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Porsche Design Timepieces 911 Speedster Chronograph, réservé aux propriétaires d’un Speedster !

La manufacture Porsche Design Timepieces vient de présenter une superbe montre en l’honneur du nouveau 911 Speedster que Porsche a dévoilé au salon de New York. Le Porsche Design 911 Speedster Chronograph est une pièce en titane et carbone exclusivement réservée aux futurs acquéreurs d’un des 1948 Speedsters qui seront produits. Après avoir célébré la […]

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Why Porsche Doesn’t Owe Enthusiasts Anything, Really

Porsche has been building cars longer than most people reading this have been alive. For seven decades they’ve been tearing up their own script and occasionally re-writing it wholesale. People complained when 356 production ended in favor of the heavier and more expensive 911. People complained when the 964 debuted because it had coil springs of all things. Similar levels of upset were thrown around when the 996 debuted with water cooling. Enter the 991.2, the current 911 on showroom floors today, coming to the market with turbocharged engines in every trim. There are always « purists » resistant to change and unable to accept that the way they like their Porsches isn’t the way Porsche will build them forever. Here’s Alex Goy of Carfection saying the thing that nobody really wants to say, Porsche doesn’t owe you anything.

Enthusiasts are great for a brand, just look at this site as an example, and Porsche has really built their past on sports car fans, motorsport fans, and serial 911 buyers. There are many people who have bought 911s for decades, and will likely continue to do so. The 911 has become larger, more comfortable and significantly faster as it’s aged, and they like it that way. For every hundred of those kinds of folks, there is one that says they’ll never buy another 911 because it’s water-cooled or because it’s turbocharged. Porsche isn’t building 991s for that buyer. They’ve been continually making the 911 (and the rest of their lineup) more conducive to every day driving, more appealing to the average luxury car buyer.

Porsche is up front about the fact that they don’t owe you anything. They’ve stuck to their guns and continue to build some of the best sports cars in the game. They’ll defend PDK to the death, even though enthusiasts shout and wail about it. They’ll happily make hundreds of thousands of Macan compact SUVs to the ire of people who remember when Porsche only built 911s and 912s. I personally hate the nomenclature they’re using to bill luxury cars as inspired by hardcore models from the 1960s. The fact is, they’re growing larger than they’ve ever been, and selling more cars to more new customers than ever before in company history. They have nothing to apologize for. It’s that simple.

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1967 911R prototype: story of R4

Such is the historical importance of the 911R for Porsche, it’s ludicrous to think the car was relatively unheard of for years for even the discerning enthusiast compared to, say, a 2.7RS. Indeed it wasn’t until the arrival of the 991 R last year, itself a seminal moment in the legacy of our beloved 911, which really shone a light on those 20 early cars and their acute significance to the brand with Stuttgart’s prancing horse on its nose. And to think some of those 20 original ’67 Rs were still available as late as 1970!

The brainchild of one Ferdinand Piëch and the lightest Neunelfer to ever leave the Zuffenhausen factory, the R set the benchmark for the endless engineering possibilities Porsche would accomplish for its cherished 911 platform. Perhaps more importably though, its creation really started the 911’s unrivalled racing legacy, something which, more than 30,000 race victories later, Porsche is still incredibly proud of.

The R, then, wasn’t just built so Porsche could go racing – plenty of early 911s in both T and S guise had already tasted success in competition at various events around the planet – moreover it was an inquisitive exercise to find out just how much the company could evolve its new 911 sports car for competition purposes. In the end, these cars marked the beginning of the process of a Porsche 911 sports car being homologated, a move which would culminate in many historical feats at some of the world’s most famous races and events. That’s quite an imprint on history: simply put, Porsche’s later and notable success at La Sarthe, Daytona, and Sebring to name a few all starts right here with the creation of the 911R.

Though there were only ever 20 production 911Rs built, four prototypes were initially created, those cars pulled from the production line originally in 911S specification. Those four R prototypes are today known as R1, R2, R2, and R4, so named in accordance with their production dates. The car you see in our pictures is that of R4, the last R prototype Porsche built, which today can be found in Scotts Valley, California, its Lemon yellow coachwork glistening under the showroom lights at Canepa. However, its journey to this point is nothing short of remarkable, taking in four countries and two continents despite still being the lowest-recorded mileage R rolling the planet.

