Espo Porsche: Showing Why Air Cooled 911s Are So Great

AC 1
Photo Credit: @espo.porsche

This week, we had the honor of visiting a Porsche enthusiast’s dream: Espo Porsche. Espo Porsche is basically your one stop shop for Porsches, they will literally work on anything from a 356 to a Cayenne. The shop was started by John Esposito in 2010, with the aim of combining proper craftsmanship with Porsche’s loyal fanbase.
John is a true artist, when it comes to cars. Since junior high, John had taken his schools’ autoshop classes, developing his hands on skills along with his passion for cars. It’s no surprise that right after high school, he went to work at a body shop. It was these body shops that inspired John’s love for Porsches, he was always surrounded by them. Although HE loved the cars, it didn’t seem that the places he worked for shared his passion and attention to detail. “They hacked the Porsches there, hacked them terribly. Uneven panel gaps all around,” he said. It was this poor quality work that motivated him to open up his own shop, to do things the right way. John ended up building is his first 911 in 2014 (a 911SCRS recreation) and opened Espo Porsche‘s current shop in 2010. He has been working on Porsches for over 47 years.

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Photo Credit: @espo.porsche

If there was one thing we took away from our interview, it was that there’s nothing like an old 911, nothing at all. He went on and on about how new Porsches are too “sterile” (aka luxurious) and not focused solely on driving pleasure. I could imagine the scene right then and there. Imagine carving up the canyons in a 1973 (he said 1969-1973 911s are the best) 911S. You didn’t have many features, but you also didn’t have any distractions. Just you and the open road with nothing but time, this was what we as the car community had been looking for with modern cars. I realized that with all this technology, cars aren’t as fun to drive anymore. We don’t hear the true engine, rather an exhaust muffled by turbos. We don’t feel the roads with the steering, we can’t even shift our own gears for God’s sake. I now understood why air cooled Porsches have shot up so high in value, people miss this feeling.

This was emphasized even more when we were shown how easy it was to work on these old cars. With 4 bolts, you could drop the engine and fix whatever you wanted, the steel chassis were easy to reinforce and repair if needed be. Porsche knew people would be driving their 911s, and they built them like so. The engines were made of steel rather than plastic, there were no complicated electronics that would break. Everything was mechanical, everything was simpler. Today’s aluminum 911 bodies are lighter, that’s a fact, but they’re not as easy to repair, the same goes for the plastic engine components.

AC 3
Photo Credit: HERE

Today’s cars are truly excellent, and mind mindbogglingly fast, but they’re missing something, something that the charts can say. They’re missing that special aura about them, “No one’s gonna restore a 996.” Thanks to Espo Porsche, I learned that in order to save the sports car, we need not to look towards the future (electric motors and more tech) but to the past; that’s when sports cars were truly about the art of driving.

Before I end this article, I would like to thank everyone at Espo Porsche for inviting us over and truly reviving our passion for air cooled 911s. A special thanks to John for the interview and to @womeninporsche for giving us a tour of the amazing facility!

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

The Final Countdown for the 992 Turbo Begins

992 Turbo 1
Photo Credit: HERE

As is the way with 911 unveilings, we are first introduced to the base Carrera models-i.e the 911 Carrera, 911 Carrera S, and their all wheel drive counterparts. Porsche lets the hype build for these models for about a year and then proceeds to unveil higher end models like the 911 Turbo and the 911 GT3. Later comes the more hardcore 911 GT3RS and then the 911 GT2/RS model. This is how it’s been for quite some time now and if there’s one thing Porsche doesn’t do well with, it’s change, so I figure that they’ll follow suit with the 992 generation as well.

Well, it’s almost been a year since the 992 Carrera models were revealed, meaning the mighty 911 Turbo is on the horizon. A few months ago, a leaked image of the new 992 Turbo surfaced on the internet giving us a mere glimpse of Porsche’s new supercar. More recently, a shockingly accurate rendering surfaced as well confirming everything we believed about the new Turbo. As with it’s predecessors, the 992 Turbo sports a familiar widebody shape, fixed rear wing, massive side intakes, and all those little cosmetic tweaks you see with the 911 Turbo. It’s looking to be a very beautiful car.

992 Turbo 2
Photo Credit: HERE

Past features like rear wheel steering will continue with this new generation along with updated suspension tuning, and a brand new, faster shifting 8 speed PDK gearbox. And just to put it out there, Porsche’s new 8 speed PDK does have a hole for an electric motor so maybe the new 911 Turbo range will have a hybrid range flagship like the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. Unfortunately, a manual will likely not be offered but one can dream.

