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Turbo v Carrera: 930 3.0 vs 2.7 MFI

After the swing of the 1960s, the 1970s are often lambasted, wrongly viewed as a decade of energy crises, political upheaval and scandal. The reality is that while the 1970s might have been a turbulent decade, they were also arguably a turning point in the modern world. 

Those energy crises did raise global concerns over consumption and, unsurprisingly, the car was in the firing line, particularly in the US. Increasing legislation for fuel economy and emissions, as well as safety, demanded change. That created problems for Porsche with the 911.

The 911s of 1970’s America would feature detuned engines to pass economy standards, EU and RoW cars largely escaping those, though those US regulations would have a pronounced impact on how the 911 would look. 

From 1973 onwards US domestic and imported cars had to survive a 5mph collision without any damage to the headlights, engine or safety equipment. The 911’s bumpers had to change, with the US regulation demanding innovation.

The G-series bumpers were born, revolutionising the 911’s look and ensuring it would pass not just the 1973-onwards regulations, but also the later zero-damage standards that would come into force over the next decade. 

Porsche evidentially thrives on the challenges posed by regulation, and those US rules forced the company’s hand changing the 911’s look. The styling department is credited as being responsible for those iconic bumpers, under then-director Anatole Lapine and a team consisting of Wolfgang Möbius, Dick Söderberg and Peter Reisinger. 

In contrast to so many rivals’ hastily devised, somewhat awkward efforts, Porsche’s solution to the regulations was beautifully integrated and simply engineered. Larger, higher, body-painted bumpers with neoprene rubbing strips were adopted, to which functional ‘bellows’ which compressed on impact were fitted.

The bellows were a neat solution which allowed the bumpers to move as much as 50mm, and were attached to collapsible steel tubes on European cars and hydraulic shock absorbers on US cars. The new bumpers were instrumental in the relocation of the battery, too, the now single battery being located in the luggage compartment in front of the left-hand front wheel, improving the weight distribution.

The rear would see a similarly styled wrap-around bumper hung off a complex aluminium extrusion, the lightweight metal adopted to keep additional mass at the rear to a minimum. Above the rear bumper Porsche adopted a reflective red band, joining the rear lights in with a styling element that’s largely pervaded the 911’s rear visual signature ever since. 

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Hillclimb Duel: 997 GT3 Cup Dices With an 800-HP ’88 Carrera

Comparing Rupert Schwaiger’s 800-horsepower Carrera to a 997 GT3 Cup is the stuff racing geeks lose sleep over. In the green corner, Schwaiger’s machine makes twice the power and weighs less, but it doesn’t benefit from the silky smooth power delivery of the Cup Car. As we see here, power and weight are important, but how that power and weight are managed are just as important—if not more so. For those fascinated by motorsport minutiae, this duel between two very impressive 911s is worth dark circles under the eyes.

Completely Different Compositions

Aside from having the engine in the rear and a similar silhouette, these two 911s are quite different in their compositions. Schwaiger’s car is not new to these pages. As we’ve seen before, the basic ’88 Carrera is a rocket on the hillclimb, and the septuagenarian Schwaiger isn’t intimidated by it in the slightest. Willing to wrestle with the 800 horsepower his 3.5-liter motor produces, he indulges in big slides regularly and really throws the car into the corner. Thanks largely to nicely-sized Garrett turbos, most of the torque is available at 2,000 rpm; suiting it to the tightest hairpins. Little lag and a paddle-shifted 997 RSR gearbox allows it to get up to speed very quickly.

Thanks to the a 964 RS rear end between 335-section Avon slicks, most of that power makes it to the ground, and the power advantage can be enjoyed in reasonably straighter sections. KW 3-way coilovers, some aero from a 993 GT2, and a confidence-inspiring setup allow him to drive quite confidently through faster sections, as we can see through the overlay at 1:48

The Space Between

Where Schwaiger is aggressive with the wheel, Manuel Seidl is silky smooth. This does help considerably in putting the power down, as does the more manageable wave of torque with the normally-aspirated Cup engine. Meanwhile, Schwaiger—though using traction control—doesn’t seem to quite harness the power as easily. Listen to their throttle applications and you’ll notice Seidl stays on the throttle harder and longer, while Schwaiger tends to pop off throttle in a staccato fashion. Whether its style, power delivery, or a combination of the two, it looks like Seidl can lean more comfortably on the car out of slower corners.

Seidl’s also a little more committed into some corners, specifically the faster ones. This could be attributed to more downforce and a better sorted car, which never seems to dance over cambers like the yellow and green car does from time to time. To take either car through this confined, cliff-line Austrian hillclimb deserves applause, but its a combination of smoothness, slightly more efficient lines, and a more tractable powerplant that gives Seidl the upper hand. Had this battle been waged on a faster track, the Turbo might be the victor, but where traction and runoff area are extremely limited, Seidl’s approach and vehicle seem better suited.

