First Look

A automotive constructed not for lap occasions however for ‘sheer driving pleasure’… with a 4.0-litre that revs like a sports activities bike

When Andreas Preuninger – the boss of Porsche’s GT Line vehicles – will get this enthusiastic, he’s fairly laborious to disregard. Not that you just’d ever wish to.

“Actually, I can’t wait so that you can drive it. I do know we’re not alleged to, however simply swap it on for a second and rev it. Now really feel the gearshift. Good, eh?”

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We’re not supposed to change the automotive on as a result of we’re in a studio, however even static, ‘good’ is doing loads of heavy lifting. As a result of the handbook gearshift is barely about two inches lengthy, and the engine revs like a sports activities bike. The urge to only cost the factor by way of the doorways and out onto the street is … robust. The ergonomics are good, and though the usual seats are uncompromising-looking carbon buckets (Sports activities Seats are a no-cost possibility), it feels and sounds vaguely and weirdly like a Carrera GT. However that is ‘simply’ a 911. Thoughts you, it would simply be the most effective one but. Welcome to the Porsche 911 S/T.

Okay, so there are various particular version 911s presently gambolling round on the earth, from Dakar to Sport Traditional, however the S/T might be one thing of a primary amongst equals. Designed by Porsche as a gift to itself on the sixtieth anniversary of the 911 (there’s 1,963 deliberate in honour of the beginning yr), the S/T revives a grand previous title from 1969 when a 911 S was sprinkled with a contact of motorsport fairy mud to change into the S/T – a fearsome competitors automotive that did with out assistance from massive wings and hefty aero. A form of stunning Frankenstein’s monster, the S/T was a contest automotive, however not prolific. You’ll be able to establish them through a little bit provider quirk; they tended to have Minilite rear wheels as a result of Fuchs didn’t make a rim broad sufficient to fulfill the engineer’s selection of tyre.

Nonetheless, the fashionable S/T follows the identical path, although with way more trendy vim. Mounted within the again is the naturally-aspirated, 521bhp 4.0-litre boxer from the GT3 RS coupled to that short-ratio handbook (with shorter cogs than a GT3). There aren’t any massive wings bar a brief Gurney flap on the electrical rear spoiler, which itself doesn’t increase fairly as excessive as different 911s.

The rear-wheel steer system is ditched to save lots of weight and complexity, and the bonnet, entrance wings, ‘cage, rear anti-roll bars and shear panel beneath are all carbonfibre. The wheels are centrelock and magnesium, the glass thinned to shave valuable kilos. Even the battery has been on a weight loss program, and now consists of a light-weight race-style lithium-ion unit. Cobble all this along with the slim carbon bucket seats together with weight financial savings from the powertrain and clutch, and the S/T turns into the lightest manufacturing 911. With a kerbweight of 1,380kg, it’s 40kg lighter than a handbook GT3 Touring.

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However a light-weight clutch and single-mass flywheel (they save practically 11kg on their very own) apparently make the S/T a little bit extra tough to drive than a regular 911. And it is then you definitely begin to realise that this isn’t a automotive for lap occasions, however as Porsche places it ‘a extremely puristic sports activities automotive devoted to sheer driving pleasure… on winding nation roads’. So a B-road blaster reasonably than a observe refugee, designed for delicacy and suggestions reasonably than pure numbers.

Though, saying that, it’s not gradual – 0-62 in 3.7 and 186mph prime finish is sufficient. Sound acquainted? One of many biggest recent-years 911s must be the proto-iconic 911 R from 2016, and though Preuninger is eager to level out that the S/T isn’t a follow-up or son-of, there are particular familial resemblances. And that was one hell of a automotive.

So what we’ve got right here is Porsche providing up an antidote to the anaesthetic of the pure velocity you get from one thing like an electrical Taycan Turbo S with a automotive that doesn’t attempt to compete on the numbers and seduces with experiences. It sounds very very similar to this is perhaps the most effective trendy Porsche 911 for drivers.

And when requested whether or not he thinks the S/T is perhaps the last word trendy Porsche 911, Preuninger’s reply is fairly definitive. “I don’t assume it’s… I know it’s…” And that’s sufficient for us.

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