Although no official details have been revealed about the new engine, we can expect a familiar twin turbo flat 6, with a displacement of 3.8 liters powering all 4 wheels. As for how much power this new engine will make, your guess is as good as mine. Usually, Porsche only ups power by about 20 hp compared to the outgoing models. If this is true, that would send the new 992 Turbo S into the 600 hp club, but if you ask me, this isn’t what’s going to happen…let me explain.

992 Turbo 4
Photo Credit: HERE

Back in 2004, the 996 Porsche 911 Turbo produced an astonishing 450 hp with the X50 package, placing it on par with other supercars like the Ferrari 360 (400 hp) and the Lamborghini Gallardo (500 hp). In 2007, the 480 hp 997.1 911 Turbo was still able to compete with its mid engined rivals, the Ferrari F430 (490 hp) and the Lamborghini Gallardo (520 hp), but it was starting to lose the edge that it had back with the 996 generation. In 2012, this was more noticeable with the new 530 hp 911 Turbo S since its rivals now made 570 hp (Ferrari 458) and 560 hp (Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4); the mighty Turbo was starting to fall behind the pack. Fast forward to today and the range topping 580 hp 911 Turbo S is 30 hp short of the Lamborghini Huracan, 80 hp short of the Ferrari 488, and 130 hp short of the McLaren 720S!

The 911 Turbo has become a clumsy GT car rather than a daily drivable supercar killer. So unless Porsche wants the 911 Turbo to take on this role as a comfy GT, Porsche needs to step up their power outputs because the new Ferrari F8 Tributo now makes 710 hp like the McLaren 720S. But then again, there is the possibility, and I hope this is the case, that Porsche is tuning down the 911 Turbo to make room for a new supercar fighter sporting a 911 GT2 badge.

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@rsreportblog

Despite me being a little harsh on the 911 Turbo, it’s still a fantastic car to drive and has more power than you’d ever need. Whatever happens with the new 992, I’m sure it will be the same but will it be able to keep up with the next generation of supercars? Only time will tell for Porsche’s signature flagship.

 

Purists Rejoice! The Naturally Aspirated 911 Is Here to Stay

992 GT3 Cover
Photo Credit: HERE

It wasn’t that long ago when the only turbocharged Porsches were the designated “Turbo” models. Oh how the times have changed. Now nearly every Porsche-from the Boxster to the Panamera and even the 911- is turbocharged. As of this article, there are only 3 Porsche models still offered with a naturally aspirated engine: the 911 GT3, 911 GT3RS, and now the new 911 Speedster. The new 718 GT4 and Boxster Spyder are also rumored to have naturally aspirated engines but that’s it, 3 cars and 2 potential cars.

Objectively, this new turbocharged lineup is not a bad thing at all. The new engines are lighter, more powerful, and produce more torque than ever before. They also emit less C02 than their naturally aspirated predecessors meaning the EPA is happy. These engines also seem to drive just as well-if not better than their predecessors-according to automotive journalists.And hats off to Porsche for making such engaging and responsive turbocharged engines, they REALLY could have messed this up yet they didn’t. But at the end of the day, the saying still holds, “There’s no substitute for [naturally aspirated engines].”

991.2 GT3 992

Despite all of Porsche’s efforts to do otherwise, turbo lag, as little as it is, still exists and no exhaust system can undo the damage to an engine’s note caused by turbos. The new turbo engines seem to have lost their signature howls, their voices have been muffled. Rather than an angry flat 6, we now hear whistling turbos and the raw, untamed note inside the cabin, has been replaced by a fainter, more artificial sound.

991.2 S
Photo Credit: HERE

Most people thought-myself included- that this current generation of 911 GT3, GT3RS, and Speedster was it. I thought that these 3 cars were Porsche’s last hurrah for natural aspiration, the end of an era; thank God we were all wrong.

It turns out that the heavily revised 4.0 liter flat 6 in the new 911 Speedster will carry over to future Porsche GT cars; natural aspiration is here to stay. “We’ve invested in the future with this engine. I can’t comment on future projects but we would be stupid not to re-use this engine somewhere…Our philosophy in GT cars is to stay naturally aspirated. We want to keep that engine for the future and that’s why we’ve made such a tremendous effort to get the engine right without taking emotion and performance away.” Clearly, Porsche’s GT Boss, Andreas Preuninger is on board with natural aspiration but one question remains, what will Porsche do about power?

The good thing about turbocharged engines is that power is available everywhere. A 30hp, 40hp, or even 70hp increase is just an ECU tune away, a friend of mine managed to get 80hp more out of his standard 991.2 Carrera with a simple tune. Naturally aspirated engines don’t have this luxury. The heavily reworked 4.0 liter flat 6 in the speedster only makes 10 hp more than its predecessor. So what will Porsche do to keep up with the competition? I think that this power constraint will force Porsche to build lighter weight cars with even better handling. A low curb weight and sharp handling are what make cars fun to drive.

