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Porsche 911 GT3 RS (2018) review

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RSNot long ago, I had coffee with a Porsche collector. Back in the 1990s, he worked for a German tuning company, selling styling kits and engine upgrades for 911s.

Now, he explained, that once-lucrative market has almost entirely dried up. “After all, why build a go-faster Porsche when they can sell you one in the showroom?”

He has a point. When Porsche launched the ‘964’ Carrera RS in 1993, it produced 264hp – just 11hp more than the standard 911.

Granted, other mods such as lower suspension, a close-ratio gearbox and binning the rear seats had a transformative effect on the drive (and, um, the ride quality), but there was always potential for more.

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS

I’m not sure that’s true today. This most recent Rennsport, the ‘991.2’ 911 GT3 RS, genuinely pushes the limits of possibility. It’s a racetrack refugee, a Carrera Cup race car with sat nav and number plates.

Every detail of its design has been honed for scalpel-sharp precision and performance. I doubt any aftermarket tuner could realistically offer more.

First up, there’s the engine: a 4.0-litre, naturally aspirated flat-six. It makes 520hp at 8,250rpm – 150hp more than the old 991 Carrera – and keeps on screaming until 9,000rpm. Driving through a paddleshift PDK gearbox (sorry, Porsche purists, there isn’t a manual option), it blasts to 62mph in 3.2 seconds and onto 194mph.

More tellingly, it’s also lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6min 56.4sec – a second quicker than the 899hp 918 Spyder.

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS

There’s more to such speed than almighty grunt, of course. An in-yer-face aero package, including jutting side skirts and that towering rear wing, increases downforce by eight percent versus the 991.1 RS it replaced.

Racing-style rose-jointed suspension and bespoke rear tyres also boost cornering grip, while thinner glass, forged alloys and minimal sound deadening help shed vital kilos.

For the dedicated, an optional Weissach Pack added a carbon roof, titanium rollcage and magnesium wheels that save nearly 3kg per corner.

Still, forget what the GT3 RS can do for a moment and just look at it. In Lizard Green (the launch colour – eight other hues are available) Porsche’s press car is positively radioactive, a mutant mix of 911 and Incredible Hulk.

And its interior is scarcely more subtle: everything from the centre marker on the steering wheel to the trademark RS fabric door-pulls has been colour-coded.

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS

Find the right road and your passenger’s face may turn a tad green, too. The RS is explosively quick and – in dry conditions at least – feels resolutely tied to the tarmac.

Spring rates are almost identical to its competition cousin, but additional helper springs take the edge off the ride. The result is sufficient suppleness for a British B-road, allied with ravenous turn-in and virtually no roll. At speed, the rear wheels turn fractionally in the same direction as the fronts, effectively shortening the car’s wheelbase and further enhancing agility.

For all its perfectly-judged poise, however, the star of the show remains aft of the rear axle. The engine’s insatiable hunger for revs is animalistic and utterly addictive. It simply keeps going… and going… until you run out of nerve or road. Or both.

The soundtrack is like nothing else, too: an uncultured clatter at idle, it escalates to a savage shriek that will sucker-punch your soul. Unlike the turbocharged GT2, you need to work for such rewards, but the GT3 RS scales heights no other 911 can reach.

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS

If all the above sounds a bit gushing, I’ll make no apology for that. This RS is one of the finest driver’s cars of the past decade and, at £141,346, was something of a bargain when new. Good luck finding one for that price today. 

The 991 RS bowed out with a bang. Will the forthcoming 992 version measure up? We don’t have long to wait.

PRICE: £141,346 (when new)

0-62MPH: 3.2sec

TOP SPEED: 194mph

CO2 G/KM: 291

MPG COMBINED: 22.1

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Buying a classic Porsche 911: what you need to know

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Jeremy Clarkson once said “you can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo”.

Not for the first time, though, Jezza was wrong.

With a few recent exceptions, modern Alfas are just fancy Fiats. And the classics, while bursting with brio, are less dependable than the 07:56 to London Bridge.

No, if there’s one car every enthusiast should aspire to own, it’s a Porsche 911. This quirky, rear-engined coupe has evolved – and occasionally revolved – over more nearly six decades.

Fast, fun and engineered with Teutonic thoroughness, it’s an automotive cult all its own: witness the number of dedicated 911 magazines in newsagents.

And it’s still going strong: the millionth example left Stuttgart in 2017, and spicier versions, such as the GT2 RS, sell out before they even reach showrooms.

Video: classic Porsche 911 on the road

Convinced? Now for the bad news. Used 911 prices may have peaked around 2018, but they have risen hugely over the past decade. That said, even if a COVID-19 recession lies ahead, good examples – particularly the earlier, air-cooled cars – should remain sought-after.

