Porsche gets dark with special 911 Black Edition

January 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has revealed its new 911 Black Edition, ahead of its official debut in April.

Based on the standard 911 Carrera the Black Edition is available in coupe or convertible form and comes in a range of two colours – both of them black.  A plain black exterior is standard and basalt black metallic is optional. There’s also black brake calipers, and 19-inch bi-color wheels taken from the 911 Turbo.

The interior is well appointed with partial leather seats, a sport steering wheel, aluminum look trim, a painted center console, and Black Edition door entry kick plates. Other upgrades include a Bose audio system, Porsche Communication Management (with navigation), parking assistant, cruise control, automatic dimming mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers.

Power comes from Porsche’s naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter flat-six engine with 254 kW and 390 Nm of torque. The six-pot is mated to a six-speed manual transmission allowing the coupe to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds while the convertible takes 5.1 seconds. The top speed for both body styles is 289 km/h.

Production is limited to 1,911 units and Porsche says the package represents savings of thousands over equipping the standard 911 with the same extras. Continue reading “Porsche gets dark with special 911 Black Edition” »

Porsche 911 Carrera

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche: There’s the moment you know you want one

Porsche creating new 911 Carrera Supersport

July 24th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche 2-7 RS 1

Porsche is getting busy on a couple of projects at the moment but none more interesting than a possible retro-inspired 911 Carrera Supersport. According to the mill of rumors Porsche is preparing a new 911 Carrera Supersport a throwback to the 1984 911 Carrera Supersport. The original Supersport was a standard 911 with some of the 911 Turbo model’s cosmetic and performance enhancements, such as the Turbo tail, suspension, and brakes.

The one supposedly being readied for next year will take a current 2S model dressed in the 4S widebody flanks, throw in GT3-style front and rear bumpers, a double-bubble roof, and even a ducktail spoiler reminiscent of the 2.7 RS.

The engine will receive Porsche’s factory powerkit that boosts horsepower and top speed, the wheels will be modern variations on the classic Fuchs units, and the interior should be finished in brown leather. Price for the “very limited edition” model is expected to be in the neighborhood of £135K, so get saving.

Gemballa Mirage GT Carbon Edition – details released

June 4th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Gemballa Mirage GT fq

The Porsche Carrera GT has finished its production run, but that doesn’t mean German tuning house Gemballa has to stop having fun with it.

The latest Gemballa Mirage GT Carbon Edition got some attention back in February, but details and images were scarce, both have now emerged. The name gives it away and the modified Carrera GT features a lot of carbon fibre trim, but the carbon on the latest Mirage isn’t just for show: the aerodynamic changes improve the car’s performance by channeling airflow in and around the supercar to keep it breathing free and gripped to the tarmac.

Naturally, Gemballa hasn’t stopped there. The Porsche V10 powerplant has been tuned to produce 670 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the GT up to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 334 kph. There’s also an electro-hydraulic adjustable suspension to keep that carbon fibre low points clear of curbs. The package costs a ridiculous 300,000 euros, which doesn’t even include the cost of the donor car, and production will be limited to just five examples.

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (997) (2005) Review

April 12th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet 997 2005 fq

I once stuck my head out of the side of a 1929 taildragger aeroplane while flying over the Coromandel Peninsula just to see what it would have felt like for World War One fighter aces and I can confirm that there’s a speed at which the utopian ‘wind in your hair’ becomes a smidgen uncomfortable. Of course, in the War the Red Baron would have had a helmet of the finest cowhide and goggles; all I had was a pair of sunnies and a reckless curiosity.

The Red Baron would have never believed that half a decade later, in 1963, his countrymen would conceive the 911 with an engine at the wrong end. This is the drop-top iteration (with a few of the option boxes ticked). While the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet isn’t the world’s fastest convertible, it’s certainly capable of getting to a speed where you’d be worried that your little follicles would be hanging on for dear life. In fact it will top out at 285kph, a good 100kph faster than the Baron’s Fokker DR 1 triplane, but 100kph slower than the car that holds the ‘world’s fastest convertible’ mantle, the 9ff-tuned 997 Turbo Cabriolet that produces 910bhp.

But I digress: this 911 reaches 100kph in 5.2s. Fairly quick as far as most cars go, aided not only by one of the best six-speed gearboxes of any manufacturer, but enormous optional 295/35R19 tyres at the rear ably controlled by Porsche’s PSM traction control. Progress is rapid.

PSM also acts like ESP/VDC in other cars — it monitors the direction, speed, yaw velocity and lateral acceleration, detecting if the car is getting out of shape. If so, it will intervene, selectively braking individual wheels to bring the car back into line. The PSM does its best to cope with the inherent power understeer that many Porsches suffer from due to a light front end. And this lack of weight at the sharp end (unless you’re loaded with luggage) also causes the ABS on the front wheels to lock prematurely under heavy braking. That’s about all I can find wrong with this Porsche, so on with the adulation.

When you are putting two hundred grand plus on a car the details must be superb. In this case the Porsche is finished in Basalt Black Metallic — a beautifully deep and sparkly black; the interior features stitched leather on the dashboard, steering wheel and doors; the hood folds away neatly, silently and perfectly in 20 seconds; the leather-clad bucket seats are infinitely electrically adjustable; and I could go on.

But the best part is the noise made under hard acceleration from the 3.6-litre flat-six engine. Drop into the driver’s seat and suddenly you are immersed in the car as if in a cockpit. It fires up with a bark. Snick it into first and bring up the weighty clutch while applying some right-foot weight to the throttle.

Like a squadron of Fokkers ready to defend against the Allies, the Porsche gathers speed with an angry roar, pausing briefly as the pilot gathers up another cog. When it comes to shaving off the speed, large cross-drilled rotors clamped by four-pot callipers act like an arrestor hook on an aircraft carrier.

Dominating the instrumentation is the centrally positioned rev counter. A digital display within the counter shows trip computer and radio information, as well as the accurate speed in kph, which is fortunate because the speedometer to the left is too small to accurately tell the speed — it goes up to 330kph.

Fitting enough airbags in a convertible means having a thorax airbag in each seat. a head airbag in each door, and the driver and passenger front airbags.

Technically a four-seater, in reality it’s a two seater with a useful extra luggage area. The rear seats fold down to form a flat tray, and a cavity underneath where items can be stored out of view. This is handy because interior storage (like most convertibles of any brand) is on the light side.

Functions for the radio and car setup are managed via the Porsche Communication Management console in the centre of the dashboard. The large screen is surrounded by buttons and a data entry wheel, some of which can be duplicated on the steering wheel to the user’s requirements. There are optional navigation and telephone modules, and a 10-disc CD changer can be installed in the front luggage compartment. Nine speakers fill the cabin with a punchy sound and have no problem rising above the increased noise when the hood is down.

After over forty years of development, you’d expect the 911 to be great, and it is. I would personally lay down another five thousand and get the higher-powered hard top Carrera S over the Carrera Cabriolet, though. But that is personal opinion (in part driven by my propensity to sunburn and my dislike of the ‘wind in the hair’ experience). In the end, you are driving an icon, and however you like your roof the Porsche 911 can do the job.

Thanks to Continental Cars in Newmarket for the loan of the Porsche

Price: from $220,000

What we like

  • Everything except:

What we don’t like

  • Care required as not to induce power understeer from low speeds
  • Fronts lock easily under heavy braking
  • Cup holders are useless

Words Darren Cottingham, photos Quinn Hamill