Reining In The Horses
911 & Porsche World|December 2017

Just how extreme can a road car get before it belongs on the track? This 600 horsepower 993 GT2 Evo comes close, yet it has an amazingly docile temperament, too.

Johnny Tipler

Crazy horses! 600 of ’em, straining at the bit to haul this 993 GT2 Evo all the way to the horizon. But this stallion is no wild mustang;rather, a schooled showjumper of the breeds favoured by cavalrymen or bullfighters. And that’s fitting, because it is literally horses-for-courses around here: the Warendorf region is the equestrian capital of Germany, and our Porsche’s Stuttgart coat-of-arms is right at home.

We’re being treated to an outing just down the road by Thomas Schmitz, RS specialist extraordinaire, in the mellow north German countryside surrounding his Telgte base. Thomas’s stable is packed with a mouth-watering array of 964 RSs and 993 RSs, plus a couple of 997 GT3s and 944 Cup Car, and it’s something of a wrench to tear myself away from his topline air-cooled feast to take a ride in the fastest of them all, the 993 GT2 Evo. Having driven a trackable Club Sport version in the Yorkshire Dales in 2016, I’m anticipating an uncompromising ride, where it’s actually me that has to compromise on account of an austere cabin, hard ride and massive mechanical soundtrack. I’m wrong. The Evo that I’m out in now is not like that at all. Sure, it’s got a fearsome clutch, but nothing you wouldn’t quickly come to terms with.

But first, before we take that ride, let’s nail down some history and spec. In the first place, Porsche brought in the 993 GT2 racing car in 1995 to contest the GT2 category of the BRP Global Endurance series and the subsequent FIA GT Championship for 1997, with Roock Racing taking the GT2 honours in ’96 and finishing runners-up in ’97. So, the water-cooled revolution was already two years old when Porsche created this fabulous machine, making the 993 GT2 Evo the air-cooled swansong. But what a culmination: the Evo is the Evo to end all others, the most powerful incarnation of the air-cooled 911s – but better be wary when those twin turbos spin into action. Only 172 units of the 993 GT2 were produced, of which 30 were GT2 Club Sports, and this particular car is a street-legal evolution of that, one of only 21 road cars built in 1998. Thomas qualifies the model’s progression: ‘When they came out in ’95, the early GT2 race car was very similar to the GT2 Cup Cars, with carbon-fibre wings and carbon-fibre bonnets, and a lot of different parts, and the Club Sport was more or less a modified race car. But the evolution models were quite different: the Evos are rear-wheel drive Turbos with some lightweight parts and wheel arch extensions. One car was kept by the Porsche family for Wolfgang Porsche, and of the 21 Evos built, we have had 12 pass through here.’ Indeed, Thomas has a second Evo in his showroom, in white, which has covered only 20,70kms.

The Evo is some 200kg (441lb) lighter than the 993 Turbo. The power unit is the 3.6-litre, two-valves-per-cylinder flat-six, developing a whopping 600bhp, an astonishing gain over the normal 430bhp of the 993 Turbo unit. With its boost pressure raised from 0.8- to 0.9-bar, it’s good for 187mph and 0–60 in 3.3sec. The drivetrain incorporates the six-speed gearbox, but open the spoilered lid and the contents of the engine bay are rendered invisible by the vast intercooler that occupies the upper portion of the engine bay as well as the inside of the engine lid.

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