can be partially configure freely. We know the big touch screen and the panel for the air conditioning from the Panamera. New are the optional head-up display and a long list of comfort and safety features. For example, the adaptive laser light, which illuminates far into the next bend, cleverly avoids reflections and self-glare, selectively illuminates pedestrians and animals, and works its way 700 meters into the darkness wherever it is possible.

    Starting in 2022, the countdown for the 911 #PHEV is underway, but the market launch has not yet been fixed. This model integrates two propulsion concepts: the gasoline rear engine and the electric motor, which turns this 911 into a low-emission 4x4 coupe when needed. The compact E-package consists of four elements: power electronics, lithium-ion battery with 10.8 kWh, Stromer with 70 kW and 310 Nm and a special e-transmission with eight gears, freewheel and recuperation. In total, extrapolated 485 hp and 760 Nm are available. That should be enough to track to (0-62MPH) 0-100 kmh in less than 3.5 seconds and to be 315kph fast.

    Depending on the driving style, the electric range should be up to 50 kilometers. If you like rushing rather than gliding, you can boost for 20 seconds at the touch of a button or swear all the drive components up in Sport Plus for maximum performance - then the Sport Response Button finally makes sense.

    The #Porsche-911-992 has to be able to do better than its predecessor, has to be faster and more agile, at the same time wilder and more confident, quieter and - in spite of the Otto particle filter - more efficient. The means to an end: less weight, a stiffer body and a new eight-speed #PDK for the more powerful boxer. There's a new infotainment and various assistance systems. First test runs from February 2019 .
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    The Next Level #Porsche-911T vs. #Porsche-911-964 . Got a little more cash to splash on a #911 ? Two decades apart, the E-Series and 964 proffer alternative prospects for around £35k-50k… Got a little more cash to splash on a 911? Although two decades apart, both the #Porsche-E-Series-911T and the #964 offer alternative prospects for around £45,000… Story: Simon Jackson. Photography: Gus Gregory.


    There’s a simple and realistic question everyone should ask themselves prior to purchasing a vehicle of any kind. This question cuts through all the hype, drastically reduces any hastily pencilled list of pros and cons, and immediately delivers a sense of serene clarity, and that question is: ‘What am I going to use it for?’. It seems indisputably obvious but it’s not always the first thing a passionate petrolhead considers before embarking on an excitable, sometimes emotional, car shopping journey.

    When it comes to Porsches, in particular over 50 years worth of #Porsche-911 variants, asking yourself this question is absolutely imperative. This argument is clarified here with two 911s available for around the same price, both of which are fantastic in their own right, yet which on paper offer very divergent ownership prospects. Indeed, choosing between them could well be a case of deciding exactly what you plan to use them for…

    964 C2
    The 964’s transformation in fortunes is almost entirely complete now. Today it’s virtually impossible to purchase one of these post-1989 911s for under £20k, with the exception of the odd rogue convertible or #Targa version perhaps. Once the abhorrent black sheep of the 911 family, today the 964 stands tall as a cherished 911 with a strong following – and rightly so. But despite this reversal in favour the 964 still has some headroom to grow, and prices reflect this steadily rising as the cars become older and good examples become more sought-after. As such, anyone looking above the SC and 3.2 Carrera for a classic yet useable 911 could do far worse than considering a 964 as their #Porsche of choice.

    This #1991 #Porsche-911-Carrera-2 , finished in Mint green, is for sale at 4 Star Classics in Hampshire. The lefthand- drive model has been imported from Japan at some point during its lifetime, has covered just 46,000 miles and features the ‘love it or loathe it’ controversial Tiptronic gearbox. As you might imagine given the mileage it’s in exceptional condition, and is offered for sale at £39,995.

    Stepping inside the 964, one is reminded of how this model really does bridge the gap between what you might interpret as a true ‘classic’ 911s and more modern versions such as the 993 or 996. The driving position and dashboard layout owe more to Porsches of old than we might have first realised when the car was new back in the Nineties, and this projects a familiar and tangible ‘modern classic’ environment.

    With the weather doing its utmost to hamper progress and dampen the day during our photoshoot, the 964 presents a delightful safe haven – it feels old enough to be special, yet current enough to offer the touches of modernity a day like today may require. Heating to effectively and quickly clear the screen, door rubbers capable of keeping copious amounts of rain water at bay, plus a reliable and tractable drivetrain. It all feels wholly useable.

    Out on the road that persona remains as the driving experience is exceptionally friendly. This isn’t a Porsche that fights you at every step, rather one that wishes to make life as smooth as possible. In combination with the four-speed Tiptronic gearbox, the engine offers relatively sedate progress, belying the book figures of 250hp produced by the 3600cc flat-six. But when pushed a touch harder the C2 will pick up pace accordingly. For all intents and purposes this is a 911 you could happily use 365 days of the year.

    Steering is light yet offers progressive turn-in bite and a depth of feel often missing in more modern machinery, so perhaps the only real flaw here is that often-loathed Tiptronic gearbox, which certainly doesn’t deliver as urgent or progressive a driving experience as a contemporary #PDK system. However, despite how our first choice would undoubtedly be a manual ’box in this generation of 911, the Tiptronic cog-swapper is perhaps not the malevolent piece of devil engineering it is depicted as by some. Worse things happen at sea.

    In many regards, for me, the 964 is of a period just prior to the over-indulgence of technology in cars, when form followed function to just the right degree, cars were more lithe and simplistic offering the perfect balance of driveability, comfort and convenience, and straight-talking sex appeal not electronic dominance. For me, the 964’s legacy will be that it was the last truly classically-styled 911, offering a driving experience that looked ahead to the future, while taking a leaf from the book of the past. Personally I can’t think of another 911 I would rather use everyday, but perhaps the 964 has now become too precious for that kind of thing?

    911T

    As you’ll no doubt be all too aware, early 911s of all variants are incredibly sought after today, so it’s little wonder that even the more basic models which used to offer plausible entry-level 911 ownership not so many years ago, are now becoming pretty expensive investments. The 1970s 911T is one such model that is going through a rapid acceleration in asking prices, and as such it makes a very plausible case for purchase to anyone in the market for a £40,000 (and upwards) classic 911.

