Navigating a narrow mountain pass requires a set of characteristics which don’t necessarily lend themselves to wide, fast, open road courses. When you consider the lag of an antiquated turbo motor, broad tires which tramline over the smallest surface changes, and a spool instead of a limited-slip differential, getting around hairpins doesn’t sound fun. Yet, this footage suggests that a 750-horsepower Kremer K3 might be more agreeable and effective than predicted.
Alain Pfefferlé, a Swiss racer with over thirty years of experience, demonstrates how capable this 2,425-pound Porsche is in a series of measured runs along the Oberhallau and St. Ursanne hillclimbs. Navigating those corners in a surprisingly subdued fashion can be attributed to having two turbochargers instead of one. The twin-turbo 3.2-liter engine’s manageable delivery is complemented by Pfefferlé’s smooth style, which means he can put the power to the ground without issue.
Playing to One’s Strengths
It’s that outrageous ability to fire off the corner and continue accelerating that helps it make up for some of its deficiencies: namely, a lack of front end grip. These cars are known to understeer slightly, and that after the limit of the front tires is exceeded, they can often pitch into snap oversteer.
Though the K3 rotates nicely into hairpins (0:29), it lacks the immediacy of a car like a 997 GT3 R in similar circumstances. Thirty years of difference will do that, as will a noticeably softer setup in the case of the K3. Perhaps that latter trait limits its urgency in direction changes (1:20), but it makes up for that in other areas.
With power and grip, it compensates. Despite running a relatively sluggish four-speed gearbox, its acceleration in medium-speed sections bests many newer cars. Additionally, as the speeds increase, the aerodynamics make it very stable and reassuring. Though the focus of GT racers has shifted away from power to handling, braking, and minimizing waste in recent years, this aging powerhouse is as quick as any; it’s been crowned National Champion multiple times over the last twenty years. Unlike the modern cars, it finds its speed with an old-school inefficiency that makes its strengths that much more impressive.