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Porsche 991.1 v 991.2 Carrera: a worthy successor?

Let’s face it: the 911 Carrera has never been far away from a controversy or two. Right from launch as a non-Rennsport model in 1974, the Carrera headlined a sizeable shake-up for Porsche’s darling 911.

The adoption of impact bumpers changed the car’s silhouette for the first time after more than a decade of design perpetuance. It was an episode that would go on to become something of a trend for the model.

Fifteen years later, it was the Carrera that introduced all-wheel drive to the 911 legend, a full year before Porsche’s traditional sports car setup was then revealed in 964 C2 form.

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Then, just before the turn of the century, the 996 Carrera heralded a change from air-cooled to water-cooled flat six engines in the biggest and most disputed change to the 911’s DNA ever seen before. That is, until now.

This is because the Carrera has once again significantly moved the goalposts, scrapping the naturally aspirated flat six engine that the 911 has been known for since its very beginning. In its place is a flat six now boosted, quite literally, by two turbochargers, one for each cylinder bank.

Thanks to this new Carrera, the 911 experience has changed forever – but to its credit, the new 991.2 has by and large found favour with critics, as exemplified by the sentiments of our own road tester, Kyle Fortune.

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At the world launch of the 991.2 Carrera in issue 134, Kyle was relieved to find elements of that traditional 911 heritage still apparent with the new engine, borne out of evolutionary necessity, adding: “transformational as it is, there’s huge appeal to the differences it brings, yet joy too in the similarities it retains.”

So, the new, turbocharged Carrera has found favour with journalists and sections of the public in isolation, but how does it compare in a test against the first generation 991, the last such bastion of the quintessential, naturally aspirated entry-level 911 as we know it?

It is in searching for the answer to this question that around 6,000 miles north of Kyalami Race Circuit, South Africa, where Kyle Fortune is putting both the 991.2 Turbo and C4S through their paces for the first time, I find myself standing in the middle of the bucolic Yorkshire Dales.

To read the rest of Lee’s Porsche 991.1 v 991.2 Carrera head-to-head, pick up Total 911 issue 137 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it to your digital device now.

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EXCLUSIVE: New Porsche 991 GT2 RS test mule spied

We’ve got a confession to make. We first received some of these photos two weeks ago. However, at first we just believed it to be another Porsche 991 Turbo test mule testing out some new under-the-skin wizardry.

However, our spies in Sweden have now confirmed that this isn’t just any 911 Turbo. This is actually an early prototype for the new Porsche 991 GT2 RS. Yes, the on-again, off-again Widowmaker saga is very much back on the burner.

At the 911 R’s Geneva launch, Andreas Preuninger confirmed that his GT department in Weissach still had a few more cars to develop before the 991 platform was grandfathered and didn’t deny that a new GT2 RS was one such car.

Porsche 991 GT2 mule 6

Photo by CarPix AB

There’s not much given away visually by this test mule. The black bonnet could be Porsche’s wry sense of humour showing through; the 997 GT2 RS came with an unpainted carbon fibre bonnet after all.

It’s at the rear where the biggest indicator that this isn’t just a Turbo can be found. This test mule is running a unique quad exhaust setup with some unusual, perforated exhaust tips.

The system no doubt helps the heavily boosted GT2 engine to breath better (although the cold Swedish air probably helped matters too as the test mule underwent some winter hacking).

Porsche 991 GT2 mule 3

Photo by CarPix AB

You can see that the exhaust system is actually so big that Porsche has had to cut away the bottom of the rear bumper just to make it fit. Hopefully this means that, when it is released (likely to be in late 2017), the 991 GT2 RS is more tuneful than the current crop of 911 Turbos.

Rumours have it that the next widowmaker will comfortably outdo its 997 ancestor in the power stakes; the word on the street is that the 991 GT2 RS will have 700hp fed exclusively through the rear wheels.

What’s more, we’d be surprised if Porsche didn’t call the new six-speed gearbox (developed for the 991 R) into action again on the next GT2 RS, possibly alongside a PDK option.

For all the latest Porsche 911 developments and spy shots, make sure you bookmark Total911.com today.

Porsche 991 GT2 mule 2

Photo by CarPix AB

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Video: The new Porsche 911 R is the 991 you’ve always wanted

Upon its release at Geneva in 2013, the Porsche 991 GT3 copped a lot of flak for its mandatory PDK gearbox. However, exactly three years later, Porsche has righted this perceived wrong by launching the awesome new 911 R.

An homage to the lightweight Porsche 911R racer released in 1967, the Porsche 991 R features a six-speed manual gearbox mated to the current GT3 RS’s 4.0-litre, 500hp flat six and comes with minimal aerodynamic aids.

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It’s a Porsche 911 built for enjoying out on the open road rather than extracting the ultimate performance from around a track, with the suspension and electronics tuned specifically for the delight of driving purists.

If the details alone weren’t enough to convince us, this official press video from Porsche really gets our pulses racing. Normally these short films are filled with soulless music and voiceovers however, this is probably Zuffenhausen’s best launch film yet, focussing purely on the car, the road and the sound.

To read all about the new Porsche 911 R, check out our extensive launch day profile of the latest lightweight neunelfer now.

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OFFICIAL: 2016 Porsche 991 R unveiled ahead of Geneva

Driving enthusiasts rejoice! The manual performance Porsche 911 lives on and it’s officially here in time for the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in the shape of the much-anticipated Porsche 991 R, a lightweight homage to its famous Sixties namesake.

