Litchfield Porsche 911

Top tuner tweaks an icon

Autocar - - THIS WEEK -

Faster, sharper and more ex­cit­ing than the base-model Porsche Car­rera it is de­rived from, the 911 Car­rera T is an ex­cep­tional sports car. But like most cars, it has been engi­neered to slot into the mid­dle of a model hi­er­ar­chy, which means there’s un­tapped po­ten­tial within it. At least, that’s the way Iain Litchfield, founder of per­for­mance car tun­ing spe­cial­ist Litchfield Mo­tors, views it.

His up­grades for the Car­rera T in­clude slightly stiffer KW springs, re­vised ge­om­e­try for the front axle and sub­tle wheel spac­ers all round. The en­gine up­grades aren’t quite so sub­tle. Ac­tu­ally, the up­grades amount only to new en­gine man­age­ment soft­ware and a much freer-flow­ing ex­haust sys­tem, but the re­sults are em­phatic: power is up from 365bhp to 480bhp, while torque climbs from 332lb ft to 450lb ft.

Although the KW springs are stiffer than Porsche’s stan­dard items by about 20% at the front and 10% at the rear, the car’s ride qual­ity is hardly af­fected, and the bril­liantly judged damp­ing that makes the stan­dard Car­rera T work well on bumpy roads is car­ried over in­tact.

The steer­ing is more im­pres­sive still. It is so pure, crisp and re­spon­sive, and the wheel fid­gets so sub­tly but tellingly in your fin­ger­tips, that it feels as though the car’s elec­tri­cally as­sisted steer­ing rack has been swapped out for a hy­draulic one. For now, elec­tric steer­ing gets no bet­ter than this.

With 115bhp more than the stan­dard Car­rera T, Litchfield’s car is as­ton­ish­ingly quick in a straight line. It pulls with a real mus­cu­lar­ity from a lit­tle un­der 2000rpm and builds to an un­re­lent­ing sling­shot to­wards the hori­zon over the fi­nal 3000rpm. Throt­tle re­sponse through­out the rev range is sim­ply su­perb.

On top of the Car­rera T’s £85,556 list price, the Litchfield up­grade pack­age costs £10,339 (in­clud­ing fit­ting but not VAT). Spec­i­fy­ing a Re­mus rear si­lencer rather than the Akrapovic item brings that down to £7832. Alone, the chas­sis up­grades cost £1703, while the pow­er­train up­grades cost £5604 with the Re­mus ex­haust and £8111 with the Akrapovic.

This is as good a pack­age of up­grades as you’ll find for any car, any­where.

Test car had carbonfibre sports seats and an Al­can­tara-trimmed steer­ing wheel

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