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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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Porsche Exceeds 250k Deliveries in 2018

2018 was a record-setting year for Porsche, culminating in a gargantuan 256,255 global deliveries. This final sales figure capped a year of month-on-month improvements over the preceding year. December saw a 3.2% improvement over the preceding year in North America. In November, sales were up 2.1% over the previous year. These sales increases were mirrored in most global markets, with the exception of Europe and Germany in particular.

The Panamera saw the strongest year across Porsche models, with a 38% sales increase over the preceding year. Despite the pending introduction of a new generation of 911, 911 sales also increased by 10% to 35,573 vehicles.

By volume, Porsche sport utility vehicles drove the brand. The Macan led the marque in sales with 86,031 total deliveries, followed by the Cayenne with 71,458 deliveries.

Sales Changes By Market

Once again, China and other Asian markets led the world in sales. Growth in the Chinese market hit 12%, with a total of 80,108 vehicles. The United States was the brand’s second biggest sales market, with deliveries increasing 3% for a total of 57,202 vehicles. Deliveries in Europe dropped slightly, with a 3% decrease in the market as a whole and a 4% decrease in Germany. Per Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG:

“The switch to the new WLTP test cycle and gasoline particle filters in Europe mean that we faced significant challenges in the fourth quarter of 2018, and these will continue to be felt in the first half of 2019. On top of that, we stopped offering models with diesel engines in February 2018. »


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Introducing the 992 Carrera S and 4S Cabriolet

The first open-top 911 was constructed in 1964. Though not a true Cabriolet, this open air 911 actually laid the groundwork for the 911 Targa of 1967. This diversion in to soft windows, removable roof panels, and rollover hoops did not deter Porsche. In September, 1981 a prototype 911 Cabriolet debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with the consumer cars entering production about a year later. For more than 35 years, the Cabriolet has been a fixture in the 911 lineup.

Following the introduction of the new 992-generation 911 coupe a few months ago, the arrival of a Cabriolet was only a matter of time. The new Cabriolet shares the Coupe’s technological advances, as well as revised front-end styling which draws the 992 closer to the Panamera.

Updated Exterior Design

The 992 Cabriolet carries over the Coupe’s updates to classic 911 themes, including more muscular design language with wider haunches. The standard wheels now measure 20″ in diameter at the front and 21″ at the rear, and the front and rear tracks have been widened 45 and 44mm respectively. The car retains a traditional low bonnet between raised fenders.

The rear incorporates a wider variable-position spoiler above a full-width rear light bar; the latter recalling 911 taillights from more than 20 years of air-cooled 911 production. With the exception of the composite bumpers, the entire skin is aluminum.

The convertible top apparatus has been revised with a new hydraulic system. The top can now be operated at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph), and can open or close in about 12 seconds. Bows are constructed from magnesium, and are designed to reduce ballooning of the top material at high speed. An electrically actuated wind deflector is provided for occupants.

Revamped Cabin

The interior design language has been similarly updated, emphasizing clear, straight lines and clear instruments. The new dash layout more clearly evokes the simple, handsome air-cooled cars, and extends the full width between the door posts on a single plane. The centrally-located tachometer is flanked by a pair of frameless freeform displays, and the center display has grown to 10.9″. Ergonomics have been empahasized, allowing operation of Porsche Communication Management functions quickly and without distraction.

More Potent Powertrains

The Cabriolet will initially be offered only in Carrera S and Carrera 4S configurations. Both rely on the same turbocharged 2,981cc flat-six engines as their Coupe counterparts, and are rated at 450PS at 6,500 rpm and 530 Nm of torque from 2,300 through 5,000 rpm. This powerplant offers not only improved power, but greater efficiency and reduced emissions compared to the outgoing unit. Power is transmitted via a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission.

Porsche quotes 0-60 sprints of 3.9 seconds for the standard Carrera S, and 3.7 seconds for the Carrera S with Sport Chrono package. Both of these figures are improved by one tenth of a second for the all-wheel drive Carrera 4S.

Due to a revised engine mounting position, the 992 Cabriolet has also been made more rigid than the outgoing car. As a result Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) has been made available for the first time on a 911 Cabriolet. Springs and anti-roll bars are now more rigid, and the chassis sits 10mm lower.


The 911 Carrera S Cabriolet starts from 134,405 euros in Germany and the 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet from 142,259 euros, with US market pricing not yet available.


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New Porsche 992 Cabriolet revealed

Less than six weeks after the launch of the 992 generation 911, Porsche has unveiled the open-topped version of its eighth generation sports car icon. As with its Coupe brothers, the Cabriolet has been released in Carrera S and Carrera 4S guise with PDK-only for now, the Carrera and Carrera 4 version with manual gearbox arriving later this year.

