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991.2 Carrera v Carrera T: how does the T improve on the base car?

Lighter, more focused and simple. We like the sound of that here at Total 911, particularly when it comes to cars. We first heard about the Carrera T some months ago and, frankly, we could barely contain our excitement. On first details, it sounded exactly like the Carrera should be, even if the ‘T’ moniker seems a little bit contrived. The specification sounds more like a Clubsport, the T’s Touring badge wrapped up in the contradictions of the car’s lighter, more focussed specification. Still, it fits with the Touring ethos of the GT3 at the other extreme, Porsche’s naming strategy somewhat haphazard presently.

Nomenclature be damned though. The Carrera T’s specification makes for interesting reading. The changes, in typically Porsche fashion, are moderate in isolation, though add them up and they’re convincing enough to make for a differing whole. Like the GTS above the S, then, the Carrera T is a box-ticking exercise in specification that enhances and improves, while cleverly adding a few unique elements that mark it out as distinct.

Porsche’s message with it is ‘Less is more’ and that it’s all about the driving. Certainly its specification addresses concern in some quarters that the 911 leans more towards the GT spectrum in 991.2 guise than ever before. Using the Carrera as its basis, the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six develops the same 370hp as the entry-level 911. There’s less weight, the quoted unladen weight being 1,425kg, Porsche saying that’s 20kg less than a similarly specified Carrera.

There is some smoke and mirrors going on here though, the Carrera T’s specification has the Miami Blue car here listed at that 1,425kg, while the specification for the silver Carrera Coupe we’ve brought along to test against it reads 1,430kg. There’s 5kg in it here, then, and even that’s open to debate, as the Carrera T comes equipped here with a PCM module. It does without rear seats though, has the reduced sound deadening too, while the windows from the driver and passenger side ones back are lightweight glass – it, like the rear seat and PCM delete a no-cost option to have as standard.

Spend an hour or two on the configurator, as I have, and you’ll find all the slight differences, specifying a standard Carrera, as much as is possible to the specification of a standard Carrera T will see it surpass the Carrera T’s price tag. Throw in the Carrera T’s unique ‘lightweight’ bits and pieces and it all makes a bit more sense, the German-plated car weighing in at £89,994. That is a creep of £4,368 over its £85,576 list price – thank paint and a few other non-essential niceties like the Carrera T interior pack that adds contrasting silver stitching and door straps, but even then the closest I could get the Carrera specification saw it rise to around £89,000 in comparison.

The car silver Carrera here is close enough, being £84,891, visually, externally it takes a keen-eyed spotter to notice the differences. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, while there’s a painted grey finish to the rear engine slats.

For the full feature, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 163 in shops now or get it delivered via via myfavouritemagazines.co.uk.

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Porsche to ditch 911’s iconic five dials for 992 generation

The cabin of Porsche’s next-generation 911, the 992, has been uncovered for the first time after Total 911’s spies were able to get up close to a test mule. As you can see, the inside of the 992, set for launch at the Paris motor show in October, has been completely reworked with what could be argued as an even greater shift towards comfortable GT driving over focused sports car driving.

The screen in the centre of the dashboard is now much bigger, in line with the 911’s Panamera cousin, while the centre console beneath it appears to be wider than the current 991, too. PASM and PSM buttons have been relocated up from the centre console onto a small panel beneath the dashboard screen, though the biggest and most radical changes have taken place in front of the driver’s seat. Here, the 911’s iconic five dials, in existence since the first 911 of 1963, have been disbanded in favour of a digital screen either side of a centrally-placed analogue tachometer. In front of the new ‘dials’ layout sits a three-spoke, multi-function wheel that’s been redesigned despite retaining the ‘Mode’ wheel introduced for the 991.2 generation. Despite a scrapping of the 911’s five dials, traditionalists will be enthused by the presence of a manual shifter as the centerpiece of the 992’s interior.

Subscribe to Total 911 magazine for more details on the incoming 992-generation 911.

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Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS: first look

It isn’t the most obvious place to unveil Porsche’s latest track-focussed, rear-wheel drive machine, but the Porsche Experience Centre, Finland is where Porsche has decided to give us an early look at the next 911 GT3 RS.

Indeed, we’re so early to see it, it has not yet been fully homologated, so all the figures aren’t available. What we can confirm is that all the rumours of a larger capacity, or even a turbocharged GT3 RS are exactly that – rumours. Indeed, the engine, intake, exhaust and electronic controls are lifted almost entirely from the GT3, so that’s a naturally-aspirated, 4.0-litre flat-six revving to 9,000rpm.

Those differences make for a slight increase in power, up from 500hp to 520hp, torque rising by around 10Nm, GT department boss Andreas Preuninger admitting that with the GT3 RS it’s not just about power, but tactility, feel and immediacy. That’s always the promise with an RS, and Preuninger’s team has gone to town to provide it. To achieve that they’ve concentrated on efficiencies, be it the way the GT3 RS shapes and utilises the air it forces through, the control of the suspension, electronic differential, response of the engine and the immediacy of the steering. Every element of the GT3’s make up has been analysed and enhanced in its transformation into the GT3 RS.

Borrowing heavily from its GT2 RS relation, its suspension is all but identical, so bushes are binned in preference of rose joints on every mount – barring the a single one for the rear-wheel steering. The spring and damper rates are essentially that of a 911 Cup car in Nürburgring trim, so there’s significantly enhanced spring rates over the GT3 – as much as double – yet a compliant ride due to the damper settings.

