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    Lee Sibley
    The eighth generation of Porsche’s 911 is officially unveiled at a lavish ceremony on the eve of the LA Auto Show. After a formal introduction on stage by Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board at Porsche AG, the world’s press scramble to get their first look inside the 992.

    / #2019-Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche
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    As Porsche’s new #Porsche-911-992 generation of 911 roared onto centre stage in Los Angeles I decided to spend some time reflecting on the outgoing 991 and what its legacy is going to be in the future. It’s fair to say the 991 has always divided opinion among enthusiasts – much like the 964 in 1989 for its ABS and power steering, or the 996 in 1998 for its water-cooled engine and new looks. Detractors of the 991 have always pointed to the car’s big proportions and its lean towards more of a grand tourer than outright sports car. Enthusiasts, meanwhile, have hailed it as the generation which gave the 911 a contemporary feel, breathtaking performance and greater all-round capabilities.

    / #2019-Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche

    While those bigger proportions cannot be argued against, I have to agree with those who say the 991 has been a brilliant chapter for the 911’s legacy. The statistics also somewhat back that up. Of the 1,049,330 911s produced since 1963 to 31 October 2018, a staggering 217,930 have been 991s – very nearly one in four. Away from the success in the sales room, the 991 should be noted for championing the power of analogue.

    The ingenious subtlety of the 2016 R will be a pillar of 911 history going forward, giving us not only a manual gearbox but likely the best one ever found in a Porsche. That thirst for special analogue cars ricocheted down the model line-up to the Carrera T and GT3 Touring at a time when other manufacturers were shifting towards auto-only transmissions. The scintillating noise of a naturally aspirated 991 GT car at 9,000rpm will live long in the memory, too.

    It’s time for a new era of 911, and we’ll welcome the 992 with aplomb in 2019, but I feel it is right to first pay our dues to the 991 generation, which I think history will be very kind to indeed.

    “The 991 should be noted for championing the power of analogue”
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    BASHING THE 911 WITH THE UGLY STICK

    / #2020-Porsche-911-992 / #2020-Porsche-911 / #2020 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #2020-Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S

    Words fail. The 911 has never been a particularly attractive sports car, in the way that a Ferrari or Lambo is, but the new #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911-992 really has been bashed with the ugly stick. It looks like one of those car cartoons, with pumped up bodywork and exaggerated, angled wheels beloved of the Max Power brigade in poster and (bizzarely) ceramic form. It's not especially pretty from any angle, but from the rear three quarter view it appears as though the 911 silhouette as we know it has been reversed into a bulbous blob. A bulbous blob, which is in fact the bloated rear arches and rear apron, which clearly have to be that size to accommodate the ludicrous 21in wheels. As the catchphrase goes: 'Does my bum look big in this?' Yes, it does, bloomin’ enormous in fact.

    It's not much better at the front. Indeed, on first glance it just looks like a Panamera and it can't be much narrower either. I can only imagine that this extra girth will be required to accommodate the batteries and other hybrid gubbins that is apparently coming sooner rather than later to what was once a compact 2+2 sports car.

    The constant evolution of the 911 has been a wondrous thing, but perhaps it's possible to evolve too far. The 911’s shape has always been dictated – to a degree – by its layout and Porsche's desire to 'keep it in the family', but the simplicity of the original has been utterly lost. It's time to stop, preferably now, and reconsider the concept of the 911, because it really shouldn't be allowed to evolve to the point that moving its bulk around becomes a challenge. If it were an animal it would be considered to be some sort of freakish mutation. Enough is enough.