    The car you see here is an E-Series, available in #1971 - 1972 , with it came a new 2341cc engine which resulted in these cars being commonly referred to as the ‘2.4-litre’ 911. The E-Series boasted Bosch mechanical fuel injection over the carburettor alternative, and is noted for its oil tank (and subsequent filler flap) located between the right-hand door and rear-wheel arch – a feature dropped in the summer of #1972 to avoid owners filling their oil tanks with fuel.

    This Light yellow car, offered for sale by 4 Star Classics for £49,995, is a 1972 911T and has covered 81,000 miles from new. It might seem a world apart from the aforementioned 964, but with its five-speed manual gearbox, ventilated disc brakes and mechanical fuel injection system, it is effectively just as useable as its 1990s equivalent – if a touch more precious.

    Firing the 911T into action is a smile-inducing experience, as the sound of that traditional aircooled flat-six greets one’s ears. There’s just something so infectious about that tuneful clamour. Moving from the 964 into this 911, two decades its senior, you’d quite rightly expect a level of shock at your basic surroundings to befall you, but thanks to the 911’s gentle evolutionary nature this car doesn’t feel as ‘night and day’ compared with the 964 as you might first expect. Typically period pliant seating offers levels of comfort a few modern machines could learn a thing or two from, and the steering wheel and gear knob provide chunky tactile points of contact for the driver. Pure Seventies. Engaging drive is a characteristically air-cooled procedure, matching revs for take-off doesn’t take one too long to master and there’s a reassuringly consistent disposition to all the vital controls – unlike some classic cars of the era which can provide a temperamental driving experience to say the least. Once in motion, as with all classic 911s, the gearbox can take some getting used to, but once mastered and when handled with the correct level of aptitude and care, the change between gears is a satisfying process. Turn-in is a weightier affair than with the 964, but it is direct and confidence-inspiring, allowing the driver to get back on the throttle at his or her earliest convenience. It really is an enjoyable drive.

    In pursuit of the 964, the 911T provides perhaps its biggest shock – its level of performance. It feels brisk, in relative terms, fooling the brain into believing that the (over) 100hp deficit to the penultimate aircooled 911 ahead must be some kind of misprint. Unlike the cosseting more modern 964, this car encouragingly feels like a true classic sports car, one you could enjoy on the back routes or on your local track in equal measure. My only complaint is that I wish I was driving this car on a beautiful summer’s day – hardly the fault of the car! The 911T feels like just the right mix of classic Porsche, not too precious that you won’t want to push it from time-to-time, but not too quick that you’d feel the need to rinse it for every tenth of a second just to invoke a thrill through the controls. In many respects it seems to currently occupy a 911 sweet spot…

    CONCLUSION

    Of course it goes without saying that these two 911s are very different. The 19 years that separate them may visually represent a typically mild Porsche evolution, but psychically under the skin it’s more of a revolution. So you might be expecting me to tell you that the comparative result is that today they do entirely different jobs, but I’m not going to – because I’m not sure they do…

    Given the sought-after nature (and not forgetting their asking prices) of these two variants of 911, both the 911T and 964 have morphed, seemingly in parallel, into Porsche 911s which you probably wouldn’t want to use on a day-to-day basis, and in a way that defines this duo. Deciding which one to buy really does come back to that question we discussed earlier: ‘What am I going to use it for?’.

    If you’re looking for a financial investment opportunity that will only appreciate in value, then based on historical evidence either of these cars offer value for money and should be almost bulletproof in terms of depreciation. If you buy the right example you probably can’t go wrong there. If you want a Porsche for high days and holidays, a car to roll out of the garage a few times a year when the sun is shining or for the annual pilgrimage to something like the Goodwood Revival, again, the world’s your oyster with this pairing – just take your pick. Want to drive your 911 to work once a week or enjoy it strictly during your leisure at weekends? Guess what – a 911T or a 964 would make for the perfect partner too. And, if you’re a strictly dedicated enthusiast there’s certainly an argument that either could be used on a day-to-day level.

    Of course you might be thinking that there are other Porsches, other 911s perhaps which display this all-round ability, and you might be right. But as the star of both these cars rise up the classified listings in harmony, it’s clear that choosing a 911 in this price bracket has never presented a tougher decision.

    Firing the 911T into action is a smile-inducing experience, as the sound of that air-cooled flat-six greets one’s ears.

    Comparing 911s from different eras, which in essence offer completely different ownership concepts, is no easy task. In reality there’s nothing wrong with any of the prospects we have examined here; the #Porsche-911SC would make the perfect starter air-cooled 911, and those with a little more cash to splash might consider a 911T or a 964 – two already popular versions of Stuttgart’s icon, but cars which can still be acquired for a reasonable outlay… well, reasonable in Porsche terms anyway.

    Naturally there are many other variants of 911 which could sit alongside our selections here, most notably the 3.2 Carrera, and undoubtedly you’ll have your own ideas. But the message is clear; whichever path you choose you’re sure to end up with a 911 you can cherish and use in equal measure, and which, in theory, should not lose value. Of course, that’s not why the majority of enthusiasts purchase Porsche cars in the first instance, but it’s certainly a nice silver lining to owning one of the world’s most iconic sports cars, right?
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  •   Chris Chilton reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Porsche has added a quartet of models to the #991 model line. Say hello to the latest Carrera GTS models. Story: Stuart Gallagher. Photography: #Porsche-AG .

    Porsche’s GTS sub-brand continues to grow with the announcement of four new derivatives joining the 991 line-up this month when the Carrera and Carrera 4 Coupé and Cabriolet GTS models arrive at your nearest OPC.

    The debut of these new #911GTS models increase the 991 range to 12 models in less than two years since the car’s introduction. The 997 GTS models weren’t introduced until that series of 911 was nearing the end of its model cycle, but today it’s all about giving the customer what they want and that means this GTS is approximately six years early.