Yes, you read that right. The new 2016 Porsche 911 R features a clutch and manual gearbox with six (rather than the 991 generation’s standard seven) forward ratios.

With Porsche keen to stress the new transmission’s “short gearshift travel” and a host of other attributes, the ‘R’ is sure to provide the most analogue driving experience since the demise of manual, Mezger-engined 997 GT3s.

911 R Light (18) copy

Contrary to the initial rumours, the manual gearbox in the Porsche 991 R is not mated to the current GT3’s high-revving, 3.8-litre flat six. However, before you shed a tear, worry not for, instead, the 911 R is bestowed with the full-fat 4.0-litre engine from the 991 GT3 RS, complete with 500hp and 8,800rpm redline.

This brings it inline with the original 911R, which was the most powerful Porsche 911 ever built upon its release in 1967. The new neunelfer’s synergy with its leichtbau ancestor also sees a continuation of the lightweight philosophy that defined the early car.

Although based inside the wider, first generation 991 GT3 bodyshell, the 2016 Porsche 911 R is the lightest 991 ever built, hitting the scales at 1,370kg, 10kg lighter than a standard 991.1 Carrera and a full 50kg less than the latest Rennsport.

911 R Light (8)

This allows the Porsche 991 R to sprint from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 3.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than the 997 GT3 RS 4.0. However, the revived ‘R’ is not about its pure performance figures.

Instead, as all the rumours suggested, the 2016 911 R is tuned to thrill out on the open road rather than extract the maximum lap time out on the track. To that end, Porsche has broken with tradition an not provided a Nürburgring Nordschleife time (though we’re sure the first owners will rectify that).

Porsche has given the rear-wheel drive neunelfer a mechanical limited-slip differential, combined with Porsche Torque Vectoring, to ensure excellent traction through the 305-section rear tyres (the fronts measure up at 245, both on 20-inch diameter centre-lock wheels).

911 R Light (4)

Interestingly though, contrary to it’s lightweight mantra, the 991 R retains the rear-wheel steering system seen on the 991.1 GT3 and GT3 RS. Porsche claims this is to provide the idiosyncratic blend of agility and stability that the electro-mechanical system has become known for.

Unlike previous cars from Porsche’s motorsport department, the 991 R does away with any fixed rear-end aerodynamics, shunning a rear wing in favour for a Carrera-style moveable decklid, the grill of which uses a mesh covering, evoking the iconic R-badged original.

The front and rear ends are almost directly carried over from the Porsche 991.1 GT3 (albeit with a revised lip spoiler at the front) while the R gets a bespoke set of striped decals – available in either red or green – designed to mimic the 24-hour world record-breaking 911Rs used in 1967.

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Inside, on top of the carbon-clad gear lever and clutch pedal, the highlights are the 918-style carbon bucket seats. In a further nod to the short-wheelbase neunelfer upon which the 991 R takes its inspiration, the seats are finished in brown leather with ‘Pepita’ houndstooth fabric centres.

The Porsche 991 R also gets it’s own 360mm version of the Sport GT steering wheel, complete with black rather than silver trim pieces, while the rear seats have been deleted (as can the PCM and air conditioning units).

Only 991 examples of the 2016 Porsche 911 R will be built with word on the grapevine suggesting that all of them are already sold out (many to 918 Spyder owners). However, should you be lucky enough to source one through your local OPC, the UK list price is £136,901.

911 R Light (7)

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Porsche 964 Carrera 2 ultimate buyer’s guide

The Porsche 964 last graced our Ultimate Guide pages in Issue 130 when we got beneath the skin of the awesome 3.6 Turbo. This time it’s the naturally aspirated Carrera 2 that’s the focus of our attentions.

Rather more accessible than the blown car, prices are nonetheless rising as buyers come to appreciate its abilities, but is care needed when buying one? Let’s find out.

On the outside, the bodywork needs the same careful scrutiny you’d afford any 911. The occasional track day and making full use of the performance on the road can result in accident damage, so examine the alignment of the panels, especially around the doors and rear quarter panels.

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Examine the inside of the front luggage compartment for ripples in the floor or inner wings too. The original finish wasn’t that good, so particularly tidy seams could indicate previous repairs.

Stone chipping around the nose isn’t uncommon and look for cracks in the polyurethane bumpers and front lights, but if the paintwork is scruffy what else has been neglected?

The good news is that the shell was fully galvanised, which limits the advance of tin-worm, but it’s worth checking beneath the screen rubbers and around the scuttle for tell-tale bubbling where the wipers are fitted.

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Blocked sunroof drain holes can cause problems too, so look for any corrosion around the opening or evidence that water has entered the cabin. This was the first 911 to get plastic wheel-arch liners, which afford extra protection, although an accumulation of road muck can rot the bumper mounts.

Rust around the inner rear wing and above the light units could be a result of poor accident repairs, and replacing cracked light units is around £800 a pair.

Another first was the electric rear spoiler, which rose at 50mph and disappeared again at 6mph and could be manually operated via a cabin switch. This switch can stick, so look for correct deployment as a sticking switch can result in engine overheating.

To read our full Porsche 964 Carrera buyer’s guide, pick up Total 911 issue 136 in store today. Alternatively, download it straight to your digital device now.

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