RE: Litchfield Porsche 911 Carrera T: Driven

RE: Litchfield Porsche 911 Carrera T: Driven

Monday 8th October

Litchfield Porsche 911 Carrera T: Driven

The stock 911 Carrera T is rather nice. But Litchfield Motors' version is better



In recent years Iain Litchfield has been responsible for some of this country's most ambitious car tuning projects. His Gloucestershire outfit Litchfield Motors is in the midst of building a 1200hp Nissan GT-R, for instance, that he hopes will set a sub-7 minute lap time around the Nurburgring, thereby matching the very fastest road-legal cars the OEM world is currently producing.

So what are we to make of his upgrade package for the Porsche 911 Carrera T, which consists of nothing more than a set of KW springs, geometry tweaks and minor engine upgrades? 'Once I had driven the car, I was convinced it just needed an OEM+ style upgrade,' says Iain. The car is so good out of the box, he explains, that a handful of considered modifications was all that was needed to realise its potential and turn it into something very special indeed.

This particular car is Iain's own, originally bought as a 40th birthday present to himself. Soon enough, though, it became his company's latest tuning project. The KW springs, roughly 20 per cent stiffer at the front and 10 per cent firmer at the rear, lower the car slightly at each end, while subtle wheel spacers help fill out the arches. The front suspension geometry has been tweaked in an effort to improve the car's steering, Litchfield having benchmarked a current 911 GT3 in the process.


The engine, meanwhile, receives nothing more than new engine management software and a custom, freer-flowing exhaust system. Litchfield adds either a Remus or Akrapovic rear silencer, depending on budget. Modest though those upgrades may seem, the results are impressive. Power rises from 370hp to 487hp, while torque jumps from 332lb ft to 450lb ft.

The stock Carrera T may not be a baby GT3 - whoever said it would be? - but with its smaller, Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, thinner glass, fabric door pulls, shorter gearshift throw, mechanical LSD and optional carbon fibre sports seats, as fitted here, it does feel so much more purposeful than a base-model Carrera.

Despite the sightly firmer springs and the drop in ride height - minus 20mm at the front and 10mm at the rear - the standard car's composed, pliant ride is largely unaffected. On a typically bumpy British B-road the car still feels beautifully damped and supremely well-controlled. It is the steering, however, that is most impressive. The geometry changes have made it appreciably more tactile and communicative, giving you a level of faith in the front axle on the way into a corner that you don't get in the standard car. It is sublime. The chassis revisions may not be extensive, but they work in such harmony with the standard equipment that the car is as enjoyable to drive along a flowing road as anything else wearing a sub-£100,000 price tag.


Chances are it will outrun most cars at that sort of price point, too, because with the better part of 500bhp working on no more than 1500kg, the Litchfield Carrera T is phenomenally quick. The engine starts pulling hard from a little under 2000rpm, then it thumps through the mid-range and rips so hard at the top end you begin to doubt it's turbocharged at all. For a turbo engine to have a useable rev band close to 6000rpm wide is very unusual indeed, and what it means out on the road is that you're never in the wrong gear and the car's forceful rate of acceleration is sustained through each ratio rather than being over in a flash.

As Litchfield points out, the Carrera T uses the smallest turbos you'll find on any 911, which is why they spool so quickly. Below 4000rpm turbo lag is fractional, but above that there simply isn't any hesitation at all. Combine that throttle response with huge performance, a rich soundtrack, intuitive steering, an effective LSD and a sweet chassis and you have a car that is so well executed you doubt it could be improved in any way. This car is near enough perfect.

On top of the Carrera T's £85,556 list price, the Litchfield upgrade package costs £10,339 (including fitting but not VAT). Choosing a Remus rear silencer rather than the costlier Akrapovic item brings that down to £7832. Alone, the chassis upgrades cost £1703, while the powertrain upgrades cost £5604 with the Remus exhaust and £8111 with the Akrapovic.


Inevitably, fiddling with the powertrain in any way does invalidate the manufacturer warranty. That will be reason enough for many Carrera T owners to stay away, but some simply will not care. Litchfield will guarantee his own work, though, and points out in all the years he's been upgrading customers' engines, he's never had one go pop inside the warranty window.

Litchfield Motors will continue to produce some of the most powerful performance cars on the road, but by upgrading the 911 Carrera T in a thoughtful and intelligent way, it has just built one of the very best, too.