If you want the original 911 experience, you need a pre-1989 model – and they don’t come much better than the last-hurrah Carrera 3.2, now available from around £40,000. The lovely 1989 example tested here was kindly supplied by Canford Classics.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2: How does it drive?

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

The classic Carrera isn’t an easy car to drive, but that’s key to its appeal. You need to engage your brain, exploit its strengths and work around its weaknesses. And learning those takes time.

Despite being shorter and narrower than a new Porsche Cayman, the original 911’s cabin doesn’t feel short on space. Well, not unless you’re squeezed into the toddler-sized rear seats. It’s comically sparse by 2020 standards, though, with controls scattered seemingly at random and floor-hinged pedals skewed towards the centre of the car.

Ergonomic eccentricities are soon forgotten when you fire up that trademark flat-six. It whirrs, rumbles and churns: not musical, but deliciously mechanical. And the howl it makes at high revs reverberates around your ribcage.

The 911’s unassisted steering and spindly gearlever demand measured, deliberate inputs, yet fizz with constant feedback. It feels lively and light-footed, effervescent even. Those characteristic front wings follow the contours of the road, while the all-round disc brakes offer confidence-inspiring bite.

You never forget this is a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive car – one with no electronic safety aids – but the Porsche is hardly the ‘widowmaker’ of urban legend. It simply requires respect and a certain degree of restraint, especially when it rains. Your friend in his Golf R will be quicker whatever the weather, but you’ll be more involved.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2: Tell me about buying one

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Chris Lowe, lead technician at Canford Classics, is a big fan of the Carrera 3.2: “It has better brakes and a more powerful engine than the 911 SC it replaced, and larger wheels make it more drivable day-to-day,” he explains. “Plus, it’s still air-cooled, so it doesn’t stray too far from the original formula. Overall, they’re just super-cool cars.”

The 3.2 was sold in three body styles: coupe, convertible and Targa. Coupes are generally considered most desirable, although the removable-roof Targa is now back in fashion. A ‘tea tray’ rear wing was optional as part of the Sport pack, along with stiffer dampers and shapelier seats. Alternatively, buyers could go the whole nine yards with the 911 Supersport: a 3.2 with the stretched wheelarches and beefed-up brakes of the 930 Turbo. 

Rust is the fatal foe of any classic 911, so Chris advises checking bodywork carefully: the roof pillars and sills are the main trouble-spots.

Take a fine-tooth comb to the paperwork, too. “Originality is key to value,” says Chris, “so ask for the Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche, which details the original specification – including any options fitted.” Also, be prepared to budget for mechanical maintenance: “Many 3.2s are due engine or gearbox rebuilds, and the same goes for suspension. Bushes will usually need to be replaced.”

It’s also worth noting that the post-1987 ‘G50’ gearbox – as fitted here – is slicker and more user-friendly than the original ‘915’ unit. As such, G50-equipped cars tend to be worth more.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2: Verdict

Is the Carrera 3.2 the ultimate retro daily-driver? Perhaps, even if the aforementioned rise in values means most owners now reserve their cars for sunny Sundays and special occasions. 

In truth, the G-Series 911 felt a little dated by the mid-1980s, yet it has aged remarkably well. To drive, it feels raw, and vital, while its essential robustness stands in marked contrast to the flimsy over-complication of many modern cars.

Three decades hence, when scores of present-day ‘992’ 911s are written off due to software gremlins, one suspects the classic Carrera will still be going strong. It’s a sports car icon: both of its time and timeless. Buy one now while you still can.

Many thanks to Canford Classics (01929 472221) for the loan of this immaculate 1989 911. 

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

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Live your tangerine dreams with this extreme Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Bring a Trailer Pastel Orange Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Auction website Bring a Trailer currently has one of the most hardcore Porsche 911 models ever made for sale. 

Offered as part of the website’s Premium listing service, the 2018 911 GT2 RS certainly makes a statement with its custom orange paintwork. 

However, most shocking of all is that this example has registered only 170 miles on the odometer since leaving the Porsche factory.

Uncompromising design and function

Bring a Trailer Pastel Orange Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche 911 GT2 models have developed a reputation for scaring inexperienced drivers. Big turbocharged power, combined with a rear-wheel drive setup, has the potential to catch out the unwary. 

The 996-generation model, made between 2002 and 2004, is often cited as the most fearsome example. Yet modern developments have made later GT2 models less terrifying, but still deserving of respect.

The car being sold here is a later 991 version. Initially unveiled in a trailer for the Forza Motorsport 7 Xbox One game, Porsche fans had a chance to see a real 911 GT2 RS at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed. 

More power than any other street-legal 911

Bring a Trailer Pastel Orange Porsche 911 GT2 RS

What made the 991-gen GT2 RS most impressive was the power output from the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six engine. A total of 700 horsepower made it the most powerful road-going 911 ever made, and was accompanied by 553 lb-ft of torque.

