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April 2012 www.911porscheworld.com

911 EVOLUTION THIS IS THE MODERN WORLD: 996, 997 AND NEW 991 GO HEAD-TO-HEAD

991 UK DRIVE LIKE A 911 BUT NOT A 911

914 GOES V8 PURISTS LOOK AWAY NOW!

’74 CARRERA 2.7 EMERGING FROM THE RS SHADOWS

TARGABUYERS’GUIDE Why the 3.2 Targa makes for a versatile roof off classic

JZM PORSCHE CUTTING EDGE SERVICE

996 ENGINE BUILD PROJECT ENGINE BACK TOGETHER

964/993 DIZZY BELT FIX FIX YOUR TWIN DISTRIBUTOR DRIVE No.217 www.911porscheworld.com

£4.50 US$9.99 CANADA $12.95


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Words: Adam Towler Photography: Antony Fraser

911 Evolution The 911’s modern era started with the water-cooled 996 Carrera in 1997. We trace the 15 year evolution through 997 to the new 991. It’s come a long way

It seems logical to “ gather some water-cooled ancestors together to see how far Porsche has moved the 911 in 15 years

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911 GROUP TEST: THE MODERN ERA

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reception party is required for the new 911, something to put it into context; something to help us judge just what kind of 911 this new car really is. Following our first drive of the 991 in America towards the end of last year, all of us on the magazine have been champing at the bit to drive the car on roads we know well, desperate to see if that brilliance is transferable to the UK. And so it seems logical to gather some water-cooled ancestors together to see how far Porsche has moved the 911 proposition on in the last 15 years. What exact models we should gather together has been made easier by our choice of 991: this is also our first chance to drive the new, super-efficient, ‘downsized’ 911 Carrera with its 3.4-litre engine. On that basis the choice of the original, 3.4-litre 996 Carrera seemed all the more relevant, and that also means we’ve gone for the ‘junior’ 997 Carrera with its 3.6-litre flat six. It’s a Gen1 model, as after all, the Gen2 997 effectively shares its engine with the new 991. This way we get some good clear air between each of our three choices. There’s no point going over yet again the technical side of the 991, but some figures on the new Carrera do make interesting reading in comparison to the other cars here. Let’s consider their respective power outputs, a nice variation band of 50hp across equal increments (how very Porsche…). So we have the original 996 with its impressive sounding (for the time) 300hp; the Gen1 997 Carrera with 321hp and the new 991 Carrera with 350hp. You’d expect a power progression given the years that separate the cars, so no surprise there. Look a bit closer though and it’s interesting to note where the peak power sits: an identical 6,800rpm for the older cars, but much, much higher in the 991 at 7,400rpm. That might tell us a lot later on. Then there’s the torque – a pretty even progression once again with 258lb ft for the 996, 273lb ft for the 997 and 287lb ft for the 991. The peak of the curve is interesting though, with 4,600rpm for the 996 but only 4,250rpm for the 997. The 991 is much higher again, at 5,600rpm. Obviously, if we had access to the power and torque graphs that would tell us a lot more, but even so, given the info

above, if you feed those numbers into your head and try and picture the sort of characters these engines might have, I would suggest that the obvious conclusion you’re going to draw is about right. The 996 is Mr Smooth, well rounded, a nice guy: revvy but not too racy. The 997 is Mr Flexible, unstressed and a bit mellow while still producing the power, while the 991 – well, the 991 is Mr Angry. And then some… Their top speeds are so close together as to be academic. The 996 tops out at 174mph according to Porsche, while the 997 will strain on for another 3mph to 177mph; the 991 will do just 1mph more with the PDK gearbox fitted – as this particular car has – although a manual will just breach the 180mph mark. Their 0-62mph times would have a delicious symmetry to them as well, if it wasn’t for that PDK gearbox again: 5.1sec for the 996, five dead for the 997 and 4.8 for the newcomer – that is unless it has PDK (4.6sec) or as here, PDK with Sport Chrono, in which case it gets down to a fairly scintillating 4.4 seconds. Weight-wise, it’s the 996 that remains the flyweight contender here, the official figures suggesting that it weighs ‘just’ 1,320kg DIN. By comparison, the 997 tops the scales at 1,395kg to the same standard, but it’s a measure of the advanced technology that has gone into the 991 that despite being larger in certain directions, with a much more luxurious cabin and a stiff, safer ‘shell, that a manual 991 weighs less than the 997 at 1,380kg. Adding PDK brings with it a 20kg penalty (less than in the 997 era) so this actual 991 is probably the heaviest car here (hard to say for certain given the optional extras added to each car) at 1,400kg DIN. Finally for the number crunching it’s the eco stuff. There are no C02 figures for the 996 but I doubt the Green Party will be using them as campaign transport. The 997 Carrera emits a fairly unremarkable 277g/km, which wasn’t a lot for a car like this until manufacturers started to drastically reduce their emissions (and better understand how to ace the tests, one might say). The 991 is down at just 212g/km, or a slightly surreal 194g/km if fitted with PDK. Just pause to consider that for a moment if you will – it’s comparable

