It’s refreshing to see enthusiasts still exploring the potential of Porsche’s oft-overlooked 996. Perhaps part of why this generation has persevered is due to the way the 996 Turbo’s Mezger motor is quite receptive to tuning. With a few tasteful modifications, a 996 Turbo can out-accelerate many of today’s paddle-shifted supercars and get its owner into serious legal trouble.
As far as Porsche tuning goes, this particular example takes a cost-effective approach. Bigger injectors, a free-flowing Fabspeed exhaust, a stronger Sachs clutch, a Bosch fuel pump, and Wagner Tuning intercoolers are the only truly new additions to the engine. Instead of using the larger K24 versions available with the X50 power kit, this car retains the smaller K16 units which came in all base 996 Turbos. However, ByDesign took these turbochargers and modernized them with newer, more efficient, billet compressor wheels measuring 68mm.
These retrofitted “hybrid” turbochargers offer the response and weight of a stock setup with the ability to make enough power to drastically change its acceleration—all for relatively little. At a modest 17 pounds of boost, these turbos push enough air through the 3.6-liter Mezger to make 600 horsepower—most of which is delivered in an awe-inspiring lump around 4,000 rpm. Provided the correct supporting parts are in place, higher boost can yield as much as 700 horsepower with the right sort of ECU tuning. Not too shabby for just a few bolt-on modifications.
Though this car’s tuning program is undeniably engine-focused, it wears KW coilovers to help improve handling and absorb surface changes at speed. Supple suspension, a wide torque curve, and immense traction make extracting speed from this 911 effortless. In fact, it goads the driver along in a way which could prove costly.
That isn’t to say that the car is vicious; it’s quite the opposite. Because of the ease with which this breathed-on 996 Turbo reaches felony-level speeds, it can get its owner into serious trouble with the authorities. Perhaps this particular car is too fast for most public roads, but it’s still nice to know that a 996 Turbo can have that sort of performance with just a little help from the aftermarket.