New 911 and 924 Le Mans – Sharing Endurance Racing DNA
Porsche’s record at the 24 Heures du Mans event speaks for itself. During its long history at this, one of motor racing’s most gruelling races, it has claimed a record 18 victories. It’s perhaps no surprise then that it chose the venue to unveil its latest model – the 911 Carrera S Endurance Racing Edition.
This is the latest car to be designed and manufactured by Porsche Exclusive, which is dedicated to providing personalised vehicles for Porsche customers. A variety of fresh styling touches have been made to set the car aside from its standard Carrera S counterpart.
The exterior livery is inspired in part by Porsche’s WEC cars. Buyers can choose from three colours; White, Guards Red and Black, each of which comes with contrasting decals on the side of the car. Additional sporting cues are achieved through high-loss black accents on the wheels, mirror housings, LED headlights and rear badging.
On the inside, Porsche Exclusive has made a number of design tweaks. These include carbon interior trim and illuminated door sill guards with ‘911 Carrera S Endurance Racing Edition’ motifs, red seat belts and the Porsche crest embossed on the head restraints. A ‘12 o’clock marking’ on the steering wheel and ‘Porsche Intelligent Performance’ embossed on the centre armrest further underline the motorsport theme.
The Endurance Racing Edition’s changes over the standard Carrera S are more than just skin deep. The model gets Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), the Sports chassis (dropping ride height by -20mm) and the Sports Chrono package. Rear axle steering is shared with the GT3 and RS models. Power is delivered by the S’s 420bhp 3-litre flat six, piped through a sports exhaust system. The seven-speed manual ‘box comes as standard, with the PDK unit available as an option. In terms of performance, the Endurance Racing Edition posts identical figures to the normal Carrera S.
For those who don’t have the £107,216 lying around for a new 911 there is another, lesser known special edition which shares in Porsche’s endurance racing DNA. In 1988, Porsche released the 924S Le Mans to celebrate the brand’s twelfth victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe. If you can find one, you’ll be on to a tidy investment.
Like the 911 Endurance Racing Edition, the changes to the standard 924 predominantly focussed on design enhancements – albeit in the case of the car featured in August 2015’s GT Porsche the colours are an acquired taste. Performance wasn’t overlooked, however, with the 924 S Le Mans getting uprated suspension to complement its 160bhp four-cylinder engine. Of the car we wrote; “The 924S is a joy to drive and feels small, light and nimble. By modern standards, 160bhp isn’t a lot but in a lithe car that weighs just 1190kg it’s enough to have some fun with. You need to play the gears to keep the revs over 5000rpm to exploit what power there is, and the engine is eager to oblige.”
If you want to see the 911 Carrera S Endurance Racing Edition in motion, it makes its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – stay tuned for more exclusive details and images of the model when we get them. If the 924 Le Mans is more your thing, you can read about it in August 2015’s edition through GT Porsche’s back issues.