Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?

| 12 Jul 2018
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?

It's easily to throw superlatives at a car, but this new-old Porsche certainly makes a strong case for being the ultimate air-cooled 911. Or at least one of the two best.

Revealed today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the 'reimagined' 911 is the result of a collaboration between Californian company Singer Vehicle Design and, among others, Williams Advanced Engineering (yes, that Williams).

The 'Dynamics and Lightweighting Study' (DLS), as it is known, was devised 'in pursuit of the most advanced air-cooled Porsche 911 in the world' – quite an ambition.

Has it been a success? The results are certainly impressive, although we are sure many will say you can't improve on this much-loved classic.

Two cars, one a 1989 example and one from 1990, are at this weekend's Festival of Speed, giving ticket holders a chance to decide for themselves.

Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Bosch has calibrated ABS, traction control and electronic stability control systems for the DLS

The 1990 car pictured here is, to give it its full name, a Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer – Dynamics and Lightweighting Study, in this case finished in Parallax White with a Norfolk Yellow interior, and it's part of the Goodwood House Display this weekend. You'll find its 1989 sibling – in Heart Attack Red with a black interior – in the Michelin Supercar Paddock.

These 911s might look standard, but with full carbonfibre bodywork, every panel is unique, and the engine has been moved forward to optimise balance.

Every surface of the car has been examined to aid aerodynamic efficiency, leading to changes including a new front splitter and a redesigned front oil-cooler intake and venting.

Even that famous ducktail spoiler has been tweaked to work with the diffuser and generate rear downforce.

Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Daring to mess with the ducktail – inspired or sacrilege?

The work has taken the 964's 4-litre, dohc engine, developed by Williams and Porsche engineering legend Hans Mezger, up to 500hp, with peak power coming at 9000rpm.

This is thanks to changes including lightweight throttle bodies, F1-inspired injectors, titanium valves and the use of magnesium and other light materials.

Drive goes to the rear wheels via a bespoke, six-speed manual gearbox featuring magnesium casings with hollow shafts.

The raised gearlever has an exposed titanium and magnesium linkage, plus there are shift lights integrated into the tachometer.

Suspension-wise, unsurprisingly it's all super-light, with a multi-link, double-wishbone arrangement at the front and an aluminium, rear trailing arm with integral brake cooling, plus fancy dampers featuring remote adjustment.

Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
This is a thorough reworking with formidable partners such as Williams, Bosch, Brembo, Recaro, Hewland, Momo and others

Braking power comes courtesy of Brembo's CCM-R carbon-ceramic high performance, lightweight discs, which are suitable for use on road and track, paired with lightweight, monobloc calipers developed for the DLS.

And there's yet more specialist, just-for-this-study work in the wheels and tyres.

The 18in forged aluminium, monobloc wheels by BBS Motorsport have a high-strength aluminium and titanium centre-lock mechanism that's the work of Williams Advanced Engineering.

Meanwhile, Michelin's South Carolina team has developed bespoke-sized, asymmetric Pilot Sport Cup 2s (245/35/18 at the front, 295/30/18 out back) for these DLS 911s.

Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Classic & Sports Car – Is this the best-ever air-cooled Porsche 911?
Many delightful details including possible the most aesthetically pleasing roll cage, if you can get past the colour

Inside, the lightweight carbonfibre seats and steering wheel were designed by Recaro and Momo respectively for the DLS.

There's more weight-saving in the pedals that are drilled titanium and carbon, and even the air-con system is, apparently, lightweight.

So, what do you think of this re-engineered classic?

If your answer is along the lines of 'It's great!', you might want to check out the six other 1991 911s that have been reimagined by Singer Vehicle Design, but that reside in the UK, near the Cartier Luxury Lawn at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.


And don't miss the 964 911s on our classic cars for sale pages

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