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How Is The Cayman T Better Than the Base Cayman?

Aimed at people who love driving, the Cayman T brings all the handling options available for a better price. In other words, it offers better value for a pre-selected set of upgrades catered to the discerning canyon carver. Like its bigger sibling, the Cayman T is an old-school approach for those who simply want to dance more intimately with their mechanical partner. There’s more too—it’s lower than the lowest the standard Cayman can go by 10mm, and as a result, it is one of the pointiest, eager, and most reassuring machines available for the money.

It is a true driver’s car, as Autocar’s Dan Prosser points out repeatedly. A short throw, an alcantara-wrapped wheel, « beautifully weighted » controls, and incredible balance gives the driver huge confidence. With the lowered suspension, the T is sharper, more predictable, and allows the car to be exploited that much more. Is it worth $77,000? For the people who don’t want to spring for the upcoming GT4 but enjoy the utmost in agility from the 718 lineup and a distinct character than the standard car, it’s not completely unreasonable.

Hunkered down 10mm lower than the standard car, the athletic Cayman T looks perfectly suited to canyon carving.

Of course, some of potential buyers will sniff at the idea of a flat-four for that sort of coin. The 2.0-liter turbo has a zinging top end though, and the torque is more than enough for the tire. Low-end power is an issue, though, as is the sound. Though that’s a subjective matter, the Subaru-like burble in the cockpit doesn’t quite pull the heartstrings like the old six did. Is a decrement in musical quality enough to spoil a rewarding engine and plenty of mid-range shove? It’s doubtful.

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New 2019 Porsche 992 revealed: all you need to know

We’ve ridden shotgun in the prototypes, but Total 911 is attending the unveil of the new Porsche 992 series 911 in LA, prior to it reaching showrooms early next year. That it’s visually similar to the 991 before it is no surprise, Porsche’s evolutionary approach to its styling no more obvious than with the 911, but this eighth-generation model brings the company’s iconic sports car up to date, adding connectivity, driver assistance and improved environmental performance all while retaining its driver focus.

ENGINE & PERFORMANCE STATS

Retaining the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six of the 991.2, the 992 is launched in Carrera S guise, it developing 450hp, which represents an increase of 30hp over the outgoing Carrera S. In rear-wheel drive PDK form that allows a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds, or 3.5 seconds if the optional Sport Chrono pack is fitted. The Carrera 4S reduces that by 0.1 seconds thanks to its traction advantage, the top speed for the Carrera S being 191mph and the 4S 190mph. That’s 0.4 seconds faster than the equivalent outgoing 991.2 model, the 992 boasting performance in the realms of the 997 Turbo.

The consumption and emissions figures quoted for the 992 look less impressive, with Porsche quoting 31.7/31.4mpg and 205g/km/209g/km for the Carrera S/4S respectively. These figures are based on the new, stricter, WLTP testing procedure which give a a greater real-world result, so customers should expect consumption equivalent to the outgoing models, even if the numbers don’t suggest it.

AESTHETICS

Externally the 992’s most obvious visual cue is the new rear light bar, this LED strip spanning the entire width of the rear. All Carreras, from the launch S models, to the standard Carreras that will follow next year will be wide-bodied, with all being as wide as the current GTS/GT3 models. The width at the front axle grows by 45mm, too, the steered wheels being fitted with 20-inch alloys, the rear being staggered with a 21-inch rim.

That widebody is almost entirely constructed from aluminium in a bid to save weight, the 992 set to weigh much the same as the car it replaces. That’s despite the addition of some additional new tech, the 911 embracing driver assistance with the addition of lane keeping assist and lane departure warning equipment, brake assist with emergency braking as well as the availability of Night Vision Assist with a thermal camera. Should you option that, the images will be displayed on one of the screens situated either side of the large analogue rev-counter that sits prominently in front of the driver in the instruments. Convenience in traffic will be added with the option of an adaptive cruise control system with automatic distance control and stop-and-go function.

INTERIOR

The interior is a marked step from the 991, the centre dash dominated by a 10.9 inch touchscreen, it giving access to familiar entertainment and navigation functions as well as displaying the driving modes. To the usual Normal, Sport, Sport+ and Individual Modes Porsche has added Wet Mode, this selectable mode automatically prepping the PDK shift strategy, traction and stability systems and throttle map when wheel housing sensors detect wet tarmac.

The connectivity of the interior systems is improved, with swarm online data assisting with navigation, and apps including Porsche Road Trip for route planning and Porsche Impact being an emissions estimator that allows you to estimate financial contributions to offset your emissions with your favoured internationally certified climate project.

Engine revisions to help reduce that impact include revised turbochargers and new intercooling with shorter, more efficient paths, as well as an improved direct injection process. The addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission (a seven-speed manual will follow) derived from the Panamera also underlines Porsche’s future climate credentials as it allows the company to add a hybrid electric motor into the transmission at a later, as yet to be confirmed, date.

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PROJECT GOLD: THE TRUE STORY

It’s a fascinating venture which has stirred up sizeable interest, partly because we never thought this could happen: we’re in the year 2018 and Porsche has just built an air-cooled 911, some two decades after its last. Incredibly, the car has just sold at auction for a whopping $3.1million too, so it might well be the ultimate collector’s Porsche 911. But what do we really know about it? 

Okay, so it’s a remake of the 993 Turbo rather than a brand-new model, Porsche giving Project Gold, as it’s been dubbed, a chassis number following directly on from the last 993 Turbo rolling off the production line in 1998. Finished in Golden metallic, the car is modelled as an air-cooled version of the 991 Turbo S Exclusive Edition, this 993 built by Porsche Classic using its enviable itinerary of some 52,000 genuine Porsche Classic parts.