991.2 GT3RS Together

Based on how well Porsche handled their new turbocharged engines, there’s no doubt in my mind that the next generation of GT cars will be out of this world, they will truly be proper, lightweight Porsches. What more could you ask for?

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

Passing the Torch: The New 992 Porsche 911 Targa

992 Targa Cover
Photo Credit: HERE

With the future models of 992 coming at us from every direction, the new Targa has been the only one viewed with no camouflage, indicating that it will likely be the next 992 to be officially revealed. The incoming GT3 and Turbo have both been out and about but the Targa has been running round the Nurburgring in a bright red color grabbing the attention of photographers camped out at the ‘ring.

Old Targa Back
Photo Credit: HERE

The only reason there even is a new Targa is because of its rich history. In 1973, Porsche was looking for ways to produce a convertible car that had structural rigidity in order to comply with the fickle American regulations for selling a convertible car on American soil. Porsche eagerly jumped to find a conclusion since the American market for convertibles was so massive. Eventually, the solution to their problem came to them in the form of the famous silver roll bar seen on early targa models. Zuffenhausen’s engineers learned that putting this roll bar in place of the B pillar would provide the required amount of rigidity while still being able to remove a section of the roof-the car was still a convertible. Porsche named this special 911 the “Targa” to celebrate their success in the Targa Florio race where driver Gijs van Lennep won the race in his Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. Yet another Porsche named after racing.

993 Targa Back
Photo Credit: HERE

However, Targas didn’t always have the roll bar we see today. The 993 and 996 generations had a Panoramic roof that stretched from the windshield all the way to the trunk. The 997 generation also had the panoramic roof but it was only available in the 4 and 4S trim levels.

997 Targa Top
Photo Credit: HERE

For the 991 generation, Porsche only offered the Targa on AWD trim models yet again but they also took the Targa back to its roots by bringing back the classic brushed aluminum roll bar and 3 gills. To cope with the times this new Targa had an automatic folding roof, with the rear glass window moving all the way up allowing the cloth to automatically fold behind the seats.

991 Targa Side
Photo Credit: HERE

That brings us back to the 992 Targa. Recently spotted at the Nurburgring, it is seen sporting the same brushed aluminum roll bar and gills as the 991 and is keeping the Targa tradition alive. However, one question remains. The Targa has always been heavier than the cabriolet, so will Porsche bring back the RWD Targa to save weight for the 992 generation? Only time will tell… Tell us what you think in the comments!

992 Targa Side
Photo Credit: HERE

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

Why Everyone Loved the Porsche 993

993 GT2 RS Report Cover.jpg
Photo Credit: HERE

Everyone’s a critic. We all have our likes and dislikes. Some of us like red, some blue, and some purple. One of us hates pasta while someone else can’t get enough. This is especially true about cars. We have Ferrari fans, Lamborghini fans, BMW fans, even Reliant Robin fans as Jeremy Clarkson found out. Most if not all of us here, are Porsche fans but even so, we still have our preferences. For example, I’m in love with the 997.2 911’s design while my dad despises it. I love the sound and passion of a GT3 while all my friend cares about is 0-60 (0-100 kph) times, he prefers the 911 Turbo. But as Porsche fans, I think we can all agree on 2 things: our love for the brand, and our love for the 993 911 because who doesn’t love the 993?

Produced from 1995-1998, the 993 911 was the last of the air cooled 911s meaning that in the eyes of the purists, it was the pinnacle of the 911. The market seems to agree as well; 993 prices are skyrocketing. The cheapest 993 I could find on Autotrader was $31,000, and this car had over 90,000 miles and a clunky tiptronic transmission. I couldn’t find a manual 993 under $50,000. I find this funny for half the price of that tiptronic 993, one could buy a manual 996, which is objectively better in every way, except it isn’t. Performance wise, the 996-and any succeeding generation for that matter-is superior to the 993. It has more power, better suspension, better handling, faster acceleration, the whole 9 yards. So what made the 993 so special, double the price for a slower car special? Driving feel, that’s all there is to it.

993 and 996
Photo Credit: HERE

 

There’s a reason air cooled 911s were so special. The sounds they made, the way they steered, the way they felt to thrash around a corner was something truly special; something that was clearly lost after it. The air cooled engine combined with a manual gearbox gave you a sense of emotion that just isn’t there anymore. With the 993, no corners were cut, everything was precision crafted, no detail was left behind. This precision was felt everywhere, from the way the 993 cornered, to the famous “clunk” it made when you closed the door.