SPECIFICATION - LITCHFIELD PORSCHE 911 CARRERA T
Engine
2981cc, flat-six, twin-turbo
Transmission Seven-speed manual
Power 487hp @ 6,550rpm
Torque 450lb ft @ 3,695rpm
Kerb weight 1500kg
0-62mph 4.0 secs (estimated)
Top speed 190mph (estimated)
Economy n/a
CO2 n/a








Author
Discussion

Ekona

Original Poster:

1,540 posts

136 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Five and a half grand for a remap and an exhaust? Ouch. Unless that’s including new cats as well of course, in which case I can kinda see where the money has gone.

I can’t see any Carrera T owners going for this, but that whacking great power hike has got to be tempting for owners of a regular non-S 991.2 I would imagine.

Brooking10

2,765 posts

75 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Ekona said:
Five and a half grand for a remap and an exhaust? Ouch. Unless that’s including new cats as well of course, in which case I can kinda see where the money has gone.

I can’t see any Carrera T owners going for this, but that whacking great power hike has got to be tempting for owners of a regular non-S 991.2 I would imagine.
Why ouch ? Strikes me as about the going rate given it’s a branded full cat back system.

I bet this is a cracking drive.

Digga

24,867 posts

217 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Brooking10 said:
Why ouch ? Strikes me as about the going rate given it’s a branded full cat back system.
^This. Top-end zorst and re-map and rolling road time from someone who (unquestionably) knows what he's doing. That's about what it'll cost.

Phooey

9,032 posts

103 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
It's not what the T is about. By the time you've bought the car, had it chipped, you'd be into £100k+. You'd be better off buying a C2S or even better - a GTS. On top of all this Porsche's are very sensitive to (power) mods on the second-hand market so your £10k+vat could quickly become £20k. I like the T for what it is (although I also think it was quite expensive for what it is too) - a simple no thrills base/entry spec 911. It doesn't need any more power.

E65Ross

21,087 posts

146 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Ekona said:
Five and a half grand for a remap and an exhaust? Ouch. Unless that’s including new cats as well of course, in which case I can kinda see where the money has gone.

I can’t see any Carrera T owners going for this, but that whacking great power hike has got to be tempting for owners of a regular non-S 991.2 I would imagine.
Did you miss the bit about the suspension?
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Loplop

1,643 posts

119 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
E65Ross said:
Ekona said:
Five and a half grand for a remap and an exhaust? Ouch. Unless that’s including new cats as well of course, in which case I can kinda see where the money has gone.

I can’t see any Carrera T owners going for this, but that whacking great power hike has got to be tempting for owners of a regular non-S 991.2 I would imagine.
Did you miss the bit about the suspension?
Did you miss the price breakdown at the end?

It's £10k for the full kit with an Akrapovic, £7800 with the Remus. £5600 for the map and Remus 'zorst and £8100 for the map and Akrapovic.

Monty Python

4,272 posts

131 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
On a similar vein, head over to Jay Leno's Garage for the 100th Singer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKEv192iRqo

Krikkit

13,157 posts

115 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Digga said:
Brooking10 said:
Why ouch ? Strikes me as about the going rate given it’s a branded full cat back system.
^This. Top-end zorst and re-map and rolling road time from someone who (unquestionably) knows what he's doing. That's about what it'll cost.
And a warranty from them as well. Seems very reasonable considering what the cost of a new engine on a 991.2 will be.

The suspension upgrades sound interesting, sounds like a fairly mild tickle just to give it a bit more attitude. Makes it more of a weekend car than an every day car I'd assume?

cognac1979

36 posts

35 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
It's nice to see Ian Litchfield purchasing a 911 from lower in the range and acknowledging that just a few mods turns this car into something special. Not every car needs to be modified to the max and be unusable 90% of the time.

Burwood

9,922 posts

180 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
The only fly in the ointment being no extended warranty and you better hope nothing goes wrong with a whole host of other systems that could be impacted by the power hike. Porsche are very sensitive to mods. A main dealer won’t want to trade it, will they. Otherwise great package

Taffy66

1,584 posts

36 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
I think this is a potential masterpiece, as it improves the T in every possible way..As long as the donor car is the right spec like Iain's test