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New “900 Series” Porsche Television Show Coming To Velocity

Tony Mazzagatti and Ramon Montez are instrumental pieces of the Las Vegas-based Porsche restoration shop called « Carl’s Place ». In recent weeks it has come out that Tony and Ramon will be starring in a television series called The 900 Series on Velocity. While there is no further information on when the series will premier, or what exactly the show will be about, it’s fair to reason that there will be plenty of Porsche content, and that’s always a good thing. We want to see more Porsches on TV, and surely you do as well. Thus far, we have not been able to find an official statement by Velocity regarding The 900 Series, but the show’s twitter bio says « The Velocity Channel introduces The 900 Series…a new TV series all about and only about Porsches. Watch us restore, design, repair and introduce the vehicle.« 

While the shop drama TV shows have been all the rage for channels like History and Velocity for the last decade or so, we hope that The 900 Series follows a more appropriate formula for the Porsche fan. That manufactured and falsified drama won’t pass muster with the more discerning Porsche owner. We’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and check out the first few episodes before passing a judgement. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Mazzagatti and Montez can produce a show that we love.

To give the show a little more credibility with Porsche fans, they’ve announced a partnership with Pelican Parts, including a sweepstakes in which you can win a trip to Las Vegas and a walk-on role in the television series. Check out the Pelican Parts website for more information.

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter to see if you can figure out when the series will actually debut.

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Porsche Index: 997 Carrera GTS

Porsche is hardly shy when it comes to celebrating the 911, and it certainly knows how to tempt buyers with something extra special, but how to celebrate the demise of one of the most respected generations of all? The answer was the GTS, and even the quickest perusal of the spec sheet reveals an enticing confection.

Tempting enough, in fact, for a manual Coupe with low mileage to set you back in the region of £70,000 today according to Greig Daly from RPM Technik and RSJ’s Darren Street. To put that in perspective the Coupe cost £77,000 at its 2010 launch and, really, prices only ever dipped as low as £50,000 back in 2013.

Based on the wider-hipped shell of the Carrera 4S, Porsche added a Sport Design front apron with a black-painted lower edge that extended to the sills and rear bumper. 19-inch RS Spyder centre-lock wheels were standard, while low-key GTS logos completed a look that was both subtle and effective. The same could be said of the cabin, the ambience managing to be both tasteful and clearly a notch up on the standard Carrera – an effect that was entirely fitting for a special 997. Black instrument faces and stainless-steel sill trims looked terrific, the rear seats had gone, saving 5kg, and just about every surface had seen the liberal application of Alcantara.

There was plenty of standard equipment, too, including climate control, Sound Package Plus and the PCM system, although naturally there was scope to enrich this further if your pockets were deep enough. It looked and felt superb, but what of the mechanical specification? Well, it was suitably impressive, thanks to the adoption of the Powerkit that boosted the output of the 3.8-litre flat six to 408hp. That arrived at a deeply sonorous 7,300rpm and was backed by 420Nm of torque, the same as the Carrera S but spread across a wider rev range.

Transmission options were the familiar six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK (an extra £2,500), the latter gaining a launch-control function if Sport Chrono Package Plus had been specified. A manual Coupe despatched the 0-60mph sprint in 4.6 seconds – it was swifter still with PDK – and the electronics called time at 190mph. Porsche didn’t stop there, specifying the GTS with Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), with a firmer, lower, limited-slip differential-equipped PASM Sports set-up optional. Beefier brakes featured larger, thicker discs, while anyone planning track use could delve deeper into the options list and their bank account for (largely unnecessary) PCCB carbon ceramic items. Oh yes, and you could have all of the above as a Cabriolet if you preferred.

The only major change arrived in July 2011 when the four-wheel drive C4 version was added to the mix, the electronically controlled system featuring Porsche Traction Management that apportioned torque via a multi-plate clutch, and included a limited-slip differential at the rear. Aside from an additional 60kg and a red reflector between the rear lights that told onlookers you’d chosen your GTS with all-weather abilities it was the same as the C2, just a little pricier, with Coupe and Cabriolet costing £83,145 and £90,024 respectively.

For our comprehensive buyer’s guide on the 997 Carrera GTS, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 164 available here. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the world’s only magazine dedicated to the Porsche 911, with every issue delivered direct to your door.

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993 Targa: air apparent?

The sky is the colour of slate, the temperature scarcely into single figures and there’s a fine drizzle hanging in the air. This isn’t a
Targa sort of day. 
Photographer Dan and I are killing time in the Paul Stephens showroom, ogling Porsches and contemplating a third mug of tea. Dan wants the rain to stop before he can start snapping, but there’s a fully-fuelled 993 Targa outside and I’m itching to get behind the wheel. Eventually, Dan relents. “We’ll just have to work around it,” he shrugs as we climb aboard, raindrops now drumming steadily on the glass roof.