A seven-speed PDK double-clutch unit was the only transmission offered, helping the 911 GT2 RS accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. 0-124 mph would take 8.3 seconds, with the GT2 powering all the way to a top speed of 211 mph. 

Porsche fitted an automatic water spray system, fed by a tank mounted inside the front trunk, to help reduce the temperature of the air entering the intercoolers. 

A clockwork orange on the track

Bring a Trailer Pastel Orange Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche used carbon fiber was extensively on the body of the GT2 RS. The front wings, hood, exterior mirrors, rear vents, and other parts were all made from the lightweight material. A titanium exhaust, polycarbonate windows, and even a roof made from magnesium also helped shed unnecessary pounds. 

Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes cope with stopping the GT2 RS, with adjustable suspension and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber keeping it on the road. The center-lock alloy wheels are 20-inch items at the front, and 21-inch in size on the rear axle.

The combination of power and low weight has helped the 911 GT2 RS set numerous lap records at race circuits. This has included the Nurburgring Nordschleife, Road Atlanta, and Road America.

Just as orange on the inside, too 

Bring a Trailer Pastel Orange Porsche 911 GT2 RS

The original purchaser of this GT2 RS paid more than $322,000 for the car, including $12,380 on the custom Pastel Orange exterior paint color. A leather and Alcantara interior cost $3,480, whilst custom orange stitching added an extra $3,500.

A larger fuel tank, front axle lifting system, and a fire extinguisher were some of the additional factory options specified. 

With only 170 miles shown on the digital odometer wear on the car is minimal, with an annual service performed in August 2019. The seller notes that the GT2 RS has never been on a race track.

Rare opportunity

Bring a Trailer Pastel Orange Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche planned to produce only 1,000 examples of the 991-gen GT2 RS. A shipping accident that saw four cars destroyed did see the company briefly restart production

It means that the ultimate GT2 RS and, for now, the most powerful Porsche 911 remains a relatively rare car. With this example virtually unused, it offers a second chance for a buyer who missed out originally. 

The Bring a Trailer auction has already seen several large bids placed, ahead of it closing on Thursday, May 7th. For many commenters, the big question is whether a new owner will add more miles to this extreme Porsche.

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Porsche 911 7-speed manaul gearbox 'for purists'

Porsche 911 now offered with manual gearbox ‘for purists’

Porsche 911 7-speed manaul gearbox 'for purists'

Porsche has introduced a seven-speed manual gearbox option for the 911 sports car, alongside the existing eight-speed PDK paddleshift auto.

The new stick-shift gearbox is a no-cost option on 911 Carrera S and Carrera 4S models. It was launched first in the United States last year. 

It is bundled together with Porsche’s Sport Chrono package, and includes a clever rev-match function for downshifts.

Porsche 911 7-speed manaul gearbox shift pattern

When you shift into a lower gear, the engine revs are ‘blipped’, smoothing out the downshift. It’s the same technique racing drivers use on the track.

Other Sport Chrono goodies include a mode switch dial on the steering wheel, a stop watch integrated into the dashboard, plus the Porsche Track Precision smartphone app.

Porsche 911 7-speed manaul gearbox

There’s an additional new feature too: a tyre temperature indicator.

When the tyres are cold and have less grip, blue bars are shown on the dashboard. As they warm up, they turn blue-white and then, when fully up to temperature, white.

Porsche quotes a 4.2-second 0-62mph time for the 911 Carrera S, and says it weighs 1,480kg – 45kg less than the PDK variant.

The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S costs from £94,350 and Carrera 4S prices start from £99,925. 

2020 model year Porsche 911

More new features have been introduced for 2020. 911 buyers can now add lightweight, noise-insulated glass, which saves more than 4kg in weight.

There’s a new paint colour, Python Green, and a seven-colour ambient lighting package for the interior.

Those who drive their 911 in the city, rejoice: an optional Smartlift function lifts the front end 40mm at the push of a button.

Porsche InnoDrive has been introduced, too. This is an advanced cruise control that uses sat nav data to work out acceleration and deceleration for the next 3km of driving, including corners, gradients and speed limits.

The car then takes over so all the driver has to do is steer.

It is, however, only available on the PDK auto version. Not that purists would be happy handing over control to the car, anyway…

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Modern touchscreens now available for classic Porsches

Porsche Classic PCCM Touchscreen

Classic Porsches have a reputation for everyday usability, and that can now extend to multimedia connectivity. 

New versions of the Porsche Classic Communication Management (PCCM) multimedia system have been launched, benefitting from upgraded features

It means even an original Porsche 911 from the 1960s could now benefit from digital radio and integrated navigation options.

True retrofit connectivity

Porsche Classic PCCM Touchscreen

Porsche offers two versions, with the standard PCCM module an option for cars with a single-DIN radio slot. This includes cars from the earliest 911s, through to the very last air-cooled 993 models. 