There is an air of cynicism surrounding this project, though. Porsche says the car was built from the last remaining 993 Turbo shell it had ‘laying around’; emissions regulations mean it can’t be registered and thus driven on public roads, and those same reasons are precisely why the car won’t be present at its own auction lot at RM Sotheby’s Porsche sale at PEC Atlanta – in fact, it won’t be in the US at all. Then there’s the spec: Porsche states the Turbo’s flat six produces 450hp, which means it comes with the coveted Powerkit, standard on the Exclusive-built 993 Turbo S. The optional side air intakes are Turbo S-spec, as is the carbon dashboard.

In fact, Project Gold is a set of yellow calipers away from being a fully loaded 993 Turbo S rather than a mere Turbo. However, Porsche has opted against branding it as such, likely because that would have left the 345 owners worldwide of the 993 Turbo S extremely upset that their investment-grade collectible had lost a modicum of rarity. It certainly smacks of marketing fanfare, but is this fair? Uwe Makrutzki, manager at Porsche AG’s Classic factory restoration team, and Philipp Salm, sales and marketing manager at Porsche Classic, have joined us at Rennsport Reunion to dispel the myths.

We ask first about that lone spare shell. “It’s not unusual to have spare parts when you change from one generation to another. In the case of the 993 to 996 we had a spare 993 Turbo shell – only one – which was stored in an outdoor hall in a town called Möglingen,” Uwe tells us matter-of-factly. “We’d known about the shell for years but didn’t have the desire to do anything with it. Then we were asked to do something for the 70 years of Porsche celebrations.

For the full exposé on Project Gold, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 172, in shops now or available for direct delivery to your door. You can also download the issue, which features bonus image galleries, to any Apple or Android device. 

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New Porsche 992: first look

It looks much the same, but there are significant changes. Not least, Porsche has future-proofed the 992 model for hybridisation, using a re-engineered eight-speed PDK transmission from the Panamera that’s got a space in it for an electric motor. It won’t be called into action just yet though, says 911 boss August Achleitner, because he’s not convinced the battery tech is good enough for now, but don’t rule it out for the Gen2 model.

That hybrid preparation also means there’s some space in the body for battery packs, though like the gap in the gearbox they’ll remain unused at the 992’s launch. All Carreras will now be widebodied, with the Carrera S we’ve been in the same width as the GTS. The front axle gains 40mm, while there’s new technology like Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning and the option of Night Vision. A march to autonomy? Achleitner says no, saying the 911 will be one of the last cars to do so, adding that at its core it’s a driver’s car.

All the new equipment inevitably adds weight, though the use of aluminium in the body helps mitigate that, Porsche’s engineers targeting a weight the same as the outgoing 991 for the new 992 model. There’s a new standard driving mode, the 992 detecting wet roads and priming the stability with tweaks to the gearbox and the rear wing’s angle of attack. Achleitner says that’s the result of the 911 being a relatively light car on wide tyres – with staggered wheel sizes of 20 and 21 inch, wearing 245/30 ZR20 and 305/30 ZR21 tyres respectively.

The engine remains the same turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-six, with a number of significant revisions. There’s piezo injection, an entirely new intake and exhaust system, re-positioned intercoolers (on top of the engine, 993 Turbo style), while EU cars have an exhaust particulate filter, too. The output is up, 450hp in the Carrera S – the Carrera anticipated to have 385hp or so. In the S, Porsche’s engineers are saying it’ll match the performance of the 997 Turbo, so a sub-4.0 sec 0-62mph time, and a 190+mph top speed.

The slightly slower Carrera will follow the S’s intro, it adding the seven-speed manual to the line-up, while the inevitable Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, and GT3 RS models following, too. Word is the Turbo is punching out 650+hp.

We’ve ridden alongside Achleitner and his team of engineers as the 992 is signed off prior to its November reveal in LA. Be sure to read the full inside story of the new, future-proofed 911 in Total 911 issue 172, out October 31st.

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GT2 RS Proves More Civil Than Imagined

I have to be honest. The first few times I watched Matt Prior’s reviews, I felt a little underwhelmed. Here was a middle-aged man with a gift for language, seated behind the alcantara-wrapped wheel of an exciting sports car, and somehow he made this divine piece of machinery seem clinical, bland, and practical. Yet, the more I listen to him, the more his approach speaks to me. Simply put, his enthusiasm is just thinly veiled by a little English reticence, but his appreciation for the mundane points, and the way he sheds light on the duller (yet valuable) aspects of a six-figure sports car implies decades of experience.

So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the first of the big-name publications’ reviews of the GT2 RS is not full of fireworks. Instead, Prior, mumbling over the uncharacteristically loud rumble of the flat-six behind him, describes the everyday experience offered by Porsche’s fastest production car to date.

But Prior also acknowledges the usability offered by the latest iteration of a Porsche that has always been spoken of in hushed tones. The GT2 — especially the 997-generation RS — has always been considered an uncompromising weapon with sharp edges and little cushioning— »unhinged » is the word Prior chooses.

The outrageous figures and the Nurburgring lap time of the GT2 RS speak for themselves. The 991-generation RS is something that not only smokes tires and greys hairs, it’s also the first of the GT2 lineage with a hint of civility—and perhaps there’s nobody better than Prior to point that out.

Photo credit: Autocar

The post GT2 RS Proves More Civil Than Imagined appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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