Despite the lighthearted color scheme, there’s very little that’s friendly this ’88 Carrera. Its instantaneous turbo response, frightening thrust, and surprisingly compliant suspension should encourage any hot-blooded enthusiast to start saving their pennies for the day when they can build something equally terrifying—and perhaps something just as colorful.
This is the creation of Rupert Schwaiger, an Austrian hillclimber who, despite pushing 70 years of age, still drives with the conviction and precision of a much younger man. Thirty years of racing experience taught Schwaiger what was needed to go quickly on the public road, and this 650-horsepower 911 is the result. Incredibly capable, dramatic, and one of the few turbo Porsches which makes a truly mellifluous exhaust note, this machine pleases everyone sitting alongside the picturesque French, German, Italian, and Austrian roads on which this Porsche competes.
What’s the Recipe?
The formula is simple and effective. Take a basic ’88 Carrera, drape it in the skin of a 993 GT2 Evo, add a 964 RS’ rear end, then place an incredible powerplant betwixt the car’s haunches. The custom 3.5-liter mill builds boost instantaneously thanks to nicely-sized Garrett turbos, which help make 640 horsepower at 5,100 rpm and 442 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. The vital aspect with this engine is the powerband suits the tightest hairpins; always providing Schwaiger with the low-end response he’s after, and yet, the enginer has that infectious top-end that every turbocharged racing engine ought to have. Who needs a hybrid?
The engine uses camshafts from a GT2 Evo, Carillo conrods, a racing exhaust manifold, and a custom intercooler with truncated runners for that lightning response. With that hybrid-like torque pushing a mere 2,200 pounds around, the 911 squats, rotates, and fires out of corners with surprising poise; only formula cars and four wheel-drive machines match that sort of slotcar acceleration. Chalk some of that up to 335-section Avon slicks in the rear, but there’s more to it than sticky rubber.
Mellowing with Age
Still, it would be borderline suicidal to not take a few precautions with such a monster—especially at Schwaiger’s ripe old age—if it wasn’t softened in one way or another. KW 3-way coilovers provide great body control, but it’s the paddle-shifted gearbox from 997 RSR which allows Schwaiger to keep his hands on the wheel the whole time, which comes in handy when countersteering at high speed. Additionally, a Conti-Teves ABS offers a margin of safety to keep Schwaiger from parking his pristine Carrera in an Italian ditch. So, despite the fangs this edgy machine has, it’s been muzzled—just barely—to make it truly usable on pockmarked roads without an inch of runoff.