    The 991 GTS recipe is nearly identical to its predecessor, which is a good thing because, GT3 and RS models aside, the 997 GTS was the best 997 #Porsche produced. Based on the Carrera S model, each is fitted with a 3.8-litre DFI flat-six motor, and just like its predecessor it benefits from Porsche’s factory Powerkit upgrade which in this case consists of a free-flowing induction system and air filter, an optimised sports exhaust system and a massaging of the ECU. The results are a 30hp power increase to 430hp produced 100rpm higher up the rev range at 7500rpm. Engine torque remains the same at 325lb ft, but also arrives 100rpm higher. And despite carrying a 30kg weight penalty over a Carrera S coupé, the Carrera GTS manages to shave a tenth from the 0-62mph time (4.4 seconds) and add 2mph to the maximum speed (190mph) if you stick with the standard seven-speed manual gearbox. Pay for the same number of ratios in a #PDK ‘box and you’ll hit 62mph in 4.0 seconds. You can expect similar levels of performance improvement if you go with the Porsche Traction Managementequipped Carrera 4 GTS models.

    As is the case with Porsche’s GTS mix, its Sport Chrono Package and #PASM active dampers are standard fit, joining the already present PTV (or #PTV Plus with PDK-equipped cars) that brings with it a differential lock in the rear axle. The GTS is, according to Porsche, the most dynamically focused 991 you can order without spending extra on Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control (which we wouldn’t) or a regular Sport chassis which lowers the car 20mm (which we’d consider). Without spending the extra on a GT3, this is the quickest 991 you can buy.

    Being a GTS it doesn’t stop at the motor. All variants, no matter how many driveshafts there are or what material is used for the roof, utilise the wider Carrera 4 body shell and wider rear track, which is a shame as we’d much prefer the Carrera’s narrow body to be used. If you’re going to produce the dynamic star of the Carrera lineup why use a wider body that increases weight and bulk and makes you wince every time a car comes towards you on a narrow road?

    Other visual highlights for the newest #Porsche-911 991 include 20-inch Turbo S style wheels with centre locks and finished in an exclusive matt black paint. There is also special trim elements in the front bumper, a smoked finish for the bixenon headlights (Porsche Dynamic Lighting is standard) and the engine grille is finished in black and is a similar design to the chrome grille used on the 50th Anniversary edition. On Carrera GTS models the chrome grille strip between the rear lights fitted to the Anniversary Edition is also fitted to the GTS but is finished in black. And, of course, there is a set of GTS decals on the bottom of the doors. Inside, Alcantara and leather covers the interior along with a splattering of GTS logos.

    The new GTS models sit between the Carrera/S Coupé and Cabriolet models and beneath the GT3 and Turbo, a position reflected in their retail prices. The Carrera GTS with a manual gearbox starts at £91,098 a premium of £7553 over a Carrera S, at £99,602 the Cabriolet GTS costs £7398 more than a Carrera S Cabriolet. If you want a four-wheel drive chassis you’ll need to shell out £95,862 or £104,385 for a 4 GTS Coupé or Cabriolet respectively, a £7462 and £7325 premium.

    It is clear Porsche is investing in its GTS subbrand, with every model line now sporting a variant wearing the three letters, and each of those variants being a model line highlight. But we won’t know if this latest addition is worthy of the name until next month when we get behind the wheel. Inside the new GTS models follow the successful formula utilised by the 997 with leather and Alcantara surfaces. The Anniversary Edition’s grille bar between the rear lights also makes a welcome appearance.
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  • TIME MACHINES

    When 911&PW launched in 1990, the lead story in the news pages was the impending arrival of the 964 Turbo, the pinnacle of the 911 range. In order to assess the passage of 25 years of 911 development, we pitched the 964 Turbo against the current 991 Turbo. You can’t stop the 911 and you can’t stop progress.

    Porsche 911 & PW 25th Anniversary Happy Birthday to us! 25-years ago the 964 Turbo was the top dog. We pitch it against the current 991. What better way to illustrate 25-years of #Porsche progress, and 25-years of 911&PW, than by pitching the two top dog 911s of their respective eras. Enter the 964 Turbo and the 991 Turbo for an evolutionary, time travelling showdown.

    “The past is a foreign country – they do things differently there.” An overused quote (the opening line of LP Hartley’s #1953 novel, The Go Between), but overused for a reason, that being its eloquence and descriptive power. Does any other line sum up the power of progress quite as well? I don’t think so.

    In these days of rapid and rampant progress, subtracting 25-years from 2015 to arrive at 1990 appears to be just a short hop back in time, but truly it was a different time. Imagine going back there now? When 911 & Porsche World launched in April 1990, as a finger in the air exercise of publishing, the only way to gauge whether there would be an audience for the title was by simply doing it and putting it on the shelves of WHSmith and a few specialist Porsche dealers.

    The brief was simple: To cover all things Porsche and to represent the interest and passion of all things Porsche for owners and enthusiasts. In a world devoid of any form of digital media and communication, that is how things worked. Paper, words and pictures. Copy was typed, pictures were committed to film, pages were stuck together with glue. Typesetters and compositers turned it into reality. What we can do now in seconds, used to take days. 1990 might have seemed all very modern and exciting, but if time travel were possible, anyone from the ’60s would have been able to adapt very quickly indeed. Hell, plenty of cars still had carburettors and points!

    Inevitably 25-years of 911&PW, for its eclecticism, also reads like a Porsche timeline from its launch to now. We’ve followed the fortunes of the marque from near bust to a sonic fiscal boom and back again. We’ve followed each new model and have chronicled five generations of 911 from the 964 to the 991, or exactly 25-years of the 911’s timeline. No, the 911 isn’t the be all and end all of the magazine, but its constant presence creates an essential point of reference, just as it does for Porsche the company. No other sports car has been developed to the same degree as the 911, with each generation exploiting the technology of the time. For the first 25-years progress was pretty sedate, but the following 25-years, the 25-years that this magazine has been around, like the rest of the technological world, it’s been rapid indeed, thanks largely to a digital revolution that has left no part of life untouched.

    So how best to illustrate this in our own little world? Well, if the 911 is the constant by which the magazine is measured, then why not gather the ultimate 911 of 1990 and wind up the KKK turbo for a bit of time travel and propel into its own future to meet its 2015 future self. Sure there’s a void in between, but all the better to accentuate the massive progress of the past 25-years. We’re going to make one giant leap, rather than a number of incremental steps. Hold on!


