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Porsche 2.4S, 964 C2, 997.1 GT3 RS, 991 GT2 RS: Driver’s 911s

By definition any 911 is a driver’s car, but the proliferation of Porsche’s sports car, through both time and model variation, means some 911s are that little bit more engaging and interesting to drive than its contemporary models.

As cars become ever more complex, weightier and increasingly remote, we’ve picked some 911 highlights which celebrate what’s arguably been taken away from more modern machinery: the unfiltered joy of pure driving.

Our quartet spans key eras of the 911 in the form of an early car, modern classic, recent Rennsport and the outrageous present, each example putting the driver at the very core of their existence.

A not-inconsiderable tract of time and huge technological advances differentiate the first and last 911s that we’re driving here, but each represents one of the defining elements of the 911, that being driver appeal.

Any of these cars will thrill and engage, each exhibiting character and engagement that’s commensurate with their era, but what is undeniable is that each and every 911 retains a signature that’s unique to it, which is why it’s such a celebrated sports car. Some though are worth celebrating that little bit more…

For the full road test of our driver’s 911s, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 184 in shops now or get it delivered to your door via here. You can also download a digital copy with high definition bonus galleries to any Apple or Android device.

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Porsche 2.4S, 964 C2, 997.1 GT3 RS, 991 GT2 RS: Driver’s 911s

By definition any 911 is a driver’s car, but the proliferation of Porsche’s sports car, through both time and model variation, means some 911s are that little bit more engaging and interesting to drive than its contemporary models.

As cars become ever more complex, weightier and increasingly remote, we’ve picked some 911 highlights which celebrate what’s arguably been taken away from more modern machinery: the unfiltered joy of pure driving.

Our quartet spans key eras of the 911 in the form of an early car, modern classic, recent Rennsport and the outrageous present, each example putting the driver at the very core of their existence.

A not-inconsiderable tract of time and huge technological advances differentiate the first and last 911s that we’re driving here, but each represents one of the defining elements of the 911, that being driver appeal.

Any of these cars will thrill and engage, each exhibiting character and engagement that’s commensurate with their era, but what is undeniable is that each and every 911 retains a signature that’s unique to it, which is why it’s such a celebrated sports car. Some though are worth celebrating that little bit more…

For the full road test of our driver’s 911s, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 184 in shops now or get it delivered to your door via here. You can also download a digital copy with high definition bonus galleries to any Apple or Android device.

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718 Cayman GT4 Put Through Its Paces at Knockhill

More power, more aerodynamic grip, more performance, and more usability—we’ve heard all of the new Cayman GT4’s strengths already. However, few automotive journalists can test those claims like Steve Sutcliffe. Though he might not look like a superlative athlete, the man is arguably the best driver among his peers. Ten years ago, he was given the chance to test a Honda F1 car, and was only several tenths off James Rossiter, the Honda test driver roughly half his age.

Here, Sutcliffe uses all his strengths to illuminate the incremental changes that make this car 12 seconds a lap faster around the Nurburging than the 981 GT4. Despite the car weighing 80 pounds more and retaining the same frustratingly long gear ratios, the 718 is still quicker in a straight line.

Watch how urgently the car fires off the corner at 4:38. There’s an easily accessible engine at work here.

Based upon the motor found in the rear of the latest Carrera S, the 718’s new 4.0-liter motor makes 414 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. Though that latter figure is the same as with the outgoing 3.8-liter engine, the added displacement provides a broader powerband, which helps camouflage the car’s long gearing. With the driver more often in the optimal rev range, the new chassis is more easily exploited. 

The steering, brakes, and suspension are closely related to those found in the GT3, and Sutcliffe immediately recognizes the changes. That sharpened steering is a real asset through Knockhill’s blind entries, which Sutcliffe attacks with the commitment you’d expect from him. 

A big rear wing, an underbody diffuser, and a bigger splitter creates 269 pounds of downforce at 188 miles per hour—nothing to sniff at. Not only is this car more incisive, but added stability—a little extra composure is always nice over the crests—is another feature which goads a driver to push that much harder. 

The improved powertrain, better composed chassis, and better exhaust note make it even more thrilling to drive than its predecessor, which was a firecracker itself. Incremental changes in every department make the new 718 Cayman GT4 a dependable, confidence-inspiring car which can soak up bumps, stay on the pipe, and encourage the driver to attack. That combination of qualities—not just the bump in power—is what is responsible for its incredible 7:28 lap around the ‘Ring.