The most obvious carry-over from the GT2 RS is the GT3 RS’s NACA ducts on the bonnet. These, as per its turbocharged relation, not only force cooling air to the brakes, but tidy the airflow up and over the GT3 RS to its rear wing. That in turn is positioned a touch higher, allowing, in conjunction with revisions to the underbody management of the air, the GT3 RS to offer levels of downforce at least as much as if not slightly more than its predecessor, but without generating so much drag.

The top speed remains the same 193mph quoted for the Gen1 car, but that’s likely to be conservative, as is the 3.2 second 0-62mph time. As with the earlier GT3 RS, this Gen2 car will be PDK only, the gearbox, like every other element worked on with some specific RS additions. There are bigger bearings inside, as well as a revised shift strategy, which in conjunction with revisions to software controlling the differential, traction, stability and rear-wheel steering systems allow more speed to be created from the GT3 RS around a track.

How much it’ll manage around that track remains conjecture, as it’s yet to run against the clocks, but Preuninger is confident of a time of around 7 minutes 5 seconds or so. He’s quick to admit that from that sizeable gain only around one second is attributable to the increased performance from the engine, the rest down to the chassis, tyres and aerodynamic changes.

Of course, this wouldn’t be an RS without some mass reduction. It’ll cause some consternation among the detail statos out there, as it’s likely Porsche will quote a kerbweight that matches the outgoing car. That’s 1,420kg in case you need reminding. That, like Porsche’s typically conservative performance figures, isn’t entirely representative, as there’s been a change in the way it can legally homologate the weight, it no longer possible to do so with all the weight saving options on it – think options like PCCB carbon ceramic brakes, plus no air conditioning or radio.

The weight figure, then, is more representative of reality, though Porsche has shifted significant mass, not least 5kg from the interior alone. The biggest potential saving comes courtesy of the possibility of GT3 RS customers optioning the Weissach Pack, which apes that of the GT2 RS, including elements like carbon fibre roof and bonnet body panels as well as magnesium wheels and a titanium roll cage. Choose it and the mass drops by 29kg, though thanks to production delays with the magnesium wheels – which account for around 12.5kg of those weight savings – Porsche will offer the Weissach as a two-stage package, with early customer orders not able to have it with the magnesium wheels.

If you’re in the lucky enough position to have an order in for one you’ll be dropping £141,346 before you add any options – the Weissach Package adding around £21,000 to the GT2 RS, so it’s not likely to be any cheaper here. Like the previous RS, limitations in build capacity, rather than any cap on build numbers will likely mean that individual options like Paint to Sample aren’t offered to UK buyers, in a bid to secure a greater portion of the production availability, though we’re rather taken by the Lizard Green launch colour Preuninger picked for the latest car to wear the RS badge. It’s also good to see the over GT3 RS script making a return, just in case you needed reminding this is something rather special indeed.

 

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Rare 997s: six special editions

For some, it’s the ultimate generation of the Neunelfer: melding that classic 911 design with modern-day performance and sophistication, the 997 has it covered. While the earlier Gen1 cars brought back equilibrium for the 911’s aesthetics and build quality after six divisive years of 996, the arrival of the Gen2 in 2008 improved on reliability, usability and performance. Gone was the troublesome IMS bearing and bore scoring that had plagued the M96 and M97 engines. The new 9A1 engines had direct fuel injection, which offered better power with economy. Porsche also said goodbye to the Tiptronic gearbox, an archaic transmission by this point, replaced by the swift and intelligent dual-clutch PDK transmission still utilised in 911s with two pedals today.

Revered by enthusiasts and automotive journalists, the 997.2 has forever been thought of fondly, never suffering from the negative press incurred with the 996 or 997.1 (the latter thanks to question marks over its engine’s reliability). Of course, the ultimate barometer of success is to be found in sales figures, which were positive given the global financial meltdown in which the Gen2 cars were born into.

You could argue that Porsche itself looked auspiciously at the 997 era of production. With what was an all-new generation of 911 in the 991 firmly on the horizon, the company sought to celebrate this era with a series of run-out models that would truly leave their mark. Over a period of 730 days between 2010 and 2011, the company released no fewer than six special editions, all a consummate raid of the parts bin at least or, at best, a truly unique car, courtesy of the Exclusive department. Not since the 964 or 993 generation had the throng of special-edition 911s rolling off Porsche’s production line been so rich.

Just seven short years later, Total 911 has gathered this stellar sextet with Hexagon Classics in a world first. Most are worth far more than list price – incredible for a Neunelfer less than ten years old – and all are now appreciating. This is their story and brilliance, and why they were sure to be deep-rooted to the Porsche 911 hall of fame from the moment they rolled off the production line…

To read the full story, het your copy of Total 911 issue 162 in stores now. You can also order your copy direct to your door here, or download to any Apple or Android device. 

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Porsche 992 Turbo breaks cover

Total 911’s spies have captured a 992 Turbo prototype in testing, showing for the first time its key visual cues over the rest of the incoming 992 range. Regular readers will note previous mules seen in public have been based on the current 991 car with tacked-on fenders, however this latest signing heralds a major development in pre-production of the car.

As you can see, the prototype in our pictures features a slightly different front end, with the rear end featuring a full-width light as seen on the rest of the 992 prototype range. The car sports even wider fenders, taking the car to nearly two meters in width for the first time, squared-off quad exhausts and, for the first time, a fixed rear wing. Side air-intakes feeding air to the intercoolers remain, though their shape has been disguised under a camouflage wrap deployed by Porsche. Power will once again come form a twin turbocharged flat six with an expected maximum power output of around 600hp.

The new-generation Porsche 992 Carrera is set to be formally revealed at the Paris motorshow in October, with its bigger Turbo brother due for launch in the first quarter of 2019.

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