    Fittingly, the ultimate 911 of 1990 was announced in the news pages of the very first issue of 911&PW. “911 Turbo for the nineties,” was how we introduced the 964 Turbo. Following hot on the heels of the normally aspirated #Porsche-964-C2 and C4, the Turbo featured the same aero front and rear bumper treatment and side skirts, plus 959-style five spoke ‘Cup’ wheels, that temporarily seemed so modern compared with the Fuchs of old. And big too. At 17 inches, they seemed huge. Aero wing mirrors were another improvement, but ultimately there was a feeling that the 964 Turbo wasn’t much of a leap forward over the 930 Turbo and it stuck with the 2WD drive layout, despite the 964 range being launched with a flagship 4WD version. Put it this way, there wasn’t much sense of this containing a great deal in the way of trickle down technology from the 959, which was kind of surprising looking back now, or even then, but we’ll come to that.

    Whereas the normally aspirated 964 got what were essentially all new 3.6-litre engines, with twin plug heads, the Turbo rather made do with the 930 Turbo’s 3.3- litre engine and an extra 20bhp, bringing it up to a not inconsiderable 320bhp, thanks to its larger #KKK turbo, larger intercooler, #Bosch-K-Jetronic injection and revised air intake system. Like its 964 siblings, the Turbo also got coil spring suspension all round, with MacPherson struts at the front with aluminium transverse links and semitrailing arms at the rear.

    The modernising front and rear bumper treatment deserves more than just a throwaway reference. Without having to do much to the main body shell, Porsche used the front and rear aprons to dramatic aerodynamic effect, but unlike the normally aspirated C2 and C4, the Turbo didn’t get the retractable rear spoiler, but remained faithful to the Turbo defining ‘tea tray’ lid, which rather accentuated its connection with the 930, rather than the rest of the 964 range.

    There was, then, a feeling that the 964 Turbo was something of an afterthought compared with the base 964s, which were clearly a leap forward from the G-Series cars that they replaced in terms of sophistication and modernity. But that was then and this is now and 25-years into the future the 964 Turbo has rather come of age. After years in the doldrums it has been reinvented as the last of the old school, rear drive only 911 Turbos, and as such it commands a price above the 930 Turbo. And of course because it’s an air-cooled 911, that price is not inconsiderable.

    Above all the 964 Turbo is a product of its time and was constrained by the engineering solutions of the day. It is very much ‘mechanical.’ Much as computers had little to do with the day-to-day production of 911&PW, they had very little to do with the development of the 964, and nor did the 964 have much in the way of on board computing power. Take out the Bosch ECU and you’ll find a few RAM chips to control the fuelling and ignition, with about as much operating power as a 2015 cordless phone. There is also what Porsche optimistically describe as an ‘onboard computer,’ which features an LED screen in the bottom centre of the rev counter, which gives basic distance travelled info, outside temp and boost pressure. There is an equivalent in the 991 Turbo, which will even display Gforce and the engine’s torque curve.

    But let’s not sneer. Even if it were possible to convey such info to the driver in 1990, it probably wouldn’t have crossed the engineers’ minds. Why would it? Twenty-five years on it’s just a bit of tech froth, that would only appeal to teenagers and Nissan Skyline drivers. But that’s progress for you and the endless digital revolution, that makes all this stuff possible, some of empowering, essential usefulness, some, like an onboard torque curve readout just a gimic.

    On board the 964 is a familiar air-cooled place. The interior of this immaculate example is era defining light grey. The dash is essentially a modernised version of the 1963 original, while the prominent centre console is about the only 959 feature to have made it into the 964 Turbo, and sits on top of the redundant transmission tunnel. The deep bolstered Sports seats are fabulously comfy and offer a modicum of electric adjustability, while the four-spoke ‘lozenge’ centred steering wheel is fixed in all plains. The pedals, naturally, still pivot from the floor and are offset on this right-hooker. For 911 pilots of old, it’s all part of the package, here in the modern world you objectively wonder as to how some of the 911’s quirky features could have lasted for 25 years and beyond. Even in 1990 this essentially ‘modernised’ 911 must have felt rather oldfashioned compared to the competition like the #Honda-NSX , or the #Ferrari-348 (actually the 348 wasn’t a prancing horse, but more a lame donkey, with a gearbox full of rubble. The NSX, however, was a game-changer, held back only by its badge). But that, as we know, is all part of the 911 charm and mystique. If you have to ask, then clearly you don’t understand. Or is that just making a virtue out of a necessity?

    But it could, and should have been so much different. Of course the #Porsche-959 hadn’t been forgotten. The car we could have been driving today, if everything had gone to plan, and Porsche hadn’t gone though one of its many financial blips, was called the 969 and was clearly the son of the 959, with a 370bhp 3.5-litre twin turbo engine (other engines were considered, like the V8 Indy car engine – seriously), with water-cooled four-valve cylinder heads and a sophisticated four-wheel drive system hooked up to Porsche’s own PDK transmission, or a manual ’box if the buyer preferred. The 969 was due for a #1991 launch and would happily hold 185mph around the Nardo bowl. It featured the sloped back headlights of the 959 and hoop rear wing. Sixteen prototypes were built. It would have been the pinnacle of the #Porsche-911 range and in all likelihood another form of Turbo would have slotted in underneath.

    Internal machinations and costs killed the #Porsche-969 . Too expensive to build, technology not quite there yet, with a potential price tag that could have been beyond market forces and a financial crisis within Porsche, and on top of that the 969 would have launched straight into the early ’90s recession.

    So that’s what could have been. It’s what the #993 Turbo vaguely became (twin turbos, four-wheel drive and a lot of the 969’s styling cues) and certainly what the #996 Turbo achieved. But the 964 Turbo? Yes, it really was something of a rush job, stop-gap model, particularly in its first 930-engined based iteration.

    So, it would have been great to have been driving the stillborn #969 , and it would certainly have had rather more of a connection with the 991 Turbo, but we’re not, so let’s just get the 964 Turbo fired up. Who’s got the key?

