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Porsche Turbo

Drag Battle: Lamborghini Huracan Performante Vs. 991.2 Porsche Turbo S

While these two supercars don’t exactly cater to same demographics, they do possess similar straightline strengths. The soft, silent, bubble-bodied Porsche Turbo S looks almost modest when stood against the angular, wing-clad Lamborghini Huracan Performante doused in a coat of metallic lilac. More powerful and much lighter, the 640-horsepower Performante looks like the car that would leave a 911 behind without much difficulty.

However, Porsche’s 911 Turbo has always had a way of outrunning the on-paper quicker cars. That wide wave of turbocharged torque gives the 3,750-lb Turbo S the shove of a freight train, and thanks to the near-seamless shifts of the PDK transmission, that shove is never interrupted. With 553 lb-ft of torque available from 2,100 rpm, the Turbo S is frighteningly fast from just about anywhere in the rev range. In most real-world situations, that big-block-esque turning force should make the Porsche the quicker car.

Watch how both four-wheel drive vehicles leave the line at about the same rate, but how the Porsche surges ahead once they’re underway. With that mid-range shove and perhaps a mild traction advantage, the Porsche’s the faster from stoplight to stoplight. That said, the jump off the line pays dividends. 1,350 feet later, the two are separated by just a tenth of a second. At the end of the quarter mile, the Porsche pips the snarling bull by a hair’s breadth.

Dragging from a dig and from a 40-mph roll are two different tasks entirely. The Lamborghini’s weight and throttle response play a role here. At tip-in, the Porsche’s mild delay keeps it from snagging the rolling race. When time comes to stop, the award again goes to the Performante; roughly 700 pounds make a major difference in the act of deceleration. You simply cannot cheat physics when it comes to braking—but that doesn’t stop Porsche from trying.

Which one would you rather have?


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Ride Along For A Frantic Lap Around the ‘Ring in a 1976 Porsche Turbo

Though the Widowmaker strikes fear into the hearts of many, this footage suggests it’s not necessarily as fearsome as its reputation suggests. While it wouldn’t be fair to call it a pussycat, this example looks approachable by a talented shoe. Granted, the car here is heavily modified and the man in the seat is one of the best instructors at the Nurburgring, but it shows that the classic 911 Turbo can be tamed with a delicate touch.

It looks slightly pushy at turn-in, but the car is planted and settled under throttle. It even leaps out of corners with a hint of oversteer here and there (4:29). Predictable enough, but its high-speed manners are what are the most surprising. It looks friendly—almost tame, and though the steering writhes around in Andreas Gülden’s hands, it looks like the most laborious part of driving the car is rowing that shifter!

Such a confidence-inspiring car is a huge asset during the 24 Hour Classic, where serious speed differentials separate the pros in faster cars from the hordes of playful amateurs in mildly modded E30s. As a result, quick decisions must be made frequently.

Gülden’s negotiation of traffic is even more impressive than his stylish and understated driving. Huge traffic jams decorate the 16.12-mile course (7:34), and he can quickly switch his pace from banzai to drive-through lane at the drop of a hat. He can also pounce at the precise moment without compromising either’s safety (11:12). He’s the real deal alright.

He keeps his professional cool until he’s cramped by a Golf at higher speeds (9:01). His gesticulation is justified; the oblivious driver ahead needs to provide the faster cars a way through—especially in the fastest sections of the track. Like a seasoned pro, he proceeds unfazed until his podium hopes are dashed with mechanical failure of some sort (12:32). To suffer something like that to happen in one of the Nordschleife’s most intimidating corners and not panic deserves some sort of prize, though.

Not the hand gesture I would’ve picked, but it show remarkable composure in dangerous situations.


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This Is What An F1-Powered 1986 Porsche 930 Sounds Like

Understated but sporting a very special.

The elusive TAG V6-powered 930 has become stuff of legend—more myth than reality. Hearsay about a small batch of these development mules have circled around the internet, with only a few grainy photos as evidence to their existence. For fans of Porsche and F1, this wedding of greats is something truly special to finally see in action—like spotting an elusive white whale.

Fans of ’80s Formula 1 will no doubt recognize the trademark throaty burble of the TAG TT1 P01. The 80-degree, 1.5-liter V6, force-fed by two KKK turbochargers and soaring to 12,600 rpm, made as much as 1,100 horsepower in qualifying trim. While not the most powerful as the contemporary Honda, Renault, and BMW engines, the Porsche-TAG engine was one of the most successful.

