Wednesday, 28 September 2011

PS Autoart 911 Spyder

The Spyder name has been an inextricable strand of Porsche DNA for decades, following the giant-killing ethos of modest power enhanced by light weight and low drag, with a cut-down windscreen and lack of roof as signature details.
Paul Stephens, celebrated builder of bespoke Porsches under the PS Autoart banner, has recently completed the project you see in these pictures - a unique 911 Spyder. While Porsche never made an official 911 Spyder, the PS creation is pretty much what they would have come up with if they had; starting with a tired '89 Targa, PS stripped it down to first principles and built up the Spyder using bespoke aluminium panels, deleting various unnecessaries to bring the weight down to just 950kg. In their words, 'it was never intended to be a Caterham chaser; deleting the rear luggage cover, roll cage, heavy rubber floor mats and basing the car on an early coupe rather than a late Targa would probably drop that weight close to 800kg, but as well as being light weight the PS was always going to be a car designed to drive properly and look stunning, so the extra 50kg worth of steel bracing in the Targa’s shell was considered a worthwhile compromise for the rigidity it added'.

It's powered by a cultured and civilised 250bhp flat-six rather than a snarling, rasping race engine, while the ride has been tuned to offer a balance of delicacy, lightness and precision. This is not, then, an all-out racer, but an exercise in quality and aesthetics as well as usable performance. Currently just one PS Autoart 911 Spyder exists, and is sitting in their showroom with a price-tag of £125,000 in the window. But if you wanted to commission your own, you may find them to be all ears...again, in their own words, 'it would certainly be interesting to see how this car compares to an even lighter, even more focused example, perhaps with a rorty twin-plug, short-stroke motor on individual throttle bodies. 300bhp and 800kg on sticky tyres would make something of a 4.0 RS chaser around the right circuit'. You know what to do... give them a call.

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