Paul (aka ‘Q’) talks to you about the handling and performance of his Porsche
993 twin-turbo, it’s obvious this guy doesn’t pussy-foot around. Not by a long
of opposite locking intertwined with talk of driving at very high speed is the sort of stuff
you’d expect at front bar of your local pub - but when you go for a ride in Q’s
993, his words suddenly become real. In fact, they take on a whole new
takes only a brief ride in this Porsche 933 twin-turbo to rank it as one of the
best performance cars on the road. The tweaked 3.6 litre twin-turbo six delivers
explosive thrust through the mid and top-end of the rev range. One-forty clicks
arrives as fast as you can say “wait a min...” And the bottom end? Well, Q says
it quite isn’t as responsive as standard but it’s certainly not slow - just a
bit pale in comparison to the grunt available at higher revs.
there’s more to this machine that brute turbo-fed power.
993 comes fitted with a viscous coupled AWD system to help get the power down
and aid handling. In addition, Q has fitted a well-sorted suspension upgrade
together with Bridgestone S-03s measuring 225/40 18 and 285/30 18 front and rear
respectively. We can categorically state that this is one of the best handling
and grippiest cars we’ve ever driven. Blast toward a corner and the front-end
turns in nicely with only slight understeer. But squeeze the throttle near the
apex and the chassis progressively swings toward oversteer as boost pressure
builds. The net effect is a car that handles a little bit on each side of
neutral – beautifully balanced.
the brakes? Well, Porsche made sure the 993 wasn’t going to lay black lines on
the bitumen before crashing through a guard rail and plummeting over a cliff...
There has been no reason for Q to change any of the existing
this point you may be thinking to yourself “yeah, well it kinda helps when you
buy a car like this to begin with.”
you’re right - this is a factory
it or not, this is Q’s second 993 twin-turbo. His first 993 was purchased in
1997 and was kept until 2002 when it was sold with 110,000 problem-free
kilometres on the odometer. The replacement 993 was bought solely for to its
lower mileage – just 55,000km had passed beneath its low-slung bum.
I bought the second 993 it was interesting that it felt exactly the same as the
older one,” says Q.
could put me in them blindfolded and I wouldn’t be able to pick them apart.
They’re very consistent from car to car,” he says.
comparison to earlier model Porsches, the 993 feels very modern. Q tells us the
1988 Porsche Carrera 3.2 he once owned felt raw and tactile - and a bit
old-fashioned. The 993 is more muted and benefits from power steering (which
doesn’t load up during cornering like the un-assisted Carrera) and coil springs
(instead of torsion bars).
I went from the Carrera to the 993 I noticed it felt much heavier – but at the
same time it had a lot more performance,” says Q.
standard form, the 993 pumps out more than 400 horses (300kW) and is capable of
running mid 12 second quarter miles - so you’d think Q’s craving for speed would
first 993 was enhanced with a pair of custom straight-through mufflers (the
details of which can be found at Porsche Power!).
Q says the modified mufflers gave much improved throttle response and
bottom-end. Peak power was also raised from 246 to 264hp (184 to 197kW) at all
four wheels on a Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno.
993 Number 2, Q’s first modification was to the suspension. A set of PSS9
Bilstein/Eibach coil-overs give adjustable ride height together with nine adjustable damper settings. Q has the front of the car set at 3 and the rear set
at 4 (with 1 being the firmest setting). Interestingly, these settings are left
the same regardless whether he’s out for a cruise or a day at the track. Chassis rigidity is given a
boost thanks to a FVD front tower brace.
on the heels of the modified suspension came a free-flowing exhaust. For this
car, Q opted for a pair of AUD$3000 Mille Miglia mufflers - a choice driven by
their top quality construction and horny sound. No argument here! See Spin Cycle
for a comparison of the Milles against the standard mufflers and custom
air intake was also de-restricted with installation of an aftermarket pod filter
and an enlarged opening from the rear spoiler to provide a ram-air effect. Q
says the intake mod gave a noticeable improvement in response.
most factory turbo cars, the Porsche 993 is fitted with relatively small
turbochargers (KKK16s) which deliver flexibility together with modest boost
pressure. Q has since fitted a pair of high-flowed KKK24 turbochargers with
enlarged wastegates. But it turns out that these turbos don’t give a good spread
of performance without accompanying mods to the engine management system.
after better bottom-end torque and turbine response, Q’s next stop was
ChipTorque on the Gold Coast. Here, the 993 was fitted with an in-house
developed Xede interceptor and underwent 180km of chassis dyno testing. Q says
his instruction to ChipTorque was simple - improve output wherever possible (in
particular the bottom-end) but leave the top-end tune conservative. In standard
guise, the 993 apparently runs very rich top-end mixtures (around 10.5:1) to
help cool its air-cooled cylinder heads
the ChipTorque Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno, Q’s 993 (run in RWD mode) has shown a
50+kW gain over standard – power has climbed from 204 to 258kW ATW. Note that
this was achieved with a Porsche Motorsport fuel pressure regulator and a boost
pressure increase from 11 to 15.5 psi (using the Xede). Interestingly, fuel
economy has also been improved – Q has recorded 8.8 litres per 100km consumption
using the cruise control on the highway.
Porsche AWD driveline now features a 993 RS CS lightened flywheel/clutch
combination. Q says this allows the engine to build revs much quicker than
previously - so much so that a ChipTorque shift light was installed. The shift
light has been wired to trigger one of the factory in-dash bulbs. Driver feel is
improved with a RS CS short-throw gear mechanism and knob together with a
smaller diameter Porsche 996 steering wheel.
says the 993’s AWD system offers tremendous benefits but, unfortunately, it
cannot be launched hard without axle tramp. As a result, his best quarter mile
time is an 11.9 seconds at 113 mph – and that’s driving it off the line at 2000
rpm... Even with this oh-so-gentle launch, the car is approximately 0.6 seconds
faster down the quarter than a standard 993!
it’s the overall performance of this car that’s so impressive – in a
point-to-point challenge the only vehicle we’ve driven that comes close is a
targa prep’d Nissan Skyline R34 N1! Equally as important is the 993 also has the
temperament and drivability to be driven in traffic without sweat. Torque comes
on at about 3000 rpm and by 4200 rpm you’re running at full steam. Heaven then
extends to the 6500 redline.
it seems that, even when you own a vehicle of this caliber, you can’t help
the time of writing, Q had sold his beautifully tweaked 993. He acknowledges
this is a move that might later come back to haunt him but, for now, there’s
another piece of automotive exotica that receives Q’s attention.
has twelve cylinders, its red and its Italian... Stay tuned!