Prior to sale I always like to actually drive every Porsche that passes through my hands, ‘I bet you do’ is the usual reply, but honestly it can be quite difficult to find the time and occasion to use them. However, we all have our cross to bear and I get on with it and rarely complain.
Although this Porsche 993 had only just been driven across Europe to me here in Cargreen, it still needed a test and I had the perfect opportunity. My marketing chap Gavin from Evocative Solutions in Plymouth runs a web site called ‘Petrol Blog’ , it’s an interesting, quirky blog for car enthusiasts and one of the things he organises is a ‘Dawn Raid’. This consists of a group of what is now known as petrol heads, meeting at some obscure service station early in the morning and going for a drive on interesting roads. The only qualification is getting out of bed at the crack of dawn. Leaving my wife tucked up under the duvet, I quietly got dressed and crept out of the house as though on a secret mission and with more enthusiasm than I usually muster in the morning.
The Porsche for this job is this very special 993 Turbo. Left hand drive, built by Mr Brombacher of FVD in Germany. These folk are well know for their large horsepower conversion work on Porsche. And this one was built new by FVD for a favoured (and wealthy) client …….he got something amazing.
So a quick rundown, its the renowned air cooled 3.6 flat six with 520hp and enormous midrange torque, FVD chassis with adjustable shocks and running about 30mm lower than standard, a special clutch, modified gearbox and a host of other detail changes. As always it’s the detail that form a significant part of the huge cost and make a Porsche like this work well.
Ready for action, with the dawn breaking and the birds singing, my 993 looking quite innocent covered in dew, I hopped in, turned the key and gently and quietly crept out of the drive. Pootling out of my village this wasnt difficult, that’s the beauty of a well developed 911 like this and a credit to FVD, it is tractable and easy to drive slowly. The couple of miles through the narrow roads help it and me warm up and the only give away to what lies in wait is the very stiff suspension that does jiggle about a bit on these lumpy lanes. I am grateful for the original Porsche seats.
And the pace up’s very very rapidly. The midrange go of this 993 is staggering. The sort of acceleration that makes you gasp. It is relentless, every gear shift brings an undiminished acceleration, a continuous heavy shove that is hard to describe. It’s an effort to shift quickly enough, and a challenge to keep up with it. This Porsche flies. It is awesome. The sound is like that of a muted race car, but that is soon left behind you as the speed builds.
I remember reading in an original brochure for the early Porsche 930 turbo of the late seventies, that Porsche believed the 930 should be challenging for an expert driver. I don’t suppose that would be ‘politically correct’ any longer, but take it from me, this 993 needs expert hands to even start using its potential and is most certainly truly an enjoyable challenge. Today with the roads are still damp I was grateful to have the superb 4 wheel drive system working under me.
Squeezing the accelerator coming out of corners the speed builds so quickly that you need to be concentrating on the job. Listening to the music wasn’t an option. You will be leaving corners so much more quickly than in even a normal Porsche, therefore you might be arriving at the next bend 20-30 mph more than you might normally.
Fortunately the brakes are superb too, they banish speed so well yet without the ABS intruding and its now, entering a corner on a damp road that you appreciate the superlative feel that Porsche provide through the turbo brake system. Although requiring a masculine shove, these brakes are fantastic and more than adequate for this 911.
Generally four wheel drive cars are not my favourite often loosing a sense of balance. With a Porsche the 4 wheel drive 911 is still a pleasure but I would usually prefer the delicacy of a two wheel drive 911. In this case though, the 4 wheel drive system is a welcome feature and does nothing to spoil the drive and everything to make this 911 devastatingly effective.
With power like this its often the case that the chassis cannot keep up with the power, on this FVD Turbo the reverse is true, its when you extend the car that you realise how good the FVD developed suspension is.
Turning into the corners showed not a hint of indecisive understeer, it went wherever I pointed it, giving plenty of feel and a nice weight to the wheel. I cannot tell you if Mr Brombacher has changed other details in the chassis as he is of a secretive nature, I expect he has paid attention to many many details. All I can say is that the steering and chassis of this 993 is extraordinary. I couldn’t ask for more. It goes where you point it, corners with little hint of body roll, controls the immense shift in weight between being full on the power and then full on the brakes.
Stringing the corners together is a challenge as in a car of this performance there are few true straights to get be able to take a rest, just corner after corner and a car made for driving. That’s the philosophy behind all Porsche, they are made for the pleasure of the driver but this one has a stronger taste.
I covered about 100 miles that morning, getting back for an early breakfast and pootling though the narrow roads back to my village as though nothing unusual has occurred. The only give away was the amount of brake dust, the travel stains and the lower level of fuel. It made my day, my month and made the hard work of dealing with Porsche all worthwhile.
It’s a rare pleasure.
You Tube video on this car coming soon.