PCCM features Apple CarPlay connectivity, Bluetooth, and DAB+ digital radio, giving a range of options far beyond what these cars originally left the factory with. Separate SD card-based navigation can also be used.

A small touchscreen is supplemented by buttons and knobs, all intended to integrate seamlessly with the cabin of a classic Porsche.

Double the capacity 

Porsche Classic PCCM Touchscreen

For those with a modern classic Porsche that uses a double-DIN radio, a PCCM Plus module offers connectivity options on a bigger scale. 

Designed to fit water-cooled ‘996’ 911s, and the earliest Boxsters, the PCCM Plus uses a seven-inch touchscreen. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are included, with Porsche stating PCCM Plus will work with existing audio installations. 

Like the single-DIN unit, PCCM Plus features modern satellite navigation, including the latest Point of Interest (POI) features. 

A sound investment?

Porsche Classic PCCM Touchscreen

Adding modern touchscreen functionality, combined with the latest multimedia connectivity, does not come cheap.

Porsche charges €1,439.89 plus VAT (£1,260 / $1,558) for the single-DIN PCCM unit, with the double-DIN PCCM Plus selling for €1,606.51 plus VAT (£1,406 / $1,739). 

Professional installation is recommended, with the two units now available to buy online from the Porsche Classic Store, or from a Porsche dealership.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet (2020) review

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Forget Nordschleife lap-times or willy-waving top speeds. Sports cars are all about sensation: how they look, the noises they make and – above all – how they feel to drive. And nothing heightens those sensations like removing the roof.

Try telling that to Porsche purists, though. They have traditionally seen the 911 Cabriolet as a soft option: a car for boulevards, not B-roads. Granted, the drop-top 911 can’t boast a motorsport pedigree, or indeed a back-catalogue of RS- and GT-badged greatness. But its credentials as a driver’s car have never been in doubt.

So, let’s put snobbery to one side and judge the new Cabriolet simply as a sports car. Here’s hoping it’s, well, sensational.

It starts from nearly six figures

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

First, the bad news: even the cheapest 911 Cabriolet costs close to six figures. The 385hp Carrera is £92,438, while the four-wheel-drive Carrera 4 will set you back £97,746.

The more powerful 450hp Carrera S (driven here) and 4S start at £102,755 and £108,063 respectively. That’s around £10,000 more than the coupe.

I sampled the paddleshift PDK automatic, but buyers can choose a seven-speed manual. As you’d expect, the list of options is longer than an orangutan’s arm. I’ll come to those shortly.

It does ‘schnell’ very well

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

The 911 Cabriolet weighs 70kg more than the coupe (1,585kg total), but 450 German Pferdestärke – the same as a 2005 996 Turbo S – means it’s savagely quick. Nigh-on supercar quick.

Zero to 60mph takes 3.7sec in the S – or 3.5sec with the optional Sport Chrono pack, which includes launch control. In both instances, the 4S is 0.1sec swifter. Find an empty Autobahn and you’ll hit 190mph.

This latest 3.0-litre flat-six also serves up a monstrous slab of turbocharged torque: 391lb ft from 2,300rpm. Full power isn’t achieved until 6,500rpm, though, at which point you still have another 1,000 frenzied revolutions left.

Not a case of copy and paste

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Designing a new 911 is, one might assume, the easiest job in the world. A straightforward case of copy and paste. However, it’s also something of a poisoned chalice. Get it wrong and the faithful will never forgive you.

To the untrained eye, the 992 does look near-as-dammit identical to its predecessor. In fact, just 15 percent of parts are carried over and the bodyshell is all-new: now 70 percent aluminium, versus 31 percent in the 991.

The most obvious difference is the full-width rear light bar. Once the preserve of the Carrera 4, it’s now applied across the entire Porsche range. All 911s now have fulsome, Turbo-style hips, too – there’s no longer a ‘narrow body’ option. They’re needed to accommodate larger alloys, now 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear.

One pleasing nod to the past is the bonnet recess in front of the windscreen. It was inspired by the original A- to G-series 911s, built from 1963 to 1989.

It’s a bit of a looker (even with the roof up)

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Unlike some 911 Cabriolets of yore, this one also looks good with the roof up. Its hood retains the iconic teardrop shape of the coupe, arcing smoothly into the 992’s bulbous backside.

Electrically lowering or raising the roof takes 12 seconds, at speeds up to 32mph. Once retracted, it lies hidden beneath the rear deck. And going al fresco doesn’t impact on luggage space because, well, the boot is in the front.

Rather than being strictly a ‘soft-top’, the Cabriolet roof consists of four magnesium panels covered in cloth. These allow for that sleeker profile, reduce interior noice and make the hood effectively slash-proof.