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Sounds of the ’70s The 911 Carrera 2.7 has for too long been in the shadow of the ’73 RS, but its time is now as RSs rise ever higher in value. It’s no pale substitute either as we discover with this subtley modded version Words: Adam Towler Photography: Max Earey

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2.7 CARRERA DRIVE

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asp. Crack. Gurgle. Next gear, and again: rasp, crack, and gurgle. Accelerating hard out of a tight, second gear corner and up through the gears to fourth, the 2.7 Carrera is emitting the only noise it knows how to through the twin, slim exhaust pipes that protrude horizontally from the centre of the car. If you really know your 911s you’d probably be able to tell, blindfolded, that this was a 911/83 engine, exhaling out of the ‘naughty’ pipes rather than the saner, quieter, single side job. You’d think much the same from behind the ‘wheel too – it could only be an early 911 of the angry variety: the sensitive controls, the gearbox that demands an expert hand, the sounds, the smells. As you ripped the blindfold off you’d smile and say: “it’s a 2.7 Carrera RS, right?” And you’d be wrong. You have to know your 911s to understand the significance of this car. For years the 2.7 Carrera has lived in the shadow of its competition-focused forebear, but the cars are very similar under the skin. In effect, this is a G-series version of the RS from the previous season, and although a different car to a fully-

fledged RS Lightweight, at only around 25-50kg heavier than an RS Touring, the differences in performance are always going to be slight. Indulge in too many pies, or pig out over Christmas and you’ve gone some way to blurring the difference anyway... The period 1973-1974 was a pivotal moment in time for Porsche. The family had withdrawn from the day-today running of the firm, Piech had left, the 911 needed updating, the fuel crisis appeared and vehicle safety was a hot topic. The glorious years of racing domination from 1969-1973 were at a close, and despite the tremendous successes the company’s accounts reflected the enormous financial burden of such cutting edge racing activity. Porsche wasn’t going to walk away from racing, but the rally program was shelved, and all further motorsport activity was centred around the 911 – specifically, the development of turbocharged technology. In time, that would take Porsche to the very top again, but for now it meant running in the shadow of the outright prototype sportscars with the 2.1-litre Turbo Carrera RSR. Into these changing times arrived the G-series 911,

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Words: Nigel Grimshaw Photography: Matt Howell

EIGHTINTO FOURWILLGO

Purists hate it while petrolheads adore it. Bob Stephenson’s V8 914 combines the weird and the wonderful in a package that has fun written all over it 60

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914 V8 IN LA

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ou instinctively know when something familiar is somehow different. It’s a sense, a vibe, a feeling inside. You still sit 914 low, legs stretched out ahead of you. Out in the Los Angeles traffic Godzilla-like SUVs lumber past, hubs lethally level with your forehead. No change there. At the lights an 18-wheel Kenworth slips alongside like some crazy ocean liner; mortality is not a word I care to dwell on but it seems appropriate in this company. Bob Stephenson’s 914 shimmies as it waits for the lights to flick from red to green, rocking gently on its rubber as an unfamiliar rumble seeps from behind my head. The last time I shimmied and rumbled like this was back in the early ’90s. I was sat in a 911 Covin kit car with a front-mounted Chevrolet 350ci V8 motor running a

very potent set of Brodix aluminium cylinder heads and any number of other expensive, and equally capable, tuning goodies. The sense of déjà vu is alarming. But that was then and this is Los Angeles 2011. The lights change and Bob hustles away from our front row, pole position. There is torque in every gear and at what seems like any revs – huge, ocean liner size torque. Over my shoulder the engine belts out an unfamiliar, for a 914, all-consuming boom. It’s bigger, heavier and scarier than the usual tune. More Motorhead than Stuttgart Symphony. ‘I’ve had this car for six years,’ says Bob as we head down the Ortega Highway, one of California’s most beautiful and fun to drive routes. ‘I’d been looking for a 914 V8 for about two or three years but couldn’t find a car that had been done how I wanted it to be done. A car

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Words: Steve Bennett Photography: Antony Fraser

theREALthing? Forget the international launch and a snatched drive here and there - what really counts is what the new 991 model 911 is like on real world UK roads. Time to find out

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NEW 911 UK FIRST DRIVE

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ime to welcome the new Porsche 911 to the real world. The international launch is long gone and with it the words and first impressions of wafting this 991 model 911 along the Pacific Coast Highway in the California sunshine. Sure we learnt some stuff, but just about everyone came back from the experience with more questions than answers. One thing that was abundantly clear, however, was this: New 911 does not drive or feel like the 911 that we know and love. Bad thing or a good thing? That’s what we really need to get to the bottom of and it’s going to require some serious miles and some proper, nasty UK roads, the sort that German chassis engineers loathe. So this is the main course and now that we’ve started the dining/food analogy California was, of course, the starter. But actually to confuse things Porsche has laid on something of a tasting menu because in between we’ve also briefly driven the 911 C2 S at Silverstone on road and track, And the new 911 Cabrio in Gran Canaria (full drive next month). And still we’ve only scratched the