    ‘Fired up’ is a bit of a misnomer. Typically it ‘churns’ into life and settles into a soft, muted idle, the turbo and the new fangled catalytic converter acting as effective silencers. The 964’s new power steering takes the heft out of steering and the relatively new G50 ’box is an ally in the soon to be forgotten and interactive art of changing gear. Those floor-mounted pedals might feel weird, but the clutch is light enough and the throttle pedal allows full foot coverage. Lifting your footing completely off the footwell to operate the brake is, well, just one of those 911 idiosyncrasies.


    Off boost, below 3000rpm, it feels soft and lethargic. Get the big old turbo spinning and the fuel pumping and it picks itself up with a hard-edged vigour. Unlike some old supercars of the era, the 964 Turbo isn’t going to get blown away by a modern turbo diesel. A modern hot hatch maybe (a Golf R would humiliate it), but on boost the 964 Turbo feels like it’s got every one of those 320 horses working, although typically tall gearing (80mph in second) will see it easily drop off boost. It’s a feeling that’s accentuated by the very stiff suspension, that has the Turbo leaping about these not entirely flat North Yorkshire moors. It’s not 964 RS stiff, but it’s not far off, a product of the new to the 964 coil spring suspension, which doesn’t have quite the sense of detachment from the road surface that the G-Series cars did, with their torsion bars. The big 17in wheels and 50 profile tyres don’t help either, but those big wheels do allow massive – for 1990 – 333mm front discs and hefty four-pot calipers, that even now haul the Turbo up with impressive retardation.

    In the corners and the 964 is a natural understeerer. It has to be bullied and worked to get to the apex, but then get the boost right and it launches itself out with that characteristic rear-end squat, and charges off with a turbine howl. If the corners are coming thick and fast, then be prepared to work very hard. There’s massive amounts of grip, but the Turbo doesn’t much like changing direction, so a lift at the right moment will activate the tail, but that’s a bit like juggling chainsaws. Get it wrong and it will hurt.

    In today’s context it feels old-fashioned, but in an endearing sort of way. It’s got old school Turbo twitches and tendencies. You absolutely know it’s there, influencing the whole demeanour of the car. It’s either on or off. Even in 1990 it was a bit of an animal and not exactly the car that was expected. Uncouth and unsophisticated, something of a thug. But then as we know now (and what wasn’t appreciated at the time), this wasn’t the Turbo that Porsche had intended to bring to the market.

    And so to the 991 Turbo. Are we travelling backward in time here or forward? Well forward obviously, but so mightily fast is the 991, and so comprehensively evolved and sophisticated, that an ability to time travel back to 1990 for a look at its predecessor, wouldn’t be a surprise. I’m sure if you were delve in to sat nav settings the time travel option would appear. Just tap in North Yorkshire Moors 1990, and in Terminator style the 991 would appear in a frisson of pulsing, arcing electricity to scare the sheep.

    The 991 Turbo is progress on a massive scale, made possible by the advances in digital and engineering technology, but mainly by the former. Its whole build and design was conceived electronically, from the design process to the build process where engineering tolerances are micro managed by computer-controlled machinery. The integration of computer and mechanical is almost cyborg in nature. The machines are taking over and in the shape of the 991 Turbo, and much more in modern life, it’s very much true. We live in a time when a tiny pocket device, originally conceived to simply make phone calls, puts every conceivable piece of information, book, piece of music and visual image within instant reach. Imagine predicting that in 1990?

    It’s only when you jump the void from #1990 to #2015 that you realise just how extraordinary the 991 Turbo is, and how we now take all this stuff for granted. Maybe we will refuse to be astonished until cars finally shed their wheels and we start to hover everywhere, or they simply drive themselves, but the only thing that connects the 991 Turbo with the 964 Turbo is the 911 designation, its evolutionary silhouette, its engine location and the fact that it’s got four wheels and a steering wheel and still runs entirely on petrol and, come the next generation of #Porsche-911 , we can certainly expect some form of electric assistance.


    There are many things that astound about the 991 Turbo, but the most beguiling and frankly mind blowing facet is just how ludicrously easy it is to make it go fast. Teleport the 964 Turbo owner of 1990 forward 25-years and stick them in the driver’s seat of the 991. They would be able to grasp the concept of putting the PDK-only transmission into drive, the rest is purely turning the wheel and pressing the go pedal. From that point on, the machine takes over. It will take a little while for 1990 911 Turbo man to actually keep up with what’s going on, such is the speed at which the modern Turbo responds to instruction, and that’s before you’ve employed any of the go faster functionality. Best save Sports Plus and Launch Control for another time.

    Compared with its 25-year-old ancestor, the 991 defies any semblance of physics. It shouldn’t be able to corner like it does, it shouldn’t be able to change direction like it does. It does so because it has a raft of electro mechanical components that look conventional, but are anything but. Dampers? Yes, they look like dampers, but they’re controlled by electro magnetic valves. The roll bars? They’re electronically controlled too, stiffening to support the side of the car that needs it. The centre diff? Electro magnetic again to deliver power and traction back and forth in a nano second. The rear end steers itself, and Torque Vectoring speeds up the inside rear wheel to facilitate turn in. Hell, even the engine mounts clamp the engine tight when the going gets twisty. And all that’s before you even start to consider the traction and stability management controls and the small matter of nearly 600bhp, not far off twice the power of the 964 Turbo.

    The 991 Turbo is fast, but it’s artificially fast. Like a modern fighter would fall out of the sky without its flight control systems, so modern 991 Turbo would fall off the road without all its electronic systems. They are what enables it to function and do the mind altering stuff that it’s so capable of, in the background, making modern 911 Turbo man look like a complete hero.

    But that’s progress for you and there’s no going back. The 964 Turbo is like a warning from the past as to how these things used to be. It’s a quaint reminder of the pre digital age. A Sunday toy for a bit of heavy-duty mechanical interaction. The 991 Turbo is a thrilling, flying on the ground, 21st Century marvel and a fitting pinnacle of where the 911 is right now, and I know which one I’d take.


    THANKS: Sincere thanks to all at Specialist Cars of Malton for the loan of the #964 Turbo, which is currently for sale. Tel: 01653 697722 specialistcarsltd.co.uk

    The 991 Turbo would fall off the road without all its electronic systems.

