New Porsche 911 Black Edition

Porsche releases a very stylish special edition of its standard 3.6-litre 911 Carrera

By Henry Catchpole 25th January 2011

Any colour as long as it’s… This latest special edition 911 is based on the standard 341bhp, 3.6-litre Carrera Coupe or Cabriolet. It is painted in plain black as standard or Basalt Black metallic as an option. The wheels are 19-inch Turbo II items, also painted in glossy black. On the stainless steel door sills are the words ‘Black Edition’, while inside, the interior is bright green. Only kidding. As well as black leather owners get a SportDesign steering wheel and a badge on the glove box reminding them that it is one of a limited production run of just 1911. A BOSE Surround-Sound system is also fitted as standard.

The Black Edition costs £67,270 for the coupe and £74,958 for the cabriolet. While it looks very nice, we can’t help but feel it’s little more than a run-out model to boost sales before the next generation 911 is unveiled later this year.

Porsche 911 Turbo S review

Ultimate Turbo gets an extra 30bhp and a host of performance-enhancing kit. The result? McClaren F1-matching pace

Porsche could never be accused of not giving its customers what they want. The 911 is a case in point. The march of modernity should have steamrollered the fundamentally compromised old-timer decades ago, but Porsche’s loyal clientele had other ideas. And so the rear-engined icon lives on (and on), a testament to the power of evolution and the enduring spur of an audience hungry for more.

Well, ravenous actually. How else do you explain the new 911 Turbo S? The company line is that it’s merely responding to demand for a faster version of what already ranks as the fastest and most accelerative car in its current range, while at the same time, if not quite pulling the carpet from under the feet of the numerous tuning outfits who’d do it for them, giving it a big old tug.

Not that we’re complaining. In essence, the ‘S’ suffix, which Porsche has used twice before on previous-generation 911 Turbos in the latter part of their lifecycles, denotes a power and torque hike and a bundling of the performance-orientated options you’d have to pay more for on the regular 911 Turbo coupe and cabrio. Some rationalisation, too. No manual this time. This being the ultimate 997.2 version of the Turbo, it boasts the best possible figures, which means a PDK double-clutch seven-speed transmission with launch control and proper steering-wheel paddles.

It’s worth mentioning the headline stats now because, although only incrementally better than those of the already almost ridiculously rapid regular Turbo, they represent something of a landmark. Porsche claims a 0-62mph time of 3.3sec (or 3.1sec to 60). That’s as quick as a McLaren F1. It gets to 100mph in 7.1sec, barely half a second down on the Macca. All right, after that it steadily falls back, eventually topping out at 196mph. But in all real-world situations it delivers the same level of straight-line performance, which, when you think about it, is nuts. The McLaren MP4-12C will have its work cut out to do any better.

Power from the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat-six is up from 493 to 523bhp supported by an extra 37lb ft of torque (permanently this time, not on overboost), taking the peak to 516lb ft. This has been achieved by increasing the boost pressure from 0.8 to 1.0bar and lightly reworking the vanes of the variable geometry turbos. There’s also a carbonfibre air intake manifold. Remarkably, though, fuel economy stays the same at 24.8mpg for the combined cycle. The four-wheel-drive hardware and Porsche Traction Management system, which incorporates a mechanical limited-slip differential, are unchanged.

An option on the regular Turbo but standard on the S is PTV, or Porsche Torque Vectoring, which manipulates the rear brakes to vary the drive to each wheel to achieve a more neutral cornering balance and enhance traction when pressing on. The S gets the Sport Chrono pack as standard, too, which includes launch control and gives keener throttle, damper and stability control settings at the touch of a button. Other permanent fixtures from the regular Turbo’s option list are the dynamic engine mounts for improved rigidity and transitional handling characteristics, ceramic composite brakes, dynamic cornering headlights, two-tone leather carbon-shelled sports seats and 19-inch RS Spyder design alloy wheels.

Having driven the 911 GT3 RS barely two weeks before stepping into the Turbo S, residual impressions of that car’s sublime responsiveness, precision and agility initially shone a rather negative light on the Turbo’s way of doing things, which, for the first few miles, seemed a little heavy-handed, aloof and inert. But it takes only a short straight for respect to fill much of the vacuum left by the absence of the RS’s intimacy and tactility. The thing is just monstrously fast. Bury the throttle and the immediate convergence of torque, bellowing exhaust blare and seamless PDK shifts hurls you down the road with such sustained violence its effect is palpably narcotic. You feel your body tense, you grip the wheel a little harder and you go for it, the massive lunges of acceleration punctuated by ever-later braking points as the truly colossal stopping power of the carbon ceramics hits home.

The Turbo S doesn’t understeer much, either, and it isn’t long before the cornering speeds seem as faintly ludicrous as the acceleration and braking – all the more so on roads left greasy by a procession of rain showers. Trail-brake and jump on the throttle early and you can really feel PTV doing its stuff. 911 Turbos have always been good at exit speeds but, in this one, the pace you can carry into a bend – and preserve – is almost comical.

