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Sixteen stunning images of Nakai-san’s first British RWB build

In our current issue 149 we explored the divisive underworld of Porsches that have been remastered into an RWB. An outlandish departure from the Porsche 911’s minimalist silhouette, some love Nakai-san‘s interpretation of the 964 and 993-generation cars, while others loathe them. However, what cannot be dismissed is the unrelenting craftmanship Nakai-san invests in each project, which Total 911 got to see up close during the build of the first UK-based RWB (or Rough World Concept) car.

Now, you too can see for yourself how Nakai-san goes about building an RWB car thanks to our exclusive, behind-closed-doors photographs below. The full feature on the finished product is in Total 911 issue 149, in shops or available to buy or download now.

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New Porsche 911 GT2 spec revealed

Porsche insiders have finally confirmed to Total911.com the arrival of the next-generation Widowmaker. The GT2, the first model to wear that iconic badge in the 991 series, will deliver 650hp from a development of the existing Turbo S’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six. Our sources admit that as much as 700hp is possible, but 650hp is able to be achieved within Porsche’s expectations for reliability. The new Porsche 911 GT2 will retain its rear-wheel drive chassis, though the previously three-pedal six-speed manual transmission will make way for a seven-speed PDK automatic.

Nürbrurgring lap times have always been important to Porsche, and officials are also beginning to whisper these for the new 911 GT2. Our sources admit an actual representative time has yet to be achieved thanks to the onset of winter, but internal calculations suggest a time of 7 minutes 5 seconds. The previous GT2 RS had a quoted figure of 7 minutes 18 seconds, don’t forget.

Given Porsche’s usually conservative official figures, expect that to be a bit quicker when given to Nürburgring experts like a certain Mr Walter Rohrl. Engineers involved in the GTS model series say that with road-legal Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres, a perfectly equipped GTS coupe can achieve a Nurburgring laptime of 7 minutes 22 seconds, underlining the narrowing gap between the ‘conventional’ Carrera line-up and the GT department’s more extreme models, and the need for ever quicker, more intense models.

What is certain is that the new Porsche 911 GT2 GT2 will have a top speed in excess of 200mph and a 0-62mph time around that of the Turbo S’s 2.9 seconds, that achieved thanks in part to some weight reduction by binning the Turbo’s four-wheel drive, though that itself limits the potential traction. As befitting its extreme nature, the GT2 will lose its rear seats, offer a Clubsport package with a half cage and lightweight seats, with Porsche certain to strip out as much mass from its most hardcore 911 yet to help deliver its legend and anticipated extreme performance.

 

 

 

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Five Porsche 911s I want to drive in 2017 – Editor’s choice

As I mentioned last week, 2016 was a very good year for bringing you a very high calibre of Porsche 911s in Total 911 magazine. Under a mantra of ‘onwards and upwards’, I’ve picked out five more models I’m intent on personally covering for you loyal readers in 2017. In reverse order, they are:

5) Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6

For me, the later 930 Turbo with G50 gearbox is one of the most enjoyable classic 911s to pilot. The 964 3.3 after that was merely a cosmetic upgrade for Porsche’s Turbo, but the later 3.6-litre was a different beast entirely. It still lags behind the twin-turbocharged 993 in terms of values, but there’s a reason Porsche wanted a second crack at the whip of the 964 Turbo. I’m betting this is going to become an all-time great, and a test drive will show if my money has been well placed.

A location shot of a blue porsche moving at speed along a country road. Shot outside in natural light.

 

4) Porsche 991.2 GTS

To be revealed early in 2017, The new 911 GTS will utilise a rendition of the new, turbocharged 9A2 flat six engine currently used for the Carrera and Carrera S models. Whether or not the new GTS coincides with a long-awaited Powerkit for the 991’s second-generation remains to be seen, but what is guaranteed is a superb sportscar for those who don’t want (or can’t get!) a new 991 GT3. Speaking of which…

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3) Porsche 991.2 GT3

The first generation’s story was as spectacular as its spec: revving all the way to 9,000rpm, the car also stole headlines for incidents involving the odd fire and a worldwide recall. I’ve no doubt the Gen2 car, which has already been confirmed as naturally aspirated, will be just as scintillating to drive, though its redline will likely be more in line with the 991 GT3 RS’s 8,600 maximum revs.

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2) Porsche 911 2.0 SWB

With all the 2017 talk surrounding new tech on new cars, a revisit to where it all began with the short wheelbase 911 2.0-litre will remind us of the 911’s more humble beginnings. Famed for its supposed snappy handling (a lengthening of the car’s wheelbase in 1968 helping to alleviate that), the early cars are rocketing in value as they become automotive antiques. We’ll get one on the road for you before they all disappear into collections.

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1) Porsche 997 GT2 RS

2017 looks set to mark the return for a fearsome GT2 with the famous Rennsport moniker, but it was the 997 GT2 RS that started the legend. With 700Nm of torque going through the rear wheels only, this won’t just be the best drive of the year for me, it’ll likely be the most, well, interesting, too!