    New 992 is too big says reader, Leonard Harding. Below: 911&PW’s midengined fleet
    • Oof, you don't like the 992 then, Lee? I would say, let's wait until we've driven it, but that's not going to shrink it any. See this month's 'modern'Oof, you don't like the 992 then, Lee? I would say, let's wait until we've driven it, but that's not going to shrink it any. See this month's 'modern' 911 test for our view on these things   More ...
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    Last issue I mentioned how, after a mere three corners of my track day at Castle Combe, my #Porsche-911-C4S-996 suffered epic brake fail, forcing the car into an early finish. I didn’t hang around in getting the problem fixed, remembering my old man’s oft-recited saying that “the most important aspect of a car is its ability to stop”. Long-time readers will recall I changed the brakes on my previous 996.2 C4 to EBC a couple of years back, so the decision to turn to them once again was an easy one, promptly ordering Yellowstuff pads, Dot 4 fluid and braided lines. I then booked the car in at ZRS Engineering down the road in Poole, as Matt there now does all work on my beloved C4S.

    With the car on Matt’s two-post ramp, the wheels were whipped off and the pads removed. They had plenty of meat on them still as they were only installed at the end of 2017 but, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve just not been happy with their (complete lack of) feel and performance, despite fluid changes to alleviate the issue. Incidentally the pads had ‘TRW’ on the covers, which Matt informs me is the OEM brand, but whether or not it was just those covers which in this case were TRW remains to be seen. Either way, I took great pleasure in frisbeeing them into the bin.

    EBC’s Yellowstuff pads were then installed inside the C4S’s Big Red calipers: these are intended for fast road and occasional track use, as they offer performance in huge heat ranges without brake fade. Although fashion isn’t exactly a priority when it comes to safety, it was great to see the yellow hue of the pads adding to the visual flare of my yellow KW coilover springs, at least with the wheels off!

    Matt then replaced my rubber factory brake lines with EBC braided items. These will provide additional feel through the pedal, sorely needed in my case, and their braided element offers an increase in longevity underneath my C4S. With identical routing as per the factory lines, their it was simple enough. They’re good value: although the fittings don’t appear to be stainless steel (as they’re painted), they’re still good value when compared to vastly more expensive competitor items. I was pleased to have them fitted.

    Matt did have to make up new hard lines from each caliper as mine had corroded. A 996 will always throw up a curve ball on a job like this, particularly with rust or corrosion on chassis componentry, so the added time needed for Matt to make those up before connecting to the EBC lines was expected, really.

    With the braided lines in place Matt flushed out the old brake fluid, which ran for the hills when temperatures began to rise during the first few minutes of my aforementioned track day. I got two one-litre bottles of EBC ’s Dot 4 fluid, but the reality was we only needed the one. With the system bled, the wheels were soon back on and the 911 once again graced the floor.

    Next step was bedding the brakes in, which I’m still in the process of doing. This is crucial to ensuring the brakes perform well over a sustained period of time. Many people skip this step and then wonder why they get brake fade pretty quickly. The process for EBC’s brakes can be found on their website at ebcbrakeshop.co.uk, but essentially I have to cover 200 urban miles before conducting a series of high-speed stoppages down to 20mph.

    As I say I’m still in that process, and as soon as that’s done I’m heading for the track. What I will say, however, is that even now, after only a few miles, the difference is commendable. There’s now so much feel through that middle pedal that I can push it with confidence, those pads now clamping to the as-new discs with a conviction sorely lacking before. Once this set-up is run in, this is going to be an unbelievable car.

    Living the Legend – 911 owner reports Our contributing enthusiasts from around the world share their real-life experiences with their Porsche 911s

    Lee Sibley Bournemouth, UK

    Model #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-996 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-996 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-996 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-996 / #2002-Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-996 / #Porsche /
    Year #2002

    Acquired April 2017 @lee_sibs
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    Porsche 911 Carrera (993)

    A half-cage has gone in and the back seats are out in a bid to make the Porsche more hardcore

    / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993 / #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche /

    The toolkit has been out recently, and likewise the 993’s back seats. More on this in a moment, but first you need to hear my justification. When you are surrounded by performance cars day-in, day-out, as I am fortunate enough to be in my job as evo’s staff photographer, you can’t help but feel drawn towards certain models, and also to analyse exactly what it is about them that appeals so much. Over the years there have been a handful of cars that have had me feeling a deep urge to sell my kidneys to own them. The first was the incredible 997-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, then later the Cayman GT4, Mégane R26.R, 458 Speciale, Golf Clubsport S and Ruf SCR 4.2. As you can see, there’s a theme here of mostly pared-back, driver-focused cars. This is clearly my ‘go to’ spec.

