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991.1

Porsche index: 991.1 Carrera S

HISTORY & SPEC

Launched alongside the Carrera, the S made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and went on sale in December of that year. It was instantly apparent that Porsche had taken a slightly different path with its new Neunelfer, the relatively compact dimensions of the 997 making way for something notably wider and longer.

Sitting on a wheelbase stretched by 100mm, this was an altogether roomier, more luxurious proposition, and it’s one that not all 911 devotees were comfortable with – more than a few voices accused the new model of being more cruiser than sports car. Thankfully the flat six sitting in the tail would appease most critics, the Carrera’s 350hp, 3.4-litre unit making way for the larger 3.8 boasting 400hp and 440Nm of torque. Naturally aspirated, it featured direct fuel injection and VarioCam Plus and was linked to a new seven-speed manual gearbox or an optional PDK unit.

The manual has come in for criticism since, but the double-clutch unit was impressive, getting the Carrera S to 62mph in 4.3 seconds and on to 187mph. However you view this car those are impressive numbers, and they were little different for the Cabriolet variant that arrived in March 2012 wearing a price tag of £89,740.

This was certainly a cleaner, more efficient 911, with Porsche claiming that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions had been reduced by 14 per cent; new technological features such as auto stop/start, better thermal management for the engine and a coasting function for the PDK ‘box all coming to the 991’s aid.

Adopting electrical assistance for the steering no doubt shaved further fractions when it came to efficiency, but it was at the expense of yet more criticism in some quarters. In reality, it’s a good system. As for the rest of the chassis specification, it was a more-than-tasty recipe that featured PASM and Porsche Torque Vectoring as standard, along with uprated and iconic ‘Big Red’ brakes: compared to the Carrera there were larger discs and Monobloc fixed front calipers with six rather than four pistons. 

There was the option to spend plenty of cash on further enhancements, too, from the likes of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and Sport Chrono to special interior finishes and £3,000 of Burmester hi-fi. With plenty of buyers happy to indulge when it came to options, there are rich pickings to be had for today’s buyers.

Like its immediate predecessors, just four years were allowed to pass before the Gen2 model arrived, bringing with it the end of natural aspiration. Today the 991.1’s specification marks a good link between the more classic-oriented 997s and the tech-laden drive of the 992.

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991.2 GT3 v 991.1 GT3 RS: which is better for £150k?

The ever-changing nature of the Porsche marketplace often throws up some interesting conundrums for the 911 buyer. As values of separate models fluctuate, they often combine to bring about new scenarios for those in the market to consider: ‘What’s around for my £100,000?’ for example. Right now there are many different choices of 911s available at many different price points. As a case in point, for £40,000 you could choose anything
from a G-series classic, to a 996 Turbo, to a 997.2 Carrera S right now. The market’s constant evolution means different cars move in and out of the equation, whatever your budget. It’s what keeps things interesting, in many ways.

As another case in point, only five years ago we ran a head-to-head road test in this very magazine asking which was the better Turbo for your £60,000: 993 or 997.1? Today the 993 is worth at least double that, while a 997.1 can be had for £50,000.

Market circumstance has dictated the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS have been trading hands for roughly the same money for a while now, so the question we’ve routinely found levied in our direction in the past year is thus: ‘Which is the better buy for my £150,000; a Gen2 991 GT3 or Gen1 991 GT3 RS?’

Really, there are multiple answers to the question, and it all comes down to what you’ll do with the car. We’ve therefore assessed both the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS over three practical categories, investment potential, track day use, and on the road, which covers all possible ownership intentions.

For the full article on the 991.1 GT3 RS v 991.2 GT3, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 174 in shops now, or get the issue delivered direct to your door via here. You can also download our hi-res digital edition, featuring bonus galleries, to any Apple or Android device. 

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991 GT3 RS road trip: Man’s best friend

When it was launched in 2015, Porsche’s 991 GT3 RS moved the Rennsport game on substantially from its predecessors. Equipped with a 4.0-litre flat six engine producing 500hp in a body that generated more than double the downforce of the 997 GT3 RS 4.0, the 991 also boasted rear-axle steering, a seven-speed PDK gearbox and huge 21-inch rear wheels borrowed from the 918 Spyder.

The caveat, of course, was the biggest, widest and heaviest RS ever, but that didn’t matter. The car was quicker, faster and more efficient than ever before too, with a ‘Ring lap time of seven minutes 20 seconds to endorse it as the most accomplished Porsche Rennsport of the time. Even works driver Nick Tandy has said it’s the nearest thing to a Cup car that you’re ever likely to get. The 991 GT3 RS is a monster of a sports car – and therein lies its biggest problem.

Topping out in second gear sees 73mph register on the RS’s speedometer, which is enough to break the maximum UK speed limit. Redline in third takes you past 100mph, which will guarantee the loss of your driving licence if caught – yet the RS still has another four forward ratios to go.

It may well come with licence plates affixed to its front and rear bumpers, but the reality is you won’t even begin to tap into the 991 GT3 RS’s capabilities on a public road. This is a race car, born and bred, and a race car needs a race track to call home. Or does it?

If I were to proffer the idea that a suitable playground for Porsche’s latest RS awaits just the other side of a ferry ride from the UK, to a challenging public road that can have disastrous – perilous, even – consequences for those who get it wrong, then you may well assume I’m talking about the Nürburging Nordschleife.

And, while it’s true the ‘Ring is a happy hunting ground for many a GT3 RS, on this occasion our destination lies on a ferry east of the UK mainland, not west. I am, of course, talking about the Isle of Man.