The cabin doesn’t let the side down

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Ergonomics have never been a 911 forte. The outgoing 991, with its bewildering array of buttons, lagged at least a generation behind the rival Audi R8.

Thankfully, the 992’s cabin is a genuine step-on. Sure, there are a few age-old 911 quirks – such as the five-dial binnacle, with its outer gauges obscured by the steering wheel – but the 12.3-inch touchscreen media system (shared with the Cayenne and Panamera) is intuitive to use and looks gorgeous. One notable black mark: there’s Apple Carplay connectivity, but no Android Auto.

Quality has taken a leap, as the latest 911 treads the blurred boundary between cosseting GT and serious sports car. I particularly like the knurled toggle switches on the centre console, which offer swift access to the drive modes and chassis settings.

Lest we forget, the 911 Cabriolet also has rear seats. The backrests are bolt-upright and it feels horribly claustrophobic with the roof up, but they’re still a useful advantage over many competitors.

It’s a 911 turbo that sounds like a 911 Turbo

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Among the many things to rile 911 superfans over the years (“You changed WHAT?”), the switch from naturally-aspirated to turbocharged Carreras was a notable line in the sand. Throttle response will never be as electric, they fretted, and the engine won’t sound the same.

Fire up the 992, though, and the rumble from behind your back is unmistakeably a flat-six. The difference here – particularly when you select Sport mode – is that Porsche is no longer being coy about forced induction. The new 911 whooshes and whoops, its wastegate chattering like a WRC car. It sounds overtly and gloriously turbocharged.

At higher revs, that noise swells to a full-bodied roar, the tailpipes snarling and spitting in unbridled fury. And it’s all amplified by having the roof down.

It’s good at playing Gran Turismo

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

My drive starts on the outskirts of Athens, on roads peppered with potholes and forlorn 1980s hatchbacks. Time to ease myself in gently and test the 911’s grand touring credentials.

Its driving position is infinitely adjustable and very comfortable. The view ahead is framed by those voluptuous front wings and the curvaceous flanks fill the door mirrors. I select Normal mode and leave the gearbox, now with eight speeds, in automatic mode. So far, so good.

On the move, the 911 feels supple without being floaty or imprecise. The PDK shifts seamlessly and the engine remains muted. If you’ve just eased yourself out of a Mercedes-Benz SL or BMW 8 Series, you’ll feel right at home.

With the roof down, the cabin stays impressively calm, particularly if you deploy the pop-up wind deflector. You can chat to passengers at motorway speeds without straining your voice.

But scratch the surface and it’s still a 911

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Still, I didn’t come to Greece to pose topless (ahem). So I head inland for the mountains beyond Athens, and the sort of roads that resemble a hand-drawn scribble on the nav screen.

My Carrera S has Sport Chrono, so there’s a manettino-style dial on the wheel for engaging Sport and Sport Plus modes. I start off in the former and switch to manual mode, sensing the 911 stiffen and tense its fibres for action. The whole car suddenly feels emancipated.

On steeply climbing switchbacks, the combination of an engine beyond the back axle and steamroller 305-section rear rubber means incredible traction. The 911 hunkers down, then slingshots out of bends like a scalded cheetah. It makes you question the need for the four-wheel-drive 4S.

All that grip is complemented by an almighty wallop of torque, catapulting the car between bends with sustained, elastic speed. Those on-paper numbers don’t deceive: the 911 is awesomely and addictively rapid.

A car with Sports Purpose

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Nonetheless, a 911 isn’t defined by its point-to-point pace. How it goes around corners is what matters most.

You can breathe easy. The 911’s electric steering (another former bugbear of the fanboys) has evolved to the point where it feels as alert and engaging as most hydraulic systems – while adeptly filtering out white noise.

Equally, the 992 is a car you steer with the throttle, trimming its line with minute flexes of your right ankle. You feel the car pivot, sensing the available grip through the seat of your pants. It’s approachable and benign, yet aggressive and all-consuming. Having blasted to the summit, I turn around and do it again.

Our car had the optional PDCC chassis control, which all but elimates roll by actively stiffening the suspension. Even with it disengaged, however, body control feels iron-fisted. Any concerns about the 911 Cabriolet being a soft option have evaporated.

Half-way through my second ‘lap’ of the mountain, it starts to rain and the acoustic sensors in the front wheelarches suggest I switch to Wet mode. This ramps up the stability control and calms the car’s responses. I cruise back to Athens with wipers on and the roof firmly in place.

The joy of specs

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Like any upmarket German car, you can ‘personalise’ your 911 to the point of financial meltdown. The good news, as ever, is that most of it is window dressing. The basic package – including LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive suspension and navigation – is all you really need.

Since I’m spending made-up money, I’d go for Sport Chrono (£1,646) and the gorgeous RS Spyder Design wheels seen here (£1,650). I’d also be tempted by the Sport Design Pack (£2,853), which improves the rear-end styling by relocating the number plate higher up. Oh, and perhaps by one of the eye-poppingly bright paint colours, such as Lizard Green (pictured).

