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Porsche Releases New Updates To The N-Spec Tire Rating System

With every new generation of Porsche, the outer limit of grip are tested with heavier cars, larger contact patches, and way more power than ever before. In order for your new Porsche to continually improve, tire technology has to continue evolving to cope with the demands of the modern and more advanced Porsche. The company has been working directly with its tire suppliers to create the N-spec rating to confirm for Porsche owners that a specific tire has been approved to maximize the performance of their car.

Unlike some sports car companies, which simply pick a tire from a tire manufacturer’s lineup, Porsche works directly with tire manufacturers from the beginning of a new tire’s lifecycle, long before production begins. To be an OE supplier to Porsche, the final product must be jointly developed between tire engineers and Porsche’s vehicle engineers. While dry weather grip is important for your GT to achieve its Nurburgring lap time, there is an equal focus on wet weather performance, as Porsches were built to be driven even in inclement weather.

The first, and perhaps most important metric for a new tire is its speed rating. The tire company will confirm that the new tire is capable of supporting the weight of the Porsche vehicle, the stresses of added downforce, and the incredible energy it takes to reach a Porsche’s top speed. Then the tires are subjected to a barrage of additional tests, confirming the prototype meets Porsche’s standards for road noise, wet weather grip, and dry weather handling. Durability is a top priority for Porsche, especially at speed.

Only once the tire has passed all of these rigorous tests, and the engineering department has signed off, can the tire be branded with an N-spec. New for 2019, N-spec tires will receive a specification based on which Porsche model line it is approved for. As before, the first letter will stay N, simply identifying the tire as N-spec. There will also still be a numeral from 0 to 4 which indicates which revision of the tire it is, with 0 identifying it as the original design and construction. New this year is a second letter wedged in the middle which identifies which vehicle in the Porsche lineup it’s been homologated for. 911 models are NA, Boxster and Cayman models are NB, Cayenne models are NC, Panamera models are ND, and finally Macan models receive an NE specification tire.

Here is the update, as stated by Tire Rack:

A specification ending with the “0” marking is assigned to the first approved version of a tire design. As that design is refined externally or internally, the later significant evolutions will result in new generations of the tire to be branded in succession. For example, the NA0 branding indicates the first version of a Porsche 911 Carrera tire design. Similarly, NC1 is the second version of a Porsche Cayenne tire design. When a completely new tire design is approved, it receives the “N#0” branding, and the succession begins again.

It is also important to know that while Porsche N-specification tires have been fine tuned to meet the specific performance needs of Porsche vehicles, the tire manufacturers may also build other tires featuring the same name, size and speed rating as the N-specification tires for non-Porsche applications. These tires may not be branded with the Porsche N-specification because they do not share the same internal construction and/or tread compound ingredients as the N-specification tires. Using tires that are not N-specific is not recommended and mixing them with other N-specification tires is not permissible.

As before, Porsche recommends replacing tires in axle pairs if they have more than 30% wear, and do not permit for mixed tire types on a single car. If the N-number of your tires has been discontinued, Porsche recommends replacing all four tires to the updated N-spec number revision.

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Porsche’s Ten Best Colors Of All Time

Porsche has a habit of selling cars in incredibly interesting colors. From the very beginning they’ve had many interesting shades painted on the shapely fenders of their sports cars. They take risks on colors, risks that other companies are known to shy away from. There are dozens of bright and bold colors that make a Porsche stand out. For some reason, people keep ordering them in silver, white, and grey. In an effort to stem that bland color trend, we’ve assembled our favorite colors from Porsche’s history. And before you say anything, Guards Red is not on the list!

10. Maritime Blue

Porsche 968 Clubsport Maritime Blue At The Beach

Image Source: Silverstone Auctions.com

In all honesty, we could have made this an entire list of Porsche Blues. It came down to a toss up between Midnight Blue, Miami Blue, and Maritime Blue, but this 968 ClubSport with color-matched wheels convinced us to give Maritime the win. Isn’t it just incredible?

9. Macadamia Metallic

Source: eBay

Like Blue, Porsche has a history of incredible Browns. All the way back to the 356C with Togo Brown, Porsche’s sports cars always look great in this earth tone. It’s a subdued way to say you like a sports car with class and sophistication, but it’s not as boring as grey or silver.

8. Rubystone Red

Rubystone Red Porsche 964 In The Mountains

Source: Speedhunters

Rubystone Red is perhaps Porsche’s most bold color of all time. This pink-red-purple combination was somewhat common in the 964 era, but it would do well for Porsche to bring it back to life. Could you imagine this shade on a new Cayman GT4? Great, now I’ll be daydreaming about paint-to-sample color ordering again.