No, it doesn’t have anything like the finesse of a GT3, but it does have the all-purpose, all-weather firepower to destroy any road you want to point it at. Guess that’s what the customers wanted, and, for a premium of £17,336 over the regular Turbo, that’s what they’ve got.

Singer Porsche 911 2011

The Singer 911 is one company’s vision of the ultimate air-cooled Porsche 911 – or at least a technical starting point, ready to be personalised by the individual customer.

Each car is built up from a fully road-legal, pre-1994 Porsche 911 and, says Singer Vehicle Design, can be ‘sportingly focused, luxurious, flamboyant, or as understated as desired’. We first wrote about the Singer Porsche 911 back in October 2009 but, since then, Singer has announced updates to the technical specifications and pricing for 2011.

While it’s impossible to give prices for the cars when such a huge variety of options is available, the starting point is to choose from three levels of engine capacity, character and power (300HP, 380HP and 425HP). From that, your bespoke specification grows, with a tantalising selection of transmissions, exhausts, suspension, brakes and so on.

Porsche 918 RSR Concept

In its second showing of its hybrid-powered supercar, the 918 Spyder, Porsche has gone from the street directly to the track. Instead of showing the rumored road-going coupe version of this high-end two seater, Porsche has infused this mid-engine V-8 hybrid exotic with a racing pedigree by transplanting the flywheel energy storage system from the 911 GT3 Hybrid racer to supplant the open car’s lithium ion battery pack, taking performance to even higher levels.
The Spyder concept translates well into a coupe—the car’s flowing lines are enhanced by the squat greenhouse that houses butterfly-opening doors. The doors themselves have huge roof cutouts similar to the Ford GT to ease ingress/egress. A large rear wing and the paint scheme are part of the race-ready appearance suggested by the RSR designation. The car, which features carbon fiber monocoque construction, is painted liquid metal chrome blue offset by orange brake calipers and striping similar to the Porsche 911 GT3 Hybrid racer.

At the heart of this concept is a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 developed for the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 racer, which is tuned to produced 563 b hp at 10,300 rpm. Two 75 kW electric motors, each powering one of the front wheels, boosts peak power of the package to 767 bhp.
Flywheel hybrid power offers greater performance
These auxiliary electric motors are driven by power generated in a 36,000 rpm flywheel assembly from the GT3 Hybrid, which is mounted in place of a passenger seat. It provides a maximum boost of power for eight seconds when fully charged and is designed to help the car get off a corner quicker thanks to the extra front wheel torque, which can be vectored from side-to-side, increasing agility and steering response. Also, the added power reduces overall fuel consumption extending the car’s range between pit stops.
The driver summons the extra power from the flywheel system by actuating a steering-wheel mounted button, either for overtaking maneuvers, acceleration from the pits or as a boost in getting off a corner quickly.

Unlike the more luxurious 918 Spyder, the RSR has a simple, performance-oriented interior clad in brown leather. The center console uses toggle switches instead of a touch screen and the steering wheel is equipped with sequential engine speed lights to signal gear changes. Also mounted on the steering wheel is a display that measures the amount of energy recouped through regenerative vehicle forces, letting the driver know when the flywheel system is at full charge.
The car’s number 22, pays homage to Porsche’s first overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971. The winning car, also numbered 22, was a 917 driven by Dr. Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep. The distance and speed (3,315.2 miles and 138.1 mph) record stood for 39 years and was only surpassed last year.
Porsche indicates the RSR is a only concept at this point, but its clear that racing figures prominently in the future of this supercar.

Porsche 918 Coupe in Detroit

The ultimate Porsche is almost here! Speculation has been rife ever since the German firm let slip that it would be unveiling something ‘spectacular’ at the Detroit Motor Show next week – but only now has information began to trickle about what the newcomer will be.

According to our German sister magazine AutoBild, the Detroit surprise will be the second instalment in the 918 series, more specifically acoupeversion of the hybrid918 Spyder hypercarshown in Geneva last year. And our rendering gives an indication of how the show-stopping new model will shape up.

One thing’s for sure, with a low and wide stance, stubby nose section and muscular haunches the 918 coupe will look every inch the flagship for Porsche’s range. But if our sources are to be believed, this is a story with a twist in its tail.

Rather than simply showing a road-going 918 Coupe, it’s a race-ready 918 that will grace the Detroit stand. Building race-specific models for privateer racing teams, such as the 911 GT3 RSR, is a hugely profitable enterprise for Porsche, so this theory would seem to add-up.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen race-ready versions of high-performance road cars recently, either. McLaren has relesed an official sketch of itsMP4-12C GT3 car, whileFerrari’s 458 Italia Challengehas also broken cover.

There’s no word on how the power will be provided just yet, but expect a similar hybrid set up to the918 Spyder, which combined a 493bhp 3.4-litre unit from the companies existing Spyder race car with three electric motors for a total of 718bhp.

If the coupe version does appear in racing trim, expect it to weigh even less than the 918 Spyder’s 1,490kg kerbweight too – suggesting a 0-62mph sprint in around three seconds and a 200mph top speed.