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This Gulf RSR Replica Is What California Dreams Are Made Of

This is one of just three similar cars Gunderson has painted in classic paint schemes.

John Gunderson has a knack for bringing the right people into the picture. When he wanted to blend the urgency and colorful exterior of the legendary 917 with a usable road car, he came up with this. A ’73 911 Blending the classic Gulf livery, a 2,200-pound frame, and a 350-horsepower motor from Rothsport, is bound to convert even the most cynical Porsche haters.

Gunderson started with a real-deal long-hood 911, which was then stripped and fitted with hand-hammered steel fenders. Inside, a set of recline-equipped Recaro seats made the cut, providing a supportive enough seat for the odd blitz through the backroads, but plush enough to not require a chiropractor’s services after using. Additionally, they don’t disrupt the classic spartan theme inside—this is an RSR replica, after all.

The simplistic cabin provides the driver with all the pertinent information and nothing more.

Their support is dearly needed if the driver wants to exploit the power of the the 3.5-liter motor behind them. Fortunately, the Rothsport engine produces its power in a linear fashion and screams to a 7,000-rpm redline. That grunt is fortified by the closely stacked gears and short throw. Though the shifter throw is a little on the vague side, and the pedals are oddly positioned, that’s the only real criticism that Zack Klapman can find. High praise from someone who has driven a little bit of everything.

Zack got up to speed quickly. Its direct steering, which is slightly vague in the center but quickly loads up, helps him position the car in quick canyon switchbacks. It’s that detailed level of information through the pedals, the seat, and the steering which eventually brought the reluctant host over to the pro-Porsche side.

It’s true—few cars are as persuasive as a purpose-built Porsche.

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Speedster generations

“I took a 911 Cabriolet off the line and drove it to my hot-rod shop,” admits Preuninger. That car became a mix-up of Gen1 GT3 and that Cabriolet.

The result of the GT boss’ work was first shown to a select group of customers as far back as 2014 alongside the 911 R concept, which the Speedster shares a lot of DNA with. This new Speedster is a GT department model, a car which, if you take Speedsters at their most elemental, it always should have been. 

Even so, Preuninger admits: “We didn’t focus on every last gram and we’re not concerned about lap times.” While that might be true, a kerbweight of 1,465kg is just 52kg more than a manual GT3.

The Speedster, like the R, is exclusively manual, with no PDK being offered, saving 17kg in weight and pleasing the driving purists among us. There are the same 911 R carbon-fibre front wings, the underbody at the rear being R-derived, while PCCB is standard too.

Those early customers who saw it liked the idea of a properly raw Speedster, doing without any roof, but Preuninger and his team denied them that, fitting a hood, in part to ensure that owners actually use them rather than park them away with delivery miles in collections. And the 1,948 Porsche will build? That’s the year when the first Speedster was built. 

Opening the low, neat roof is simple enough – a button unlatches the hood at the top of the lower windscreen and unclips the buttresses which then spring up from the large clamshell. The clamshell lock is released too, and the huge carbon-fibre panel – the largest Porsche has ever made, and weighing just 10kg – lifts out and back on struts, the hood simply pushed into its stowage area underneath.

Pop down the cover and the Speedster is open, as it should be, the slightly steeper rake and lowering of the screen, as well as that rear, fundamentally changing the look of the 911. It’s very reminiscent of original 356 Speedsters, losing the sometimes-uncomfortable, heavy-looking rear of later 911 Speedster models. There’s also a hint of Carrera GT in its proportions, particularly that rear three-quarter view.

The black stone guards on the flanks fore of the rear wheels were a late – and necessary – addition, admits Preuninger, breaking the visual length while harking back to the G-series models.

You don’t have to have them, and if you’re after an even more retro style then there’s the Heritage Pack plus a numbered, customised Porsche Design timepiece, as is the norm these days.

Forget those, though. Preuninger leans in, says to press Auto Blip and the exhaust button and go and drive it. I argue I’ll do the footwork myself and leave the Auto Blip off, Preuninger laughing and saying: “It’s better than you,” before adding, “and me…”

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Porsche 911 Targa Backdating… MCG is back !

Le Targa, c’est les avantages du cabriolet, tout en conservant la rigidité de la caisse. Tu roules cheveux au vent sans avoir l’impression que le pare brise va atterrir sur tes jambes à chaque fois que tu passes un dos d’âne ou un passage à niveau. En tout cas, c’est l’astuce trouvée par Porsche pour […]

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