In an era dogged by unreliability, this motor was one of the more robust. Rather than peak power, Porsche chased reliability and a seamless chassis-engine integration. This foresight resulted in this motor three drivers’ championships, two constructors’ championships, and an astounding 25 wins from its 68 races.

Though justifiably conservative with the 930, it’s still extremely quick down the front straight.

It was also extremely light at just 320 pounds without turbos, intercoolers, or exhaust. When thrown in the rear of the 930, it brought the total to 2,425 pounds. This car was used as a development mule to get the most out of the motor at the time, though this example was detuned slightly. Rather than running full boost and revs, they dropped both for a total of 510 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. Remember, these motors — sometimes referred to as « grenades » — were boosted at 50+ psi in race trim, so some changes were needed for reliability’s sake.

Lanzante will be building 11 of these at the price of $1.45 million a pop. Even with the restrained run and poor camera work, it still looks like it’s worth every dollar. Time to start searching through the couch for any misplaced coins.


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The Lousy Luck Of A Porsche 996 Track Day Explosion

Though Hoovie hasn’t enjoyed the best luck with his purchases, he’s a brave soul who never fails to see the potential in his Porsches. His latest acquisition, a 996 Turbo, had to see the circuit, and Hoovie took some additional precautionary measures to help avoid some of the trackday headaches he’s suffered in the last few years.

After the 3.4-liter M96 in his first Porsche 911 blew, he swapped a Chevrolet LS engine in its place to try for a unusual build that, with the American V8’s renowned reliability, promised him smoother sailing. Unfortunately, that engine promptly exploded during its first trackday.

The 996 Turbo is the first of Hoovies cars which was truly stout enough to handle trackday abuse.

Perhaps Hoovie is a glutton for punishment, perhaps he’s curious beyond reason, or maybe he’s just desperate for attention-grabbing footage of automotive explosions, but he decided to take the 996 Turbo to Heartland Motorsports Park. This time, he prepared for the event with a new set of brakes, and with the race-bred Mezger motor sitting betwixt those orange haunches, he stood a greater chance to leave another trackday with his wallet closed and his head held high.

Though the 996 Turbo is a workhorse, it has one or two flaws. One of which are the coolant lines, which have a habit of coming loose with age and hard acceleration. Those who track their cars regularly know that pinning these lines is a must lest they want to douse the surface of the circuit in sweet-smelling coolant. Unfortunately, Hoovie didn’t get the memo.

After a successful session, Hoovie’s enthusiasm was quickly deflated after he started spewing coolant all over the track. While this is a repairable fix and shouldn’t have him wringing his hands for too long, you can’t help but feel for him.

When will Hoovie find a track toy that can last more than a few sessions?


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Is Buying a 996 Turbo a Wise Decision?

The fact that Tyler Hoover picked up another 996 after a painful foray into the range speaks to the value of the car. He first grabbed a first-generation 996 with a 3.4-liter M96, which promptly grenaded. He then swapped in a Chevrolet V8—an LS2, to be specific—for $17,000. What was once the cheapest 996 with a manual transmission was turning into a costly and time-consuming project.

To make matters worse, the American motor let go shortly thereafter—at the very same track the previous engine gave up the ghost. Rather than fuss around with another swap, he decided to buy a 996 Turbo. Logical, right?

The car was mint and had only been driven 76,000 miles. Also, with Bilstein lowering springs, a GT2-style clutch, and BBS SR wheels, $36,000 was a steal—especially after considering the prices of 993 and 997 Turbos.

Of course, the Turbo’s Mezger motor is also robust, and the typical 996 IMS-related concerns don’t apply. Combine that added reliability with 4WD and 415 horsepower, and there’s plenty to like about the Turbo. What other supercars can be bought for that sort of money, and driven without fuss, unwanted attention, or kid gloves?

« It’s the best mistake I ever made, » Hoover concludes. Though the looks are divisive, there is plenty to like about the unloved 911—though going for the slightly spiffier Turbo model makes much more sense. It was a logical purchase, after all.

With 420 horsepower and 415 lb-ft, the Mezger makes Hoover grin on every onramp.


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