7. Talbot Yellow

Porsche 912E Talbot Yellow In An Empty Warehouse

Source: Bradley C. Brownell

The choice to include TalbotGelb in this list might be a bit biased, because this particular 912E is sitting in my garage right now. I absolutely love this car, and the color painted on it. This color wasn’t used for very long in the mid-1970s, but it is widely regarded as a great color because of it’s cheery and endearing sunflower-esque qualities. My wife calls it ‘cute’, and that’s good enough for me.

6. Basalt Black Metallic

Basalt Black Porsche 918 on the race track

Source: Porsche

Black is generally quite a boring color option, but Basalt is the one exception to that norm. This particular black is very deep and shimmery with plenty of metal flake buried layers down. It’s a gorgeous color that changes every time you look at it, and is somehow not boring at all. From more than ten feet, however, it’ll blend in like most other blacks. It’s enigmatic, and that’s why we love it.

5. Ice Green Metallic

Ice Green Metallic Mid Year 911 in a parking lot

Source: Bradley C. Brownell

This Porshe caught my eye at an autocross a few years ago, and it’s been haunting my dreams ever since. Even sun-faded and losing its clear coat, Ice Green looks phenomenal. It’s a chilly and crystalline color that stays with you. It looks incredible on the narrow-body flanks of this mid-year 911. It’s just different enough to be cool.

4. Terra Cotta

Porsche 912 Custom Painted In Terra Cotta

Source: Bradley C. Brownell

Traditionally a relatively uncommon 356 shade, this little hot rod 912 needed a color to help set it apart from the crowd, and that’s exactly what happened. A Porsche friend of the author owns this car, and it has left a lasting impression. In the foggy shimmer of a Monterey, California morning, this car stuck out like a shimmering oasis among a desert of boring color cars.

3. Cassis Red

This particular Cassis Red 911 was recently purchased by Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire. He got a great deal on the car because this particular color doesn’t photograph well. The ad was passed over again and again because it looked like a washed out dark brown/red combination. He was convinced that he was going to hate the color and would change it as quickly as he could. Once he saw it in person, however, it changed his mind. In some light, this is the best color in the world, and in other light it looks awful. That’s part of the fun.

2. Slate Grey

Source: Eleven Cars

The one exception to our anti-grey stance is Slate Grey. Slate is incredible because, like Basalt Black, it has an amazing depth to it. It’s also the color that was made famous by Steve McQueen’s long-hood 911 driven in the opening few minutes of the film Le Mans. If it’s good enough for the so-called ‘king of cool’, then it’s good enough for this list.

1. Aubergine

You could probably ask us to make a new top-ten Porsche colors list every week, and we’d always change our minds as to what would be included. Porsche has so many great colors. That said, we could make this list a million times, and the only color that would remain constant on the list, the only color that is completely beyond reproach, is Aubergine. We’ve long dreamt of an Aubergine 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS, and likely will continue to dream of it anon and always.

What are your favorite colors that we failed to include in this list? Let us know in the comments below which you think are better than this list. We would love to hear your opinion.

 
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Sales debate: Five things first-time Porsche 911 buyers should do

After buying a house, buying a car is normally the second biggest purchase that you will ever make. Of course, a Porsche 911 is no ordinary car and while that makes buying one even more special, it can also make it a daunting experience. What should first-time buyers look out for? With the help of two independent specialists, Total 911 endeavours to find out.

Both Charlie Abbott from independent specialist, Paul Stephens, and Mikey Wastie, proprietor of Autofarm, agree that the first step is identifying what you want to get out of your 911 ownership experience: “Is it for commuting, track days or just polishing?” asks Wastie. “It’s important to choose the right car that matches your needs most closely.”

From this, Abbott points out that you can then narrow down which generation of 911 you would ideally love, while considering if your choice falls within your budget.

From there, research is key, with both specialists placing it high on the to-do list. Wastie explains that it’s vital to “look for weaknesses” in your chosen generation, identify “the versions that are most popular and learn when upgrades or items were changed in the specification.”

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This will enable you to narrow down your options to a specific model and specification, which you can then start searching for on websites and through dealers. The added benefit of this, Wastie explains, is you can then “see which cars keep popping up for sale and which ones are hanging around”.

Abbott explains that even once you’ve chosen which 911 to buy and researched it, you should still be patient and wait for the right car to come to market. “Don’t rush into a car that doesn’t fulfil your needs.”