The Targa itself started life as a work-around. Porsche feared the US would outlaw full convertibles on safety grounds, so the halfway-house Targa – with its fixed roll-hoop and removable metal roof – was a means to sidestep legislation back in the 1960s. The drop-top ban never materialised, but Porsche’s Targa proved a sales success and soon became a fixture of the 911 range. It evolved gradually for almost three decades until a radical reinvention in 1996. The 993 Targa had arrived.

Nobody could accuse the 993 of being a work-around. This thoroughly modern Targa boasted a panoramic glass roof that retracted electrically behind the rear window. No longer did the driver have to remove a heavy, cumbersome Targa top and find somewhere to stow it; the 993 morphed from coupe to near-cabriolet in around 10 seconds, and at the touch of a button. The engineering was complex, but the execution brilliantly simple.

The styling, too, was a study in subtle elegance. Interestingly, the 993 Cabriolet, upon which the Targa is based, had been designed to more closely resemble the Coupe. Stylist Tony Hatter said: “I never liked the look of the early Cabriolets. The classical 911 shape is the Coupe. With the 993, we tried to get some of that form into the roof.”

This thinking also permeates the Targa; to the untrained eye, it’s almost indistinguishable from its Coupe cousin. Drag coefficient, too, is an identical 0.33. Unless you happen to be looking from above, the rear side windows – which taper to a sharp point instead of a smooth curve – are the obvious giveaway. Note also the pop-up wind deflector aft of the front screen, two-piece alloys with five concave spokes, absence of rain gutters on the roof and ‘Targa’ script on the engine lid.

‘Our’ Arena red Targa is for sale for £52,995 at the time of writing. At some point during the past two decades, its factory split-rims have been swapped for the more familiar Cup alloys and the rear badge has gone missing but, aftermarket radio aside, the car is otherwise standard. “We rarely see modified 993s,” explains Tom Wood, sales executive at Paul Stephens. “Owners tend to keep them original and simply enjoy driving them.”

The roof remains closed, but I’m already enjoying this one. The expanse of thermally insulated, UV-resistant glass overhead feels like an aircraft-style canopy. It floods the cabin with light, an effect exacerbated by the Classic grey carpets and trim (most owners opted for Midnight blue or black). In contrast to the claustrophobic 993 Cabriolet, with its huge three-quarter blind spots and plastic rear window, the Targa feels airy and accommodating. It looks better than the Cab when ‘open’, too.

For the full road test article on the Porsche 993 Targa, order your copy of Total 911 issue 163 here or download to your Apple or Android digital device. 

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Gunther Werks 400R driven: best ever 993?

“I said they were out of their minds. Bespoke bodywork, running gear and everything else that goes along with building a custom car in that short a time. ‘We’re not a TV show, we’ll not do it in a week’”. That was owner of Rothsport Racing, Jeff Gamroth’s response when the call came from Peter Nam at Gunther Werks. They didn’t do it in a week, as Gamroth said, this was not a TV show, but the sheer persistence of Peter Nam and his team saw the 400R to go from concept to the car I’m sitting in today in just six months.

I stumbled across the project mid-summer, Gunther Werks drip-feeding a Facebook group some details of what would become the 400R. If you’ve never heard of the firm before that’s no surprise – I hadn’t. Gunther Werks is a new company, but it’s not come from nowhere. Nam owns Vorsteiner, which specialises in aftermarket wheels and carbon fibre styling for premium manufacturers, Gunther Werks is a natural progression of that. With it Nam has been extremely clever, assembling a team of highly respected names in the air-cooled Porsche community to create the 400R. The a-list roster includes Jeff from Rothsport Racing, Joey Seely from E-Motion Engineering and Carey Eisenloher.

The idea itself, is a simple one. Take a 993 and develop it as if Porsche hadn’t replaced the 993 with the 996 twenty years ago. Not as a mere Carrera though, but as a GT3. Different to the usual backdates, then, this is more of a continuation, bringing the car forward rather than modernising mechanically with a reverential stylistic nod backwards. The 400R is a 993 for today, the past blast forwarded into the present, using modern technology to enhance and improve, all without denying it of its original appeal and driver appeal. Building on it. That was a key goal, Nam determined to create the very best 993 as it could be now, focussed on driving, Gunther Werks demanding that its customers don’t buy it as a trinket, but as a car to be used. And used as intended – hard.

If the concept sounds easy the execution is anything but. It is genuinely difficult to comprehend that the 400R was a standard, pre-Varioram Carrera 2 back in May 2017. To create it Gunther Werks tasked its team…

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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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