surface. Why? Well Silverstone was a washout both on track and on the road. Torrential conditions revealed impressive grip, stability and ability to carry massive speed despite roads that had become aquatic, but there was a reluctance to really push it. Meanwhile complications in the schedule, narrow roads taken over by training cycling teams, and just a lack of driving time, ensured that Cabriolet experience was more wind in the hair than a further opportunity to engage with the new car’s seemingly secretive dynamic abilities. Which brings us back to the real world again. And just to make it even more real world it’s mid Feb and bang in the middle of that cold snap that saw snow and temperatures plummet across the country. The UK is not a kind environment to any machine, but that said anything that excels on our unique mix and mish mash of roads and dubious surfaces is generally a pretty exceptional car. And of course the 911 is a pretty exceptional car for these very reasons. It has always felt like it belongs here, which is why it’s always been the dominant sports car force.

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BUYERS’ GUIDE

LET THERE BE LIGHT The Targa has been the butt of too many jokes for too long – it’s time this practical all-rounder was given the respect it deserves! And with values holding firm, now’s the time to buy a Carrera 3.2 Words: Keith Seume Photography: Michael Ward

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3.2 TARGA BUYERS’ GUIDE STYLING AND BODYWORK Look, let’s get one thing straight: you can’t keep comparing the styling of a Targa with that of a coupé. They are two totally different cars, aimed at different markets, OK? The side profile is, admittedly, less harmonious than that of a coupé (look, we just said no making comparisons!) but somehow it works with the more chunky styling of the post-’73 impactbumper 911s. It’s all very 1980s, with optional add-ons here and there in the form of front lip spoiler, rubber-edged rear whale-tail and big ‘flag’ mirrors. These features are, of course, emphasised on a car in Grand Pix White, like ‘ours’, but choose a darker colour and they blend into the background. You won’t find a spot of chrome on the Carrera 3.2, either Targa or coupé – it’s all very stealth-like, you know… The bodywork was fully galvanised and, from 1986 onwards, Porsche even offered a 10-year anti-corrosion warranty on the Carrera 3.2.

PRODUCTION AND MODELS CARRERA 3.2 – THE PERFECT PORSCHE? The subject of which is the best Porsche for a first-time buyer is one that frequently turns up in our mail bag (OK, e-mails). For a long time the answer was simple: the 911SC. Today, though, the obvious choice is the later Carrera 3.2. Launched in 1984, the 3.2 was the first Porsche to carry the ‘Carrera’ name since the demise of the Carrera 3.0 in 1978. The use of the moniker upset some as it had always been reserved for limited-run high-performance models – now it was being applied to the mainstream 911. But, while the Carrera 3.2 may

have been the backbone of the Porsche range, it was far from a run of the mill car. It was, as many owners will atest, a brilliant allrounder – a car without vices, reliable and well built. The Carrera 3.2 looked little different to its predecessor, the SC, but under the skin there were several significant changes, all of them for the better. The engine was, to all intents and purposes, a normally-aspirated version of the 930-series Turbo, featuring the same 95mm Nikasil cylinders as the outgoing SC, but the 74.4mm crank of the Turbo, to give a displacement of 3164cc.

The Carrera was available as a coupé, cabriolet or a Targa, as shown here. Our studio model is a super-low mileage example that was on offer at Paragon in Sussex. The Porsche 911 Targa is a model which tends to divide opinion yet, viewed in its own right, it’s a great car in every respect. It’s more convenient than a full cabriolet, yet more fun on a hot summer’s day than a coupé. Combine these benefits with the bulletproof nature of the Carrera 3.2 and you have the perfect all-rounder. And, of course, you’ll generally pay less for a Targa than a coupé…

There was a total of 76,473 Carrera 3.2s built between 1984 and 1989, of which 35,670 were coupés, 19,987 were cabriolets and 18,468 Targas. So there ought to be plenty to choose from, then. There were several different models available, starting with the Sport (or ‘SE’ as it was known from 1987), which came with uprated suspension, 16-inch Fuchs wheels, a large rear wing and front spoiler as standard. Then there was the ‘Turbo-Look’ or ‘Super Sport’, which was a Carrera 3.2 with the styling of the Turbo – it was equipped with the Turbo’s brakes, stiffer suspension and 7J- and 9Jx15 Fuchs wheels. You could also by a Club Sport version of the coupé: it’s a lightweight, no frills model with beefed up suspension and a mildly-tuned engine. Only 340 were built between 1987 and ’89, of which just 53 were right-hand drive. But sadly there were no CS Targas… If it’s rarity you’re after, 300 ‘Anniversary’ models were built to celebrate the 250,000th 911, all finished in Marine Blue Metallic. Most were coupés, but we are led to believe there were a few Targas, too.

Stop trying to compare the Targa with a 911 coupé and look at it as a model in its own right. More practical than a convertible, a Targa makes the perfect all-rounder

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911 & Porsche World issue 217  

Full of your favourite Porsches

911 & Porsche World issue 217  

Full of your favourite Porsches

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