For the full feature on this incredible 911R prototype, pic up issue 159 of Total 911 in hardcopy here or get your digital copy from Apple or Android newsstands. 

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Onboard a Manually-Shifted 991.1 GT3 RS

 

For those who don’t appreciate the precision, unfathomable shift speed, and ease of PDK, there is the option of swapping a 911R gearbox into a 991 GT3 RS. Of course, the 991.2 GT3 is available with a stick-and-clutch option soon, but some people are just plain impatient.

One of those restless souls is Rob Janev, a Porschephile irked by the fact he couldn’t find a 991 RS which would fit into his stable of manually-shifted Porsches. So, he contacted John Teece, the owner of Florida’s BGB Motorsports, who was able to source a 911R transmission from Suncoast Porsche once it was included in their catalog.

Janev giddily scribbled out a check for $22,000 and waited for the gearbox to arrive at BGB, which was quickly becoming his new second home. With enough extra parts to fill a small home, BGB started working once the gearbox arrived four months later and quickly tacked on another $23,000 to the tally; getting the auto-blip feature, the gear counter, the electric parking brake, and the GT3’s rear wheel-steering and traction control systems to work with the new transmission took a herculean effort.

Ever the perfectionist, Janev ordered plenty of interior pieces—including a custom gauge cluster, a new shifter boot, and a few buttons—to make it seem as if stick-and-clutch assembly was a factory option. Hats off, Mr. Janev.

The post Onboard a Manually-Shifted 991.1 GT3 RS appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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Peugeot 205 Rallye vs. Porsche 911R: A Fair Comparison?

I get to drive and photograph some very cool cars for a living, and for that I consider myself very fortunate. In that regard, Chris Harris is a much more fortunate. But, when you’ve experienced as many cars as Mr. Harris, do you become prone to making some absurd comparisons? Simply based on the title this latest video, comparing a 911R to a Peugeot 205, (and not even the top tier GTI 1.6) may be evidence of him losing his way a bit [or, it could simply be click bait]. On balance, however, I think Chris Harris has it exactly right. I love a good hot hatch, and it’s heartening to see one compared as a tool for bringing driving joy to one of the greatest modern 911s.

So yes, in every measurable way the 911R will annihilate the Peugeot. I won’t try to argue that, and it would be a patently ridiculous claim to make. On a track, the 911R will leave the little Peugeot gasping. But when it comes to fun, there is something to be said for needing to wring a car’s neck to experience anything approaching brisk performance. On a winding, back country road, I’d wager a nicely sorted 914 or 356 will give at least as many smiles per mile as the 911R. There is something joyous about taking a car out to redline in the first three gears, and barely exceeding the legal limit, then trying to haul it down and coax the same car into a corner with antiquated brakes and skinny tires. While you can turn the nannies off in the R, the limits are so much higher that it becomes a trickier proposition in the real world.

Before buying Project 944 GTS, my last fun car was actually my first car. It was a lowly Mk. III Volkswagen Golf 2.0L that I owned for about ten years. Yes, I’m talking about the most derided Golf in seven generations. I eventually bought a Saab 9-3 which relieved the Golf of daily driver duties, and the Golf received coilovers, sticky tires, big sway bars, corner balancing and careful finessing of the alignment. It was horribly slow, but after driving countless performance cars since, I still miss it. It was balanced, light, easy to rotate for a front wheel drive car, and is to date the most fun car I’ve ever driven in heavy snow.

None of this is meant to be to the detriment of the 911R. It’s a brilliant machine, possibly only exceeded by the new 911 GT3 6-Speed in the current 911 lineup. If your priorities don’t lean toward out-and-out performance, perhaps it’s worth discussing your favorite slow-car-fast. In your car history, what is your favorite car in terms of driver involvement, not just performance? Let us know in the comments.

The post Peugeot 205 Rallye vs. Porsche 911R: A Fair Comparison? appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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