    Far left: The launch of the 964 Turbo as we covered it in the first issue of 911&PW in 1990. Left: What could have been. The sole surviving 969 Turbo prototype, a clear descendant of the 959, but canned for financial reasons.

    Direction changes and grip levels in the 991 Turbo border on extraordinary. It has a raft of technological solutions geared entirely to getting it round corners as fast as possible.

    Interior is similar to 911s of old, with the curve of the dashboard and placement of the air vents all following #911 tradition. #PDK sevenspeed gearbox is the command centre, with its three modes: Normal, Sport and Sport Plus.

    Right: The #Porsche-991 Turbo is bristling with detail. Wheels are massive 20in, diamond polished cross-spokes, with centre lock fixings. Equally huge six-pot brake calipers clamp on to Porsche PCCB discs. Braking is awesome in the true sense of the word.

    Unlike some old supercars of the era, the #Porsche-964 Turbo isn’t going get blown away by a modern turbodiesel.

    Car #Porsche-911-Turbo-S-991
    Model tested: #Porsche-991-Turbo-S
    Engine: 3800cc, flat-six DOHC, twin turbo
    Transmission: Four-wheel drive, seven-speed PDK
    Body style: Coupe
    Suspension: MacPherson struts (f), multi-link rear
    Top speed: 198mph
    0-62mph 2.9 secs
    Power: 552bhp at 6500rpm

    Pale grey interior is very early ’90s. Deep bolstered ‘Sports’ seats are among the best Porsche have ever made. Cockpit feels tight and compact, but visibility is excellent.

    Even in #1990 this essentially ‘modernised’ 911 must have felt rather old fashioned compared to the competiton.

    964 Turbo looks terrific in white, like a refugee racer on the road. New front and rear aprons, plus side skirts and aero mirrors were a styling success. Tea tray rear wing a 911 Turbo trademark.

    Car #Porsche-911-Turbo-964
    Model tested: #Porsche-964-Turbo
    Engine: 3300cc, flat-six DOHC, single turbo
    Transmission: Rear-wheel drive, five-speed manual
    Body style: Coupe
    Suspension: MacPherson struts front and rear
    Top speed: 167mph
    0-62mph 5.0 secs
    Power: 322bhp at 5750rpm

    Damp, cold North Yorkshire moors roads focus the mind in an old school 911 Turbo, with absolutely no driver aids whatsoever. Not that the 964 feels anything other than grippy and competent.

    Left: Distinctive and huge intercooler sits on top of the 964’s 3.3-litre, air-cooled flat-six. Power is 320bhp. Clocks are resolutely analogue, while four-pot alloy calipers were considered huge for 1990.
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  • ALL SHOW AND ALL GO

    2015 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 991. The new 991 911 GT3 RS stole the Geneva Motor Show, and with good reason. ‘Mr GT3’, Andreas Preuninger, talks us around his latest mind blowing RennSport creation…

    The new #911-GT3-RS stole the Geneva Motor Show, and with good reason. ‘Mr GT3’, Andreas Preuninger, talks us around his latest mindblowing RennSport creation… Story: Simon Jackson Photography: Porsche.

    If there’s one certainty in the constantly evolving automotive sphere it’s that any #Porsche wearing an RS badge will cause a riot at its unveiling. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show that’s exactly what the #991 GT3 RS did. And as I stood amongst row upon row of excited journos gathered from around the world prior to the covers being whipped off Andreas Preuninger’s latest road-going track car, that stir was tangible. In fact, I think the guy stood in front of me might have been in need of urgent medical attention. The car did not disappoint.

    By now you’ll have all seen the stats: a 4.0-litre version of Porsche’s latest #DFI engine producing 500hp; 460Nm of torque (around 339lb ft); 0-62 in 3.3 seconds; a top speed of 192mph; a body constructed from aluminium, carbon fibre and magnesium weighing ten kilograms less than the GT3 (at 1420kg); a staggeringly quick (borderline insane) Nordschleife lap time of 7mins, 20secs (faster than a Carrera GT); and a devastatingly aggressive aero-led aesthetic that will turn your mother-in-law to stone at ten paces. It’s all yours for £131,296, if there are any of the first UK allocation still available that is…

    But as with any RennSport model to emerge through the doors at Weissach, the facts and figures don’t tell the 991 GT3 RS’s full story. Someone who does summerise the passion and importance of this car, though, is its creator – Andreas Preuninger. Fortunately he was on hand in Switzerland to talk us around it…

    PREUNINGER ON ENGINES:

    Despite the speculation that the new GT3 RS might be a turbocharged affair, the car is actually powered by an all-new NA engine based upon the DFI found in the GT3, just as we had predicted in the run-up to its full reveal. As you might expect this retuned direct fuel injection 4.0-litre mill boasts the biggest displacement found in any naturally-aspirated 991.

    Preuninger is passionate about the powerplant: “We knew the GT3 engine could be hopped-up by displacement from 3.8-litres to 4.0 and we had already introduced this capacity with the [997] RS 4.0 so we couldn’t really go back on that. This was not a limited model, this car is the successor to the 3.8 RS, but still we wanted a 4.0-litre engine or one as great as the 4.0-litre engine.”

    But if you’re thinking that a simple rebore is the extent of the changes made here, think again, as Preuninger is only too happy to explain: “There are a lot of differences to the GT3, it’s not like the [old] Metzger engine. We have a different crankshaft made out of a material that is only used on the 919 LMP car called V361. It’s a highly, highly clean steel that is melted and solidified several times. It’s a very pure, durable and special metal, a Star Trek-era material that should belong on the Starship Enterprise. It’s a horrendously expensive part, I cannot believe how much it costs, but it works!”

    Porsche is typically modest about power outputs. Preuninger is modest, too, when discussing the power of the GT3 RS: “We’ve got different con rods, pistons, camshafts, cam springs and oil system – we touched a lot of parts in the engine internals. We wanted extra power. We wanted the RS to give more track performance. On paper it’s 500hp but in real life it’s a good deal more than that. We have to homologate GT cars way before the start of production and we always find something else during the development process. I like to be humble about these things.”