Incidentally, that’s the same as the lap set by the 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Though tire technology has come a long way in ten years, having the least expensive member of the GT family set the same lap as the former heavyweight is a testament to Porsche’s unyielding search for incremental improvements in every department.

Composure, mid-engine balance, and great engine response—what’s not to like?

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Porsche 911S 2.4 tops £200,000 at Silverstone Auction sale

Silverstone Auctions raised £2.5 million at their recent Porsche Sale with a 1972 Porsche 911S leading the way under the hammer, the 2.4-litre Neunelfer topping £200,000 as the British auction house saw 70 per cent of its automotive lots find new homes.

A right-hand drive car originally sold by AFN in May 1972, the Light Yellow Porsche 911S enjoyed an 18-month restoration just under ten years ago and was offered in seemingly exceptional condition.

The Porsche 997.2 GT3 RS, finished in Carrara White with red detailing also performed well exceeding its estimate of £135,000-£155,000 to realise an eventual £168,750.

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Another pre-sale star, the 964 Carrera RS in NGT-spec also didn’t fail to disappoint as it passed the auction block for £157,500, the Maritime Blue Rennsport surpassing its upper estimate by £2,500.

A rare right-hand drive Porsche 930 SE also made it solidly into six figures, selling for £140,630 while an eye-catching Tahoe Blue Porsche 964 Turbo 3.3 just failed to break the £100,000 mark, realising £90,000 after failing to sell at auction earlier in the year.

The crazy price realised by a 993 GT2 at RM Sotheby’s recent London sale doesn’t appear to have falsely inflated the values of later widowmakers as Silverstone Auctions saw their 997 GT2 sell for £135,000 inside Silverstone’s landmark ‘Wing’ building.

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Finished in Guards Red, the 996.1 GT3 Clubsport at the sale (held in conjunction with the Porsche Club GB) also exceeded its estimates, as bidding topped out at £70,310, a solid result in the current market that has seen GT3 appreciation slow.

There were also a number of more affordable Neunelfers under the hammer at the auction, with Porsche 996s still proving a lot of bang for your buck. An early Gen1 Carrera in Arctic Silver fetched just £14,625 while an ex-UK press car (also in 996.1 C2 spec) realised a fraction more at £16,880.

“As a huge Porsche fan I’m delighted that we’ve been able to offer some fantastic cars to new owners, as well as securing strong prices for our highly valued vendors,” said Silverstone Auction’s managing director, Nick Whale.

For all the latest Porsche 911 auction news, make sure you bookmark Total911.com now.

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Porsche 991 GT3 RS v Rivals: Battle of the Best

At its most reductive, the idea that certain activities can “make you feel alive” is a peculiar one, especially when you consider the flipside; I have certainly never done anything that has made me feel dead.

Yet this supposedly tangential notion is never more evident to me than when I am out on a racetrack, pushing a car to its limits. The often delicate and sometimes brutal dance on the edge of adhesion from corner to corner is enough to get thousands of petrolheads’ pulses racing.

It is a sensation that is intrinsically woven into the fabric at Zuffenhausen and it is, therefore, the key ingredient in what is undoubtedly the 911’s most exciting and renowned subdivision: Rennsport.

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Based near the race teams in Weissach, Andreas Preuninger’s GT cars department are the current custodians of this legendary moniker. This crack squad of engineers has proven that they truly understand what is needed to create an enthralling Neunelfer experience, with a track-focussed character that is equally captivating out on the open road.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 997 generation of GT3 RSs. From the 3.6-litre, first generation iteration to the instantly iconic 997 GT3 RS 4.0, Preuninger’s team never missed a beat between 2006 and 2010.

Somehow, they have managed to improve on perfection with each revision, culminating in the aforementioned 4.0-litre Rennsport – a car that we concluded in issue 125 was “the king of kings”. Now though, the RS ranks have been bolstered with a new 3,996cc pretender to the RS 4.0’s throne.

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The 991 GT3 RS is, on paper, the antithesis of the 997’s analogue thrills: a PDK gearbox in place of the lauded six-speed manual shifter, a flat six based (loosely) on the Carrera’s 9A1 engine rather than the motorsport-derived Mezger, and rear-wheel steering in place of the previously passive back axle.

These changes have made the latest RS devastatingly effective – our first drive in issue 128 proved as much – and hugely coveted, just like its 4.0-litre 997 forebear.

That was in isolation though; context is key here, which is why we have gathered both 4.0-litre Rennsports (as well as both previous generations of the 997 GT3 RS) together for the ultimate test on track and road.

To find out how the 991 GT3 RS gets on against its 997 rivals, pick up Total 911 issue 136 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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