My test car was fitted with rear-wheel steering (£1,592), boosting agilty at low speeds and stability as you go faster. However, without trying a 911 not thus-equipped, I can’t fully comment on its effectiveness.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet verdict: five stars

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

The 911 Cabriolet is indeed a feast for the senses. Its brutally quick and deliciously tactile to drive. Against the odds, it’s aurally awesome too.

What impresses most is the 992’s sheer breadth of ability. How it switches from calm to combative without pausing for breath. And how it’s still relatively practical for a sports car. As a daily driver, it would surely tick most boxes.

If I’m honest, I’d still err towards the coupe. But that’s more due to irrational prejudice than any discernable shortfall on the Cabriolet’s part. Perhaps I’ll just save up and wait a year or two for the Targa.

Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet: specification

Price: £102,755

Engine: Flat-six cylinder twin-turbo 2,981cc petrol

Drivetrain: Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive

Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic

Wheels: 20 inches front, 21 inches rear

Power: 450hp@6,500 rpm

Torque: 391lb ft@2,300rpm

0-60mph: 3.7sec (3.5sec with Sport Chrono)

Top speed: 190mph

Fuel economy: 31mpg

CO2 emissions: 208g/km

Length/width/height: 4,519/1,852/1,299mm

Kerb weight: 1,585kg

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2020 Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera (2020) review

The new Carrera coupe is the meat and potatoes of the Porsche 911 range. Or perhaps a bratwurst and fries, washed down with a refreshing pilsner, for those with Teutonic taste.

Stepping up to the recently-launched 911 Turbo swaps your sausage for a spicy currywurst and beer for a full-bodied bock.

Then there’s the forthcoming, track-focused GT3: a lightweight salad with a crisp Riesling to vivify your senses.

And finally, the fearsome GT2: a liquid lunch of Jägerbombs to utterly blow your mind.

Sadly, the Carrera isn’t as cheap as chips. Have one-too-many Jägerbombs before tackling Porsche’s online configurator and its £82,793 price can swell to six figures.

Still, the basics are what matter most: chiefly a 3.0-litre flat-six located, as ever, behind the back axle. It serves up 385hp and 332lb ft of torque from 1,950rpm, driving the rear wheels via a PDK semi-automatic transmission.

A seven-speed manual arrives this summer, although most 911 buyers now prefer paddles.

Despite its same-again styling, the 911’s 70 percent aluminium body is all-new. Look closely and you’ll spot pop-out door handles and different alloy wheel sizes (19in front, 20in rear), plus a high-level brake light that illuminates like an ‘11’ alongside nine grille slats. See what they did there?

One feature you won’t find, though, is the ‘narrow body’ that used to characterise the Carrera. All 911s now share the same wide track and muscular haunches. More on that shortly.

Inside, the minimalist cabin looks futuristic and is brimful of cutting-edge tech. A traditional analogue rev counter stays front-and-centre, but is flanked by digital dials, including an (optional) infra-red night vision display. The 10.9in touchscreen looks super-sharp and connects seamlessly with your phone, while knurled metal toggle switches add some retro charm.

And, lest we forget, the 911 has rear seats. They meant I could ferry my nine- and six-year-old kids around all weekend, when most rival cars would have stayed at home.

Even this ‘basic’ 911 is blisteringly quick. Standstill to 62mph takes 4.2 seconds, or four seconds flat with the Sport Chrono pack and launch control. That’s on par with the 2001 ‘996’ GT2. The Carrera’s twin turbos use smaller compressor wheels than more powerful 911s, so they spool up faster, giving instant right-foot response.

Also, the use of forced induction, while anathema to Porsche purists, means impressive economy. Keep it smooth and you should see 30mpg.

In Normal mode, the 911 does a convincing impression of a luxury GT. Its suspension is taut, although not at the expense of ride comfort, while the gearbox shifts up early – and almost imperceptibly – to save fuel.

Twist the steering wheel controller to Sport or Sport Plus, though, and its inner sports car is emancipated. The engine barks, yelps and howls, racing to its 7,500rpm redline with gleeful abandon, and shifts are now rifle-bolt rapid. Whisper it, but for driving around my home of London, I’d choose the speed and convenience of PDK every time.

A new Wet mode is also standard, which uses acoustic sensors behind the front wheelarches to sense water spray and ramp up the car’s stability systems. In the depths of Storm Dennis, it made the 911 feel planted and predictable, without muting its nuanced steering or athletic cornering balance. This still feels like a car developed by drivers, for drivers, combining explosive performance with finely wrought feedback.

Just the 911’s size – those hips are almost wider than a Mercedes S-Class limo – holds you back on rural roads.