When you have spotted an example that takes your fancy, both Abbott and Wastie feel that getting the car checked over by a respected inspector is a safe move. Alternatively, the former points out that buying from a specialist negates this need.

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For their final step, the two experts differ in their approach. Wastie feels that “joining an owners’ club and meeting the owners of the car you want” is a useful endeavour as you can “draw from their experiences.”

Meanwhile, Abbott explains that, even after following these steps, remaining grounded is important: “Be realistic if you are buying a classic Porsche; even though they are extremely well built, they still have their classic car characteristics.”

By heeding their advice, the proposition of buying your first Porsche 911 should be made as simple (and exciting) as possible, all while ensuring you get your hands on a great example of your chosen model.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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Sales debate: Are 3.4-litre 996 Carrera values going to drop any lower?

We say it so much that it is becoming clichéd but the 996 Carrera is far from the most popular 911 to ever leave Zuffenhausen, especially in Gen1 specification.

With its ‘fried egg’ headlights and 3.4-litre water-cooled engine infamous for chewing through IMS bearings, prices have dipped as low as £7,000-8,000. But, can 996 3.4 values go any lower?

“I think there is a lot of potential with the 996 as prices can’t get much lower,” says Mikey Wastie, projects division manager at Autofarm. “They are so much car for the money and they are around in good numbers.”

Despite these rock-bottom values though, Wastie points out that potential buyers are still “seemingly put off by the scare stories” but he explains that 996 Carrera 3.4s are not all “bad news”.

“Recently a customer bought a 996 and was worried about the risk of engine failure.” Autofarm inspected the car only to find that it already had one of their rebuilt engines with a more robust IMS bearing. “It’s definitely worth checking the historyas you may end up with a good, strong car,” Wastie continues.

M96 engine

The 3.4-litre’s reputation for unreliability is also disputed by proprietor of Finley Goram, Joff Ward. In the business for over 40 years, Ward has seen more than 10,000 Porsches pass through his doors, and the 996 Gen1 is far from the most unreliable in his experience.

“The comment that I have made for years is that the 964 is probably the worst 911 ever built. How can you ever have one of those worth more than a 996, which was never the worst 911 built?” he says. “Every 964, if you wanted to get the money for it, you had to rebuild the engine on it.”

While 964 values continue to rise past the £40,000-mark, Ward doesn’t believe the 996 3.4 will appreciate so rapidly. However, prices are already going up in his opinion:

“They’ve gone up a lot. I sold a Gen1 996 at the end of 2013 for £10,500. Irecently resold the same car for £13,500 despite it having a higher mileage.

With Ward stockpiling early 996s, Wastie’s tongue-in-cheek remark that they “could become rare” may not be so wide of the mark. In Wastie’s own words, “don’t say we didn’t tell you,” if the rise in value is sharper than expected.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

996 headlight

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Sales debate: Why is the Porsche 911 SC not a more sought after model?

Despite the air-cooled boom, 911 SC prices seem to have stayed relatively low. Paragon Porsche’s Mark Sumpter believes that while the SC’s production volumes are partly to blame, “people are very romantic about the early Seventies cars and, if they are going to buy an impact bumper car, they would rather have a 3.2 Carrera with all the refinements: better heating, more powerful engine and the G50 gearbox.”

However, classic specialist Paul Stephens disputes the SC’s supposedly poor reputation. “The motoring press have always said, ‘the SC is not quite a Carrera’, so that’s what people think,” he explains. “But the 3.0-litre engine (particularly in 204bhp trim) is a really smooth, sweet-revving unit.”

The one thing the pair agree one is that the SC is suddenly experiencing something of a revival. “I think the SC is the next car that is really starting to pick up,” explains Sumpter, “especially if you can find one in what was, a few years ago, an undesirable spec.”

Porsche 911 SC interior His views are borne out by Stephens’ experience. “People have just got the whole SC thing.” However, in Stephen’s opinion, strong values should only be commanded by well-kept examples.

“Good ones are starting to make good money, but there is a massive difference between the good and the also-rans,” he explains. “They’ve been languishing around £10,000 for so long that the person who had £10,000 probably doesn’t have £11,000. So when something went wrong, it was [fixed] with just the cheapest way to put it right.”

The market may be a bit of a minefield at the moment, but if the right car can be found, SCs appear to be the last of the affordable air-cooleds. It may even turn into a tidy investment prospect…

Porsche 911 SC
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