Californian Porsche restorer Singer Vehicle Design last year teamed up with Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology offshoot of the Williams Formula 1 team, to use the latest engineering knowledge, including some F1 techniques, to transform an original air-cooled Porsche 911 into the ultimate driver's car.
The result was the Type 964 Porsche 911 you see here. It was shown for the first time Thursday at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom, where Singer and Williams also presented a green 964 911 that's undergone similar transformation.
The modifications are the result of Singer and Williams' Dynamics and Lightweighting Study (DLS). It all started when Porsche enthusiast Scott Blattner asked Singer to enhance the performance of his 964 911 through lightweighting.
Singer didn't cut corners. Together with Williams, it brought a handful of Porsche 911s to pick out particular driving characteristics that made each model unique and exquisite. Eventually, the teams would work to mold each piece of character into the DLS program.
For the dynamics component, a beefed-up engine was required: a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-6 producing 500 horsepower and a redline of 9,000 rpm. Singer and Williams were meticulous in the engineering and even called in famous Porsche powertrain engineer Hans Mezger, the man responsible for Porsche's first flat-6 and many of its racing powertrains, to ensure it retained the classic four-valve-per-cylinder head design. Also key is the engine's lightweight throttle bodies with F1-inspired upper and lower injectors to enhance performance and driveability.
Paired to the engine is a Hewland six-speed manual transmission using magnesium casings with hollow shafts for maximum reduction of rotating mass. It also features a reduced length to reposition the engine as far forward as possible to optimize weight distribution, as well as an exposed shift mechanism for saving further weight and adding some nice eye candy in the cabin.
Then there is the lightweighting. Singer and Williams developed a new underbody for the 911 that optimizes the aerodynamics and incorporates magnesium, titanium, carbon fiber, and other advanced materials to reduce the car's final curb weight to just 2,180 pounds. A lightweight suspension design also improves the suspension geometry and adds adjustability. Racer Marino Franchitti and auto journalist Chris Harris helped tweak the car's driving feel in the development process.
Other weight-saving measures include the use of full carbon fiber bodywork, 18-inch lightweight wheels (forged magnesium) from BBS, carbon-ceramic brake rotors from Brembo, carbon fiber seats from Recaro, and a carbon fiber steering wheel from Momo. Both interior items are said to have been designed specifically for the DLS program.
Finally, there is the improved aerodynamics. Every surface on the car was re-assessed through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to see where airflow could be improved or lift reduced. One example of the modifications this resulted in includes elimination of front axle lift via a new front oil-cooler intake and venting, together with a new front splitter. Another is the new roof-channel and roof/rear window spoiler working with an optimized ducktail spoiler and rear diffuser to generate downforce at the rear axle.
The transformed 911s are certainly gorgeous bits of kit. They may have started off life as already impressive machines, but Singer, this time with a little help, has made them that much more appealing...and of course massively expensive
Following the cars' Goodwood appearance, they will travel to the United States in August for Monterey Car Week.
For more from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, head to our dedicated hub.
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3 June 2018