Faster and more focused models are coming, but only the much pricier 911 Turbo (which you’ll read about here soon) will likely match the bandwidth of the Carrera. Fifty-seven years after launch, this is still the only sports car you need.

Price: £82,793

0-62mph: 4.2sec

Top speed: 182mph

CO2 G/KM: 206

MPG combined: 31.7

Spot the difference: new vs. old Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

Every time a new 911 is launched, Porsche garners both praise and criticism for its evolutionary approach to design. Now, in the 40th year of the 911 Turbo, the latest ‘992’ 911 has a full-fat flagship. The new 911 Turbo has been revealed.

We compare new versus old, 992 Turbo versus 991 Turbo, to see how Porsche has changed the fastest 911. And we explain why this might be the defining variant of the 992.

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

The light bar

As we mentioned in our comparison between the 991 and 992 Carrera  models, the most obvious change can be found at the back, with the new full-width LED light bar.

When we first saw the Carrera sporting this new feature, we had an inkling the Turbo might turn out to be the most desirable 992. And the new hero wears this very ‘Turbo’ trope predictably well.

The exhausts

While these only just appeared on the 992 Carrera, the Turbo has featured high-mounted exhausts, recessed into the bumper, since the 997 generation. The 992 Turbo continues that, staying true to form with cuboidal pipes as an option. 

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

The hips

Another indication that the 992 was made to be ‘Turbo’, was the fact that no ‘narrow body’ configuration was offered, not even for the entry-level Carrera. In reality, that’s cost-cutting on Porsche’s part, but we couldn’t help but think of the imminent 992 Turbo. 

Specifically, the 992 Turbo is 10mm wider at the rear wheels. The familiar haunch vents carry over from the 991 Turbo, GT3 RS and GT2 RS variants, although they now feed air to the re-positioned air intakes. They share cooling duties with vents above the engine.

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

The spoiler

It wouldn’t be a Porsche 911 Turbo without a bit of a wing, although not too much. While the stubby retractable items we’ve seen over the last 20 years aren’t exactly whale tails, the new car stays true to its immediate lineage.

That said, there is a larger surface area, which, together with the rest of the 992 Turbo’s active aero, delivers a 15 percent increase in downforce over the 991.

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

Vents and creases

Last seen on the 993, retro bonnet creases are a callback to the air-cooled era. As for the ventilation, the new Turbo doesn’t stray as far from its Carrera stablemate, as all 991 variants did. Active vents in the nose work with the wing for increased downforce. 

Could the conservative changes to the Carrera’s look be a problem for those who buy a Turbo? Probably not. You know what you’re looking at as soon as you see the vents in the hips, not to mention the fact that the 992 Turbo is 42mm wider at the front than even the 991 version. 

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

Pushing the wheels out on the standard 992 gave a very classic hourglass look from above. The Turbo only exaggerates that. The 992’s front end is overall more upmarket and cleaner than before, so it’s no bad thing that the Turbo has massaged the existing look, rather than brought an all-new design. It’s function over flamboyance.

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The performance

We didn’t cover performance with the 992 Carrera, and admittedly it has nothing to do with the looks. But the long-standing reputation of the 911 Turbo as a supercar slayer warrants it. Especially given the new car’s very generous bump in punch. In full Turbo S spec, the new 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six delivers a massive 650hp. That’s a 70hp increase over the 991. 

It achieves that with bigger turbos, which should flow more freely thanks to their symmetrical layout, plus compressor and turbine wheels that rotate in opposite directions. In combination with the eight-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox and four-wheel-drive, the Turbo S rockets to 62mph in 2.7 seconds (0.2 seconds quicker than the 991), on the way to a 205mph top speed. Both are figures that match the newly-revealed McLaren 765LT.

The biggest leap on from the 991 generation is the 0-120mph time. It’ll complete the sprint in 8.9 seconds – a full second quicker.

Porsche 911 Turbo 992 v 991

The price

Ah, the price. Gone are the days when the Turbo was the only 911 to tickle the £100,000 price point. While the 991 Turbo debuted in 2014 at around £130,000, the new Turbo S starts from £155,970 for the coupe, and £165,127 for the cabriolet.

That said, when you consider it could show most of the inventory at a McLaren dealer a clean pair of heels, it sounds like a bit of a bargain.

This modified RWB Porsche 911 is an extreme machine up for sale

BaT RWB Modified Porsche 911

The all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI might feature hints of tartan on the inside, but that is nothing compared to the interior of this modified Porsche 911. 

But this is not just any German sports car, but one that has been specially modified by Japanese tuner Rauh-Welt Begriff (RWB). 

From the exterior made to look like an original Carrera RS, to the upgraded engine and wide wheels, nothing has been left untouched

Rough World Concept

BaT RWB Modified Porsche 911

Currently available for auction on Bring a Trailer, this car began life as a regular 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe. The car lived in Texas and California, before the RWB conversion in 2015.

