Instead, the S/T is meant to be different from all previous 911 GT cars. “We wanted to make the ultimate driver’s car,” says Preuninger, “and being the lightest 992 [-generation 911] was the main development goal.”
There are, then, carbonfibre door skins, front wings, froot lid and roof. Wheels are magnesium and the interior features no rear seats. Weight has been shed elsewhere too, as a by-product of other goals. The 4.0-litre flat-six naturally aspirated engine comes from Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS, where it makes 518bhp. But because the team wanted it to have more of a ‘zing’ factor, there is a much lighter clutch for the six-speed manual gearbox, and a single- rather than dual-mass flywheel.
The GT3’s hydraulically activated rear-steer system has been binned, too, saving more kilos and no longer sapping engine power. The rear anti-roll bar and its drop links are made from carbonfibre and the brakes are carbon-ceramic. All in, the S/T weighs 1380kg, so 38kg less than a manual GT3 Touring and only 10kg more than a 911 R, and responses ought to be improved again by 8% lower gear ratios and a 10mm shorter gear lever than that of a GT3. Spring and damper hardware and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are the same as on the GT3 Touring, but the adaptive damper’s software tuning is different. The steering has been made more linearly responsive and, perhaps counter-intuitively, slower overall: it’s tuned with the aim of replicating a hydraulic rack’s steady take-up of weight and feel, accepting the loss of the GT3’s quicker initial low-speed turn-in.
The steering is certainly heavier and more deliberate than a GT3 Touring’s (one of which, helpfully, Porsche had to hand for a brief back-to-back blast). And given they share so much, the two cars feel notably different. There’s an initial easy slickness to the GT3’s steering that the S/T rows back on. Even at low speeds rolling away from our location, it feels more authentic, more like genuine tyre forces are feeding through to the rim – which is, of course, what the best steering racks do.