The Porsche 992 Cabriolet uses a similar kinetic system to the 991 before it, again operable at speeds of up to 30mph, though opening and closing time of the roof is now slightly quicker at 12 seconds. The roof system, which successfully maintains the form of the Coupe variant when covering the interior, again features an integrated (and heated) glass rear screen, now relying on lightweight yet sturdy magnesium bows to stop the roof from ballooning at high speeds.

This is necessary because the Porsche 992 Cabriolet has a top speed of 190mph in Carrera S form (188mph for the 4S), making it a very, very fast open-topped Porsche. It is the all-wheel-drive 992 which has the upper hand in the sprint stakes though, managing a 0-62mph time of just 3.6-seconds with optional Sport Chrono Package (the 2S’s time is 3.7-seconds).

The 2019 992 Cabriolet’s engine is exactly the same as that found in the 992 Coupes, its 3.0-litre ‘9A2 evo’ flat six producing 450hp and 530Nm torque. Both Cabriolets also withhold the widebody treatment rolled out for every 992-generation 911, its full-width light bar and staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels also finding their way onto the Cabriolet which, for the first time, features an optional Sports PASM chassis, lowering the car by 10mm.

Prices for the rear-driven Carrera S Cabriolet start from £102,000 in the UK, its all-wheel-drive Carrera 4S stablemate available from £108,000. We prefer Coupe 911s here at Total 911, though with seamless lines, stunning performance and breathtaking aesthetical appeal, the 992 Cabriolet looks set to be the most convincing of its kind to date.


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997 GT3 v GT3 RS: Sharkwerks 4.1s

Engine displacement is everything in the US. The home of the Hemi is also the land where big V8s are shoehorned into just about everything, whether it’s for the school run or the race track. Bigger is supposedly better when it comes to cars, this a heavily enriched ideology ingrained into many aspects of general US society.

However, in the world of Porsche, superior engine size has never formed part of the agenda. While Lamborghini’s first car in 1963 was the 3.5-litre, V12 350GT, for example, Porsche’s original 911 had a measly 2.0-litre flat six. Lamborghini still uses the V12 in its Aventador today, while Audi’s R8 is powered by a 5.0-litre V10, and Ferrari’s V8 and V12 powerplants are considered legendary among the wider car enthusiast population. Despite this the plucky 911 sports car has continued to battle successfully against its bigger-engined rivals on circuit, sticking fiercely to its winning recipe of a robust flat six and an exquisite chassis.

It is this approach which Alex Ross, owner of Californian Porsche tuners SharkWerks, has always found favour with. British born, his extracurricular indulgence in Lotus is therefore forgiveable, but the overachieving 911 has always been the primary source of his motoring aspirations. This, fused with a hint of that ‘bigger is better’ American way, is what has given us the SharkWerks 4.1.

Long-time readers of Total 911 will already know of the prowess of the one-of-four Gulf-inspired Rennsport in our pictures, which we first featured
in early 2015. Acquired in 2011 before being ‘run in’ with a 2,600-mile jaunt across the USA, Alex 
and the SharkWerks team found tuning potential in its 3.8-litre Mezger engine, this becoming the trailblazer for its pioneering 4.1-litre programme. It all started before Porsche had even released its own 997 GT3 RS 4.0 – we told you the States does it bigger and better.

The fruits of more than five years of development includes a partnership with EVOMS to produce a race-spec, lightweight billet 80.44mm crank, CNC machined from billet 4340 high-alloy steel and tested to more than 9,500rpm, as well as a 104.5mm bore piston and cylinder set. The cylinders use steel liners and the pistons are Teflon-coated with anti-wear skirts and titanium wrist pins, saving 20 grams per piston and wrist pin combo against factory. In terms of top end, SharkWerks’ engine has ‘Hammerhead’ Shark-spec headwork along with race-style valve guides for longevity and cam adjuster strengthening, with everything balanced and blueprinted. A custom multi-indexed rotary-style oil pump is used, and the camshafts are SharkWerks/EVOMS spec.

The engine case has been race-prepped with, among other things, improved oiling techniques according to SharkWerks’ own wizardry. This is all partnered to EVOMSit ECU tuning; an RS 4.0-litre clutch pack, though Alex says the original factory set-up does work; a choice of SharkWerks lightweight street or track exhaust, and a host of chassis upgrades including Brembo GT brakes, Bilstein Clubsport double adjustable coilovers, RSS rear adjustable links, bump steer kit, thrust arm bushings and lower control arms, plus some aerodynamic adjustments.


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