    When pushed a little Preuninger explains that the engine is producing around 5% more than the 500hp headline figure, making it somewhere closer to around 510hp. This increase should be comparable with the reality of engine power outputs of the past versus the numbers stated by Porsche, given Porsche’s track record of underselling itself with things like this. The compression ratio of the 4.0-litre engine is identical to the GT3 at 12:9.1 but the increased stroke (taking the engine capacity from 3.8 to 4.0) means top-end revs are down by 200rpm over the GT3 to 8800rpm – final drive in a subtlety tweaked PDK gearbox increases from 3.97 (GT3) to 4.19 in this new RS car.

    “It’s not that it cannot do the 9000rpms of the GT3,” Preuninger explains. “It just makes no sense. With a longer stroke the power curve drops off, then it feels like a diesel. It should explode up to the redline, then you have to shift. If you closed your eyes you’d have a hard time telling the difference between 8800 and 9000rpm. It’s still exciting at the top end.”

    Using the larger 911 Turbo body in many ways created issues to work around for Preuninger and his team but it also had its benefits, too. Was there ever any chance this car might have been force-induced? “We just use the rear ducts [of the Turbo body] to cool the intercooler, and to fool everybody looking at spy shots into thinking it was going to have a turbo engine!” Preuninger chuckles. “We made use of the superwide Turbo body: it was a slick, cool solution for us otherwise we would’ve had to make new sides without intakes which would have been expensive [to homologate]. An effect of this is that the car has a specific sound; you hear the induction noise quite a lot more than on a GT3. I like that. It adds to the special nature of the driving sensation.”

    PREUNINGER ON AERO:

    One of the most striking features on the new GT3 RS is its aerodynamic package. Vents and wings seemingly protrude from every angle but perhaps the biggest talking point has been the beautiful slats on the front wings. “The slats in the front wings don’t just help downforce, they absolutely double downforce,” Preuninger claims with passion. “This is such a unique and important feature on the car. By opening up the front wheel fenders and allowing air to get vented we have massively contributed to the overall downforce of the car.”


    Naturally, all of these new aero additions are functional rather than just cosmetic but it would be easier to dismiss their significance without understanding the reason for their existence. Preuninger is more than happy to explain:

    “The problem with 911s is that if you want to create overall downforce you still have to carry balance. Making downforce at the back is easy, you just need a big wing in the air but you need a countermeasure at the front to have a stable car. If you have too much at the back the car pivots around the rear axle and you get loose steering.”

    Preuninger’s logic is flawless but it isn’t until he draws a numeric comparison with the GT3 RS’ forebears that these latest additions are highlighted: “To give you a comparison, the 997 RS 4.0-litre was the number one for downforce. It recorded 107 kilos of downforce at 300kph. We used winglets and vanes to achieve that. This car [GT3 RS] has more than double that downforce: 350 kilos at 300kph. This is the same, if not a tad more, than the 918 Spyder! But, and this is a big point, the GT3 RS maintains the same drag coefficient as the GT3. The GT3 has 170 kilos, so less than a third. This is unheard of. You feel it, it kicks in early because downforce is a linear function – a curve.”

    What that means is this dramatic increase in downforce is felt throughout the driving experience, even at speeds far lower than 300kph (186mph). As Preuninger points out, the linear nature of downforce means that even at half the speed the car will create half the downforce, so it’s a noticeable aid even when you’re not flat out on the race track. When combined with the mechanical grip the car is already creating, its wide 9.5-inch front wheels with huge contact patches, joined by Pilot Sport Cup 2s from the 918 Spyder (of which Preuninger is gushingly complimentary), is what combines to create this “quantum leap” in downforce between the GT3 and GT3 RS.

    “Aero is a huge step over the GT3,” Preuninger says. “If I had to put a number on it I’d say 300% [better]. Then the tyres are the next factor. They’re 20% more sticky than on the GT3. I don’t want to bash the GT3, it’s a different animal but the GT3 RS was developed for the race track. The mission criteria for this car was different – it’s more track-focused, less day-today driveable – it’s built for a purpose, it’s a sporting tool. This is what the RS has always been about. We simply went a step further with that interpretation this time.”

    The GT3 RS is arguably the most technically advanced 911 ever built, but could it be the last naturally aspirated 911 RennSport car? Preuninger seems open minded…

    PREUNINGER ON CHASSIS:

    “The suspension components are roughly the same as the GT3, they share nothing with the Turbos,” Preuninger explains. “We have a 50- millimetre wider rear track which calls for different parts, and it’s the same for the front axle. Everything is forged aluminium – all race bred. They’re a little bit more beefy than they would need to be solely for street use with upside down aluminium tubing dampers [Bilstein shocks] with increased spring rates [up ten percent over the GT3] and ball bearings are used all-round, like usual.”

    This increased track means the GT3 RS has a greater stability and is generally more visually aggressive. But adding parts has not added to weight. In fact, Preuninger is obsessed with weight loss, as you might expect. “The front fenders we used are a lot wider [than the Turbo] to maximise the track from the front to the back,” he explains. “The fenders are carbon fibre rather than aluminium, which weighs just half that of the GT3’s fenders. We did a lot of bodywork on the car, too. The front lid is carbon fibre. It’s 1.5-kilos lighter. A real highlight of the car, though, is the roof. It’s made of magnesium sheet metal.”

    The magnesium roof is a real masterstroke, and it’s an innovation that isn’t available on your average street machine. It’s not even something you’ll find on a high-end race car. Preuninger describes this all-new process with passion: “Three layers of sheet metal are welded together, shaped to form the curves of the 991’s roofline, then bonded in situ. The magnesium roof is one-kilo lighter than a carbon equivalent would be.”

    Naturally this reduces overall weight but it also lowers the car’s centre of gravity. Innovative and highly advanced engineering – everything you’ve come to expect of the RennSport department. The process of lightening didn’t end there, either. “The rear end is made with a new pure material, too, which is 1.5 kilos lighter,” Preuninger says. “This was a new approach, we lost a lot of sound insulation material, too. There were a lot of places we could save weight on the car. The big 21-inch wheels with huge tyres weigh more, so we had to compensate.”

