It may look like a 911 but soon this could be the fastest production car in the world. Nick hall drives the wild 9ff GT9...
Just a short while ago, the SSC Ultimate Aero stormed to 256mph to become the world’s fastest production car. But on the outskirts of Dortmund, the gentlest quiver of a foot on the 9ff GT9’s throttle was all it took to convince me that the American machine won’t hold the title for long.
Not that it was a long wait. Selecting the next cog of the manual six-speeder, I was then thrown violently forward into the belts before those monstrous 20-inch rear wheels gained traction and spat the car down the road once again.
It was a staccato flurry of acceleration and I learnt that the wheels will spin all the way into fifth if you can find that much clear road. The noise of blasting wastegates and 8000 near-uninsulated revs threatened to draw blood from my ears.
At a time when modern supercar manufacturers want their cars to achieve 200mph so smoothly that babies could sleep on the passenger seat, this is a savage and deliberate departure. The good news for those people - like us here at PistonHeads - who enjoy the sensations of really driving, this is a throwback to ancient times of knuckle-dragging power and, yes, even fear.
‘I find the Veyron too perfect, too easy,’ said 9ff boss Jan Fatthauer. ‘I wanted to build a car that would give my customers a little fight, a little special plaything for the weekends.’
Fatthauer won’t give up either – that record is just a few tweaks and a perfect day away. He’ll drive the car himself, too, because he says that test drivers who are willing to break the 250mph mark are supremely thin on the ground.
‘I have worked with Porsches for years and know which parts work,’ he said. ‘There was no reason to reinvent every part. I have taken the very best from the last three generations and even some special parts from the racing programme to create my own supercar.’
Then there’s the PCCB ceramic braking system, which would have been hard to beat for a factory in Dortmund, and the lights, dashboard, seatbelts and stereo from the 911. Sure, the interior needs work, but this is the prototype and Fatthauer insists that every one of the 20 cars up for grabs will come with a bespoke, perfectly finished interior.
Then there’s that gold-plated air intake. Officially, its sole purpose is heat insulation but, when pressed, Fatthauer admitted that the costume jewellery under that Perspex rear might be there for visual impact, too.
The open rear is all about the aerodynamics but Fatthauer admits that the car has been nowhere near a wind tunnel. The aero work was done with ribbons taped to the car and an aft-facing camera, which makes the results so far almost disturbingly impressive.
Light power steering allows it to be placed with fingertips, despite the car’s size, and the handling is no more savage than a track-tuned GT3’s. It comes with even more balance, thanks to the mid-engine mounting, prodigious grip and a sure-footed approach at standard speeds.
Once the speed record is in the bag, they’ll take the car to the Nordschleife for an assault on the production car record and Fatthauer is quietly confident. Even if that doesn’t happen, he’s got a back-up plan because he’s about to start work on the hardcore GT9 RS, the next car to bear his name.