    So, unsurprisingly, I had an urge to make my 993 a little more hardcore and, yes, driver-focused. I figured the perfect way to achieve this would be to install a bolt-in half-cage, as this would increase the car’s body rigidity and also allow me to fit harnesses at some point.

    I chose a cage produced by German company Heigo, specifically its Clubsport model, and over a weekend staff writer Will Beaumont and I, with some extra help from Will’s father, removed the Porsche’s rear seats and assembled and installed the cage. Heigo has cleverly designed its half-cage so that you don’t need to destroy your carpet or weld in fixing plates for it. Instead it picks up on the original strengthened areas, including the front and rear seat belt fixings. Another positive is that we managed to fit it without having to remove the front seats. And although the kit weighs 25kg, after removing the rear seat belts and seat backs, the final extra weight to the car is a relatively minor 21kg.

    As well as the cage, I’ve also installed a front strut brace, similar to the one used in 993 RSR race cars and even the aforementioned Ruf SCR. When researching parts I was surprised to find that you can purchase this brace on its own via Ruf UK. It’s ultra-high quality and easy to install, and the benefits are reduced strut tower flex (as both towers are tied together) along with reduced chassis flex.

    The 993 is starting to become my ultimate fast road package and I can’t wait to get it back out on the road and track this summer to test the new set-up.

    Date acquired April 2016
    Total mileage 80,134
    Mileage this month 100
    Costs this month £853 roll-cage £360 strut brace
    £26 dinner for Will and his dad
    mpg this month 24.3

    ‘The 993 is starting to become my ultimate fast road package and I can’t wait to get on the road’
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    No more slip, just more grip

    CAR: #1973-Porsche-911S-2.4-Targa / #1973 / #Porsche-911S-2.4-Targa / #1973-Porsche-911S-2.4 / #Porsche-911S-Targa / #Porsche-911-Targa / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche /

    OWNER: Robert Coucher

    As mentioned last month I took my Porsche 911 2.4S Targa up to Prill Porsche Classics, where Andy attended to the fuel tank, suspension bushes, tuned the fuel injection and exacted a few other tweaks.

    But I didn’t have room to mention another important fix. The tyres. The Targa arrived from Australia wearing a nice-looking set of 195/60x15 Pirellis. Lots of tread and in fine condition. With the car up at the workshop, Andy called to tell me he’d date-checked the Pirellis and found they were 11 years old! No great surprise, as the 911 spent its life in dry, speed-restricted Sydney, where tyre performance is not so critical.

    I have a bit of a fixation about tyres, especially fitted to classics. Original tyres are narrow and high-profile so have a smaller footprint than modern, wide, low-profiles. So you really need classic tyres to be fresh and grippy, not hard and slippery. I’d noticed on a rally and at an Octane trackday at Goodwood that the 911 felt rather twitchy coming out of corners under power. I now know why.

    I called Dougal Cawley of Longstone Classic #Tyres to order some fresh rubber. Dougal pointed out that 195 Pirelli 6000s are wrong and that I needed a set of original-equipment Pirelli Cinturato 185/70VR15 CN36s for optimum handling. At £179 each (£799 for a set of five) plus the Vodka And Tonic, Dougal sent the set to Prill. Longstone doesn’t charge delivery in UK, Europe and most other countries.

    Combined with the replaced suspension bushes, the new Cinturatos offer a great improvement and the Porsche now rides superbly. There’s no more crashing over transverse ridges, the ride is quieter and the grip hugely increased. On top of that, the previously good steering is now even better, with sharper turn-in and lighter feel.

    A very satisfying result, which demonstrates the difference a decent set of fresh, correct-spec tyres can make. I’d suggest you check yours (date-stamped on the sidewall) and, if they’re more than six years old, a new set will transform your classic.

    Thanks to Dougal Cawley, www.longstonetyres.co.uk; and Andy Prill, www.prillporscheclassics.com.
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