Horizontal, tracking shot of a black Porsche 997 GT2 RS being driven round a race track, taken from a front 3/4 angle. Shot outside in natural lighting.

 

Which Porsche 911s would you like to see in Total 911 this year? Comment below or email [email protected]

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Throwback Thursday – Porsche 911 SC 3.1: the pursuit of power

In the sports car world, it is a well-established convention that each successive model is more powerful and faster than its predecessor, and Porsche has consistently stuck to this rule – except for a brief period in the 1970s. The rise of US emission regulations caught out all the motor manufacturers, especially America’s muscle cars, which were completely hobbled.

However, thanks to its superior engineering, Porsche managed to avoid the worst of the power deficits: in 1976, the top-of-the-range Carrera 3.0 was only 13bhp down and had the same torque as the celebrated 2.7 of 1973-74. However, when the Carrera and the lower output K Series 2.7 made way in model year 1978 for the SC, there was considerable disappointment that the latest Porsche was rated at ‘only’ 180bhp.

There was also surprise that, for the first time since the launch of the 911S in 1966, there was only one atmospheric 911 model, plus, of course, the 3.3 Turbo. This simplification reflected the fact that Porsche was now also making the two transaxle models, the entry level 924 and the 928.

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The latter in particular was the creature of Dr Ernst Fuhrmann who saw it as the successor to a 911 he felt was fast becoming obsolete, especially as it was apparent that Europe would copy American restrictions on exhaust emissions and also demand better mpg. Improving the 911’s credentials here was one reason for the reduction in power, and limiting the 911 to 180bhp was also intended to differentiate its performance from the 240hp 928.

In fact, after promising beginnings, the emotional tide within Porsche had swung against the 928 when it became apparent that the new model would limit the life of the 911. Indeed, the only advocates of the futuristic 928 seemed to be Dr Fuhrmann and Design chief Tony Lapine.

This rather isolated Fuhrmann and made him increasingly defensive about ‘his’ 928. In 1978 he issued a Verbot on any further development of the 911, which included the competition programme: the privately entered Alméras 911 that gave Porsche its fourth (and last) Monte Carlo victory the same year was officially ignored by Zuffenhausen; through the back door though, customer motorsport manager, Jürgen Barth had more than a hand in the triumph, and many at Porsche would discreetly raise a glass.

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But in an atmosphere where even R&D director Helmuth Bott was threatened with consequences if he continued work on his 911 Speedster project, there was little encouragement for 911 enthusiasts who might have hoped for a 911S version.

Nevertheless, pressure built up both in and outside Porsche to offer some sort of powerkit, if only to counter offers from Reutlingen Porsche dealer, Max Moritz, and the irrepressible Alois Ruf. Both tuners had bored out the 3-litre from 95mm to 98mm, and with other modifications were getting well over 200hp. Porsche already had the advantage of a 97mm bore in house, which was used for the 3.3 Turbo, so coupling these cylinders with the stock 3-litre’s stroke of 70.4mm would result in a capacity of 3,122cc.

To read more about the rare, powerkit 911 SC 3.1, download Total 911 issue 143 to your digital device now.

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Porsche 991 Turbo S Cabriolet: Turbo on tour

Oh how we all enjoy an impressively good road trip. Just think about it; I’d wager that for most reading this fine magazine, there’s not too much in life that can usurp the idea of slinging some essential luggage into the front of your Porsche 911 and taking on a drive to unfamiliar territory, hitting up some of the most delectable roads on Earth in the process. It is what Butzi’s seminal sports car was built for, after all.

Your editorial team is no different, of course, and you’ll commonly find our excursions through the continent documented in detail among these very pages. A Total 911 road trip usually sees us head east, too, this being the direction you’ll find most of Europe from the magazine’s humble UK offices. However, for our latest venture I’m breaking with tradition and heading to the second most westerly territory in Europe: the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland’s blend of coastal and mountain roads is among the best on the continent to drive, offering plenty of technically challenging routes set among stunning natural topography. Better still, the roads on the Emerald Isle are quiet compared to the oft-driven mountain passes on Europe’s mainland.

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Previously in Total 911 we’ve championed the merits of the Wild Atlantic Way, an extraordinary trail of some 1,600 miles that closely follows the jagged extremities of Ireland’s remarkable west coast. This time though, my automotive playground is the Wicklow Mountains, an expansive national park of some 20,483 hectares situated just south-west of the capital, Dublin. The roads are great, the accompanying views beautiful, and there’s plenty of history to unearth from the area, too. Already, this is sounding like the perfect road trip.

My steer for the jaunt across the Irish Sea is a 991.2 Turbo S Cabriolet. In striking Miami blue, my mission is to find out if this all-singing, all-dancing 911 has any real substance to its drive, or if it really is the mobile poseur’s paradise it looks like from the outside. The roads I’m headed for will help settle that dispute in no time.

To read more about the Porsche 991 Turbo S Cabriolet’s road trip around Ireland, pick up Total 911 issue 145 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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