The 993 was a driver’s car. Back then, there was no need for “back to basics” models like the GT3 Touring or the Carrera T, ALL the 911s were like that to begin with. For better or worse, Porsche is not what it used to be. Porsche was all about the experience, about the driver, about the car, the sports car. People loved their cars so much, that Porsche had to evolve into a business. Their cars are faster, louder, and better looking than ever but like the 996, they’re lacking something. They’re just not the same. After the 993 came the Boxster and then the Cayenne, Porsche essentially “grew up” after the 993.

993 Back
Photo Credit: HERE

The 993 was the end of an era, the end of an iconic chapter in the story of Porsche. And it had its flaws, yet it was so perfect. Driving a 993 today is like reliving your favorite childhood memories. How could you NOT love the 993?

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

Why was the Porsche 911 Designed with a Rear Engine, Rear Wheel Drive Layout?

Old and New 911
Photo Credit: HERE

Have you ever heard of a sports car with an engine behind the rear axle? Immediately, the Porsche 911 comes to mind. I can’t think of another sports car with this layout off the top of my head. This iconic design has been a staple of the 911, since 1963. But what was the reason for this design?

Old and New 911 Side
Photo Credit: HERE

The reasoning was simple, Porsche believed it was the most practical way to build a sports car since a mid engined layout wasn’t suitable for having rear passengers or effective noise cancellation in the cabin. Vibrations from the engine would have been easily felt by all unfortunate enough to be inside the car.

Old and New 911 Diagonal
Photo Credit: HERE

By placing the Flat 6 behind the rear axles, there would be space for 2 small* rear passengers and luggage could fit in the large front trunk. Noise isolation and vibrations were easier to control by having the engine placed farther away from the cabin. Most importantly, traction was proven to be better than any other layout, because the weight of the engine on the rear axles helped the wheels keep steady contact with the road, hence why 911s are so quick off the line.

996 and 993
Photo Credit: HERE

However, 911 enthusiasts are very strict with what defines a “pure” 911. For example, when Porsche made the 996 water cooled unlike all previous air cooled 911s, people considered it to be the death of the 911 and don’t get me started on those fried egg headlights. Pricing of the 993 is continuing to skyrocket while the 996 might as well be the cheapest 911 money can buy, which is likely why the rear engine will stay with the 911 for the rest of its life.

991 GT2RS RS Report
Owner: @gt2urbo 

This seemingly unbalanced rear engine design has also been proven performance-wise with cars like the new 911 GT2RS setting lap records left and right; Porsche has shown that this odd layout can definitely compete with mid engined supercars. After 56 years of constant tweaking and evolution, Porsche has clearly perfected its signature rear engine, rear wheel drive design.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

 

The Legend of the Porsche Speedster Continues

 

Speedster 6
Photo Credit HERE

The production ready Porsche 911 Speedster is finally here! If you haven’t already, check out our article on the Porsche 911 Speedster Concept! It will help compare the differences between the production ready car versus what Porsche really wanted the Speedster to be. The production ready Speedster was finally revealed this week at the New York Auto Show.

Speedster 2
Photo Credit HERE

Unlike the 997 Speedster that was limited to 356 units to commemorate the first Speedster, the 356 Speedster, the 991.2 Speedster is limited to 1,948 units to commemorate the year the 356 Speedster was made, 1948. The new Speedster has the same engine as the beautifully sounding GT3 and GT3RS, a naturally aspirated 4.0 liter Flat 6 making 502 horsepower and 346 lb/ft of torque. Each cylinder has its own individual throttle bodies to improve throttle response (was it really that bad before?). Power is higher on this car to make up for the convertible to keep performance level with the GT3/RS.

Speedster 3
Photo Credit HERE

Paired to that amazing engine, is a 6 speed manual gearbox. No PDK option here everybody… rejoice! Air conditioning is not available as standard but can be added as an option, but who cares about that? Also, ceramic brakes come standard thank God. Did you want an automatic folding top? The Speedster sticks to its roots, with a manually operated top.

Speedster 4
Photo Credit HERE

The Talbot-shaped door mirrors we saw on the concept are not on the Speedster, probably because of some bogus pedestrian safety regulation. The same plain old 911 mirrors are fitted to this extremely special 911. Also, the center gas cap on the hood has been replaced with a regular gas cap on the fender. I believe that was because of practicality reasons; I wouldn’t want to scratch my paint at the gas station because the pump was touching my fender and hood.

Speedster Cover
Photo Credit HERE

Essentially, the concept was almost exactly the same as the production version, with only minimal changes to the car. This car is the perfect homage of the Speedster, back to basics with a 6 speed manual. If I had to own any 911, it would definitely be this one.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!