Home to the famous TT motorcycle race held annually since 1907, its 37-mile course is made up entirely of public roads around the island, which is a self-governing territory with British Crown dependency. For two weeks per year in either May or June, these roads are closed to the public, respawning into a world stage for two-wheeled speed freaks to test their talent and nerve on a timed run of the circuit.

For the other 50 weeks, however, the roads are just that, helping to transport some 83,000 inhabitants around the island. Much of the motor-racing paraphernalia remains though, and as for the speed limits, well, out of town there aren’t any.

What’s more, the course offers plenty for the driving enthusiast by way of challenges. Longer than the Nürburgring by some 24.1 miles, Isle of Man’s TT has plenty in common with it: there are a number of surface changes throughout, its weather is as famously interchangeable, the track varying in altitude by some 1,400 feet, while a vast array of corner types and cambers are thrown in along the way. In short, it’s a proper driver’s playground, surely the best place on earth to take a 991 GT3 RS outside of a track – and that’s exactly where we’re headed for our latest Total 911 adventure.

To see how we got on with the exhilarating 991 GT3 RS along the Isle of Man TT course, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 160 here or alternatively you can download the digital edition to any device via Newsstand for Apple or Android. 

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GTS showdown: 997 v 991.1 v 991.2

It is ironic that in the week Porsche delivered to us a 991.2 Carrera GTS for testing, the UK government announced it is to ban the sale of all internal combustion-engined vehicles by 2040, following in the footsteps of our French governmental comrades which introduced an identical deadline for the final sales of gasoline-powered cars. Meanwhile, Porsche itself has been busy making significant inroads towards production of electric-only sports cars, recently announcing it is to pull out of the WEC LMP1 class in favour of a venture into the electric-only Formula E racing series. This is part of its motorsporting mission to develop sports cars of the future.

There’s no question the end is nigh for the internal combustion engine then, and therefore the motor vehicle as we know it. This of course makes for a fascinating backdrop to a group test here involving three 911 contemporary GTS models seeking to emulate a traditional driving experience.

Produced with driver purity in mind, Porsche introduced the GTS moniker to its 911 range in 2011 with the advent of the 997 Carrera GTS. Something of a parts-bin special to mark the end of 997 production, the first 911 GTS came with a lavish specification, including some one-off details exclusive to Porsche’s new model. The result was a sharper, more focused drive, available across Coupe and Cabriolet body styles in a choice of both rear and four-wheel-drive.

The new GTS proved a commercial sales success for Porsche, those 997-generation cars selling fast for £76,758 and never really dipping below £50,000. Today, a 997 GTS will set you back around the same figure as its original list price, a phenomenal achievement for a 911 Carrera just over five years old.

It is little wonder, then, that Porsche expanded the GTS moniker into an entire sub-brand, enamouring its Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, Macan and Panamera models with the specification. Naturally this also continued on the 911 with the 991.1, those GTS cars the last 911 Carreras to be fitted with a naturally-aspirated engine, and finally the latest 991.2 generation, released in January 2017. Each car is essentially the pinnacle of its respective Carrera lineup, but which is best of the three GTS 911 generations produced by Porsche to date?

To decide, we gathered a delectable model from each generation for a fast road test along the twisty asphalt of the Suffolk countryside. The specification of our cars are intentionally as close to that ‘purist’ GTS blueprint as possible, so they’re all rear-wheel-drive Coupés, although the Riviera blue example is PDK, while the other two are fitted with a manual transmission. In keeping with the chronological order in which they were released, we begin our test with a seat in the 997…

To see the full feature, get your hard copy of Total 911 issue 158 here or download to your digital device from Newsstand. 

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Sales Spotlight: Porsche 991.1 Turbo

In the current Porsche 911 market, what would £93,900 buy you? Well, among a number of options, it would likely get you a very nice 911T (of either 2.2 or 2.4-litre persuasion) or, perhaps, a widebody 993 Carrera 4S.

Alternatively, for your sub-£100,000 budget, one of the most technologically advanced Porsche 911s ever made – the 991 Turbo – is now within reach, as this Approved Used example from Porsche Centre Hatfield proves.

As a first generation example it comes with ‘just’ 520hp (the current 991.2 Turbo enjoys 540hp) but that is still enough to propel from 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 195mph should a clear stretch of derestricted autobahn present itself in front of you.

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While outright speed has always been one of the 911 Turbo’s signature traits, Porsche’s flagship sports car has also heralded in a number of technological developments over the years and the 991.1 was no different.

Introducing a much-improved version of the PDK semi-automatic gearbox, the Gen1 991 Turbo also saw the debut of Porsche’s ingenious rear-wheel steering system, bestowing the portly Turbo with unrivalled agility.

911 Turbo have traditionally also been bestowed with a number of options and OPC Hatfield’s 2013 example is no different, coming with the Sport Chrono package, front and rear parking assist (including a reversing camera), a sliding glass sunroof, heated seats and rear wipers.

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As the cheapest 991 Turbo currently available through Porsche Approved Used, the £93,900 price tag’s trade-off is the Carrara White car’s relatively high odometer reading of 45,060 miles.

However, thanks to the Approved Used scheme’s stringent quality assurance checks, and a two-year Porsche warranty for the new owner, you can be sure that this excellent everyday 911 will continue to thrill you every day.

For more information on this Porsche 991 Turbo, or to search the myriad 911’s available through Approved Used scheme, check out Porsche’s car locator now.

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