The windshield is filled with the view of a Mustang GT as we barrel down Bay Area mountain roads, our ears filled with the sound of the Ford’s protesting tires, straining to hold steady on the tight winding ribbon of asphalt beneath. While the Mustang driver is giving the road everything they’ve got and coming up short, we’re running at 6 tenths. Our mount for this chase scene is a newly completed Sharkwerks project, a 991 Carrera GTS with plenty of TechArt go-fast bits attached. The car is capable of so much more, and we’re about to be given the opportunity to let it really shine. A pullout appears ahead, the Mustang driver taps out of the fight and pulls to the right to let us by. Pull a paddle to drop the PDK transaxle a couple of gears, smash the loud pedal to the floor, and grip the wheel tight, things are about to get rowdy.
Highway 9 drives like a dream, the sun is setting and the road is nearly empty excepting our Porsche and the Mustang already miles behind. Taking the drive ‘up over the hill’ as the locals call it, from Santa Cruz to San Jose is as exhilarating as it gets. The roads are all a series of switchbacks and sweepers that seem to have been built for enjoyment rather than transport. The trees provide a gorgeous backdrop for our drive. The evening sea air envelops us with a delightfully salty perfume. I can feel the alcantara against my palms on the thick TechArt steering wheel. The Porsche’s 3.8 liter flat six blasts a sonorous trumpet. This isn’t your average sleepy drive through the woods, is truly a feast for the senses.
This car is everything that is amazing about a Porsche Carrera GTS with the volume cranked up just a little. The visual appeal of the car has been augmented with a full TechArt aero kit, rear wing, front splitter, rear bumper, and side skirts, not to mention their lightweight centerlock ‘Stage IV’ wheels (9X20 front, 12X20 rear). The rear bumper hides a TechArt exhaust that helps pump up the car’s aural factor. Engine management has been adjusted with EVOMS software for a few percent bump in horsepower and torque. There are a few gorgeous carbon pieces, including sill plates and exterior mirror caps from MACarbon to accent the deep and lustrous black metallic paint.
Everything we’ve discussed so far is pretty par for the course in a full TechArt package car, there are two cherries on this wonderful sundae; the TechArt tuned lowering springs, and the TechArt design steering wheel. The two work as a team, increasing driver involvement and outright handling performance. The springs are stiffer than the stock GTS bits, though only moderately lower, just 15mm below a PASM-equipped car such as this GTS. TechArt worked carefully to ensure that their springs did not come at a massive ride quality penalty as other springs often do. The steering wheel, similarly has nearly zero tradeoff. TechArt takes your Porsche’s wheel and re-crafts it thicker with a sportier contour. The thumb indents on the inside of the wheel are perfectly placed, and the big thick wheel provides a bit more confidence in your ability to wrangle the car around any corner.
This particular example is fitted with Porsche’s unequalled PDK transaxle because the owner’s wife required him to purchase a car with an automatic for kid shuttling duties. He would have preferred a manual, but acquiesced and got the twin-clutch. Yes, that’s right, the owner of this car takes his two children to playdates and back with his new TechArt-equipped Carrera GTS, the two child seats in the back are all the proof you need. We’re not sure there is any better child ferry on the market today, if we’re being honest.
The echo of our exhaust through the surrounding forest tears out in all directions and road unfolds in front of us the best route through them. This 991 is so confidence inspiring, from the turn of the key, the car makes it clear that it can keep up with any inputs you supply. The car has grip in sufficient levels to tear holes in the asphalt, the balance is near-perfect and never once threatens to misbehave like Porsches of old might have.
Cosseted deep inside the alcantara trimmed driver seat, we have the windows down to better enjoy the exhaust noise, yet the heat cranked to fend off the cool evening air, the Porsche feels as a cocoon might. We’ve been driving for hours, and yet we don’t want it to end. This is our comfort zone, where we feel safe, away from the world, and yet so connected to it. This particular car on this particular road, there’s nowhere we’d rather be.