    Increased wheel width and circumference and the 991’s sizeable body (in comparison with its forebears) are the reason this #Porsche-911-GT3-RS-991 has the smallest weight difference to its GT3 equivalent to date. Preuninger assures us that this doesn’t affect the driving experience and that the #Porsche-991 GT3 RS feels incredibly light and agile to drive. The 9.5x20-inch front wheels are shod with 265/30 tyres, the 12.5x21-inch rears are wrapped with 325/30 Michelins. The brake discs are 380mm with six-piston caliper items up front and four-pistons versions out back. PCCB carbon ceramics are available as an option.

    “With this car we want to be in pole position. We want to be the best on the track – that’s what RS has always stood for,” he says. “That’s why it has PDK, that’s why it has the rear axle steering function – it’s well worth having these systems. There are endless discussions about PDK versus manual, there is no right or wrong, there are only differences. Differences in mission criteria. We put a manual in the Cayman GT4 to show we listened to the debate. For the future we don’t want to discuss this, we just want to offer both to our customers – if you don’t like PDK then fine.”


    Of course, the PDK system fitted as mandatory in the GT3 RS has been tweaked but not as extensively as with other areas of the car. “We didn’t really touch the PDK system. The internals were beefed-up and the software is one generation ahead. That’s all we did to it.”

    For circuit use there is a ‘paddle neutral’ facility and a ‘pit speed’ button which acts as a pit lane speed limiter such as that found on fullblown race cars. Rear axle steering features on GT3 RS alongside Porsche’s arsenal of modern electronic driving aids. It won’t surprise you to learn that PTV with rear limited-slip differential, PASM active dampers and PSM appear. The direct democratisation of parts from the #Porsche-918 down to #Porsche-911 is epitomised in the GT3 RS’s interior. The interior follow trends established in the GT3, but the carbon fibre bucket seats are based upon those found in the 918 Spyder. The Club Sport Package comes complete with the obligatory colour-coded bolt-in roll-cage, with the option of a six-point harness for the driver, battery master switch preparation and a fire extinguisher setup supplied separately. Sport Chrono is optional.

    A 30cm strip runs the length of the front luggage compartment and roof, featuring a unique contoured surface reminiscent of classic air-cooled 911s.

    At 1420kg the #991 GT3 RS is just 10kg lighter than the GT3 and 60kg heavier than the #997 RS 4.0 but the new car generates more downforce at around 100mph than the 997 did at top speed.

    PREUNINGER ON THE FUTURE OF RS:

    What might the future hold for Porsche’s RS models and how do they compete with rival offerings from the likes of AMG or Nismo? “I’m not a believer in this horsepower race, I don’t think that’s a clever thing to do. In my personal opinion 500hp makes sense at the moment. We’ve reached a certain point where 500 horses is enough,” Preuninger rationalises. “Because 700-800hp calls for bigger brakes, more sturdy suspension – it [the car] gets heavier and heavier. It’s not my overall engineering target to get 50hp more for each new generation of GT car. I’d rather turn it around and make the car lighter, working on the specific horsepower per kilo. I think that makes more sense.”

    At the same time, he’s realistic about future power figures, which couldn’t arguably return to lower digits: “We wouldn’t turn back [on power outputs] but we have to concentrate on the overall package. This is not a dragster, it’s a track car – there’s a big difference. I hate to say it but this car is more comfortable than the GT3 on some roads because of the tyres; they’re big tyres with wide shoulders, so the residual comfort is high,”

    And Preuninger is pragmatic about whether or not we will see an RS model with drastically more than 500hp in future: “When we introduced the #996 GT3 Mk1 in #1998 / #1999 it barely had 350hp; if someone had told us that in ten years there would be a 4.0-litre version of this with 500hp we’d have said ‘yeah, come on’. The same thing goes for today, technology moves on. We have some clever ideas about what to do with this engine in the future so it has got a lot of potential.

    “It’s the same as this Nordschleife ‘rat race’ – we are at 7 mins, 20 secs with this car [GT3 RS] – come on guys, everybody is talking about this with a pint of beer in his hand, mostly without being able to personally drive faster than 8 mins, 30 secs,” Preuninger says. “Anyone who has riden in a car with a professional driver doing 7 mins, 20 secs at the ’Ring knows what I’m talking about – this is really, really fast. For me it’s more important that everybody has fun with the car and can drive very fast to their own abilities. They can grow with it because more often than not the tool, the car, is more capable than they are. We are looking to make the car more confidence inspiring when we tune the systems. Maybe we could make a 7 min, 15 sec car but then it would be a dog to drive on the street – I don’t want that, everything is about compromise.”

    Whichever Porsche this man touches next, you can be sure it’ll cause a riot. The new #991 GT3 RS hits UK roads in May priced at £131,296. It may be £30,000 more expensive than the 991 GT3 but judging by what Andreas Preuninger has to say, it’s worth every penny.

    Car #2015 #Porsche-911-GT3-RS
    ENGINE: 3996cc flat-six direct injection
    TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed #PDK
    BRAKES: 380mm ventilated discs with six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) callipers, #PSM
    CHASSIS: MacPherson struts (front), multi-link rear suspension. Electromechanical power steering, #PASM
    WEIGHT: 1420kg
    PERFORMANCE:
    Top Speed: 193mph (claimed)
    0-62mph: 3.3 seconds (claimed)
    Fuel Consumption: 22.2mpg (combined, claimed)
    CO²: 296g/km
    ON THE ROAD PRICE: £131,296

    21-inch rear wheels are wrapped in the biggest tyres ever fitted to a 911. They forced modifications to the production line!
    • GT3 RS IN NUMBERS:

      22.2
      7MIN 20SECS – ’RING LAP
      21-inch
      rear wheels
      3.30-62mph
      mph
      £131,296
      192
      mpg
      -secs
      4.0-litre
      6-cylinder engine
      TOP SPEED
      GT3GT3 RS IN NUMBERS:

      22.2
      7MIN 20SECS – ’RING LAP
      21-inch
      rear wheels
      3.30-62mph
      mph
      £131,296
      192
      mpg
      -secs
      4.0-litre
      6-cylinder engine
      TOP SPEED
      GT3 RS IN NUMBERS:
      HP
      10kg
      339
        More ...
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