Founded in Japan, Rauh-Welt Begriff creates bespoke 911s for customers across the globe. Founder Akira Nakai travels the world to fit the bodywork to each custom car the company builds, giving each a unique touch. 

Translated as ‘Rough World Concept’, RWB typically takes inspiration from Porsche GT race cars from the 1990s. However, this one has been inspired to look like the desirable Carrera RS from the 1970s. 

Backdated and widened

BaT RWB Modified Porsche 911

Before the RWB conversion, the Porsche was repainted in Light Yellow. The sunroof was removed, the fuel filler was moved to inside the front trunk, whilst the passenger-side mirror and windshield wiper were also chopped. 

The widebody RWB kit added new bumpers, a lengthened hood, and a rear engine cover with a ‘ducktail’ spoiler. Carrera decals were added to the side, along with a RAUH-Welt graphics on the windshield and spoiler.  

Drilled door handles, European-spec lights, and new chrome trim were also included.

Lower and more powerful

BaT RWB Modified Porsche 911

To ensure the 911 sits right, a set of three-way adjustable Moton coilovers were installed, with 17-inch Fuchs-style alloy wheels. Brake calipers and rotors were all replaced in 2018.

The air-cooled 3.2-liter flat-six engine has also been enhanced, with Jenvey individual throttle bodies fitted. A new ECU was installed to control it, whilst a Fabspeed catalytic bypass is mated to a dual-exit exhaust.

Although performance figures are not quoted, the work should mean this Porsche produces more than the 217 horsepower if originally left the factory with.

Not so mellow yellow

BaT RWB Modified Porsche 911

A five-speed manual transmission is controlled by a shifter topped by a Porsche 917-inspired wooden shift knob. It is one of the subtler parts of the interior, which is finished in a dramatic yellow tartan upholstery. 

The incredible yellow material covers the inserts for the sport seats, door cards, dashboard, and the storage bins replacing the rear seats. It makes for a bold statement, but one that works with the overall image of the car. 

Creature comforts like electric windows and climate control have been retained, whilst RWB also installed a MOMO Prototipo steering wheel. 

Media starlet

BaT RWB Modified Porsche 911

Attempting to put a price on a RWB Porsche is not easy, given the uniqueness of each build. That this car was featured in Super Street magazine, and driven by Porsche tuning icon Magnus Walker, will only help the desirability. 

The overall mileage covered by the Porsche is unknown, although 7,000 kilometers have been added since the car moved to Canada. Located in Vancouver, the Porsche is being sold on a British Columbia registration. 

Being such a rare vehicle, the RWB 911 has already provoked many comments on Bring a Trailer. The auction runs until Wednesday, March 4th, leaving plenty of time to prepare for that interior. 

Buyers can now leave their actual fingerprint on a new Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Exclusive Manufaktur Fingerprint

Buyers of exclusive German sports cars have long had the chance to add their own custom touches. However, Porsche has upped the ante with a new direct printing option.

It allows customers to add a replica of their very own fingerprint to the bonnet of a new 911, creating a truly unique vehicle. 

The bespoke creation is due to a new printing process, developed by the Exclusive Manufaktur department at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen headquarters. 

This fingerprint won’t polish out

Porsche 911 Exclusive Manufaktur Fingerprint

Sports car owners might typically spend ages detailing their cars to remove fingerprints. Porsche’s new process ensures the large scale replica applied to a new 911 stays for good. 

A specialist team at Porsche’s paint shop worked to develop the printing technology, allowing the complex design of a fingerprint to be replicated. 

Using a similar concept to an inkjet printer, a robotic arm is in charge of applying the fingerprint design. A clear coat is added afterwards to ensure the hard work is not rubbed off, with the bonnet polished to a gloss finish. 

Technology with a human touch

Porsche 911 Exclusive Manufaktur Fingerprint

Christian Will, Vice President Production Development at Porsche AG, comments that the “ability to control the nozzles individually permits targeted application of every paint droplet” with the new print head technology. 

Porsche will initially limit the painting technique to fingerprints for now, plans are in place to expand it to other customer-specific designs. 

For now, the fingerprinting option will be offered solely for the latest Porsche 911, starting in March 2020. Priced at €7,500 (£6,300, $8,100), this is a rather pricey way to add a custom touch to a new sports car. 

Leaving a mark

Porsche 911 Exclusive Manufaktur Fingerprint

Porsche is also keen to note that all biometric data is handled “to make sure it cannot be used for an unauthorised purpose”. How important that is when you have decided to publicly display your fingerprint to the world is another matter. 

Customers are kept fully informed of how the process works, and have control over their personal information. 

Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur has also recently announced two new body kits for the latest 911. These might be a more conventional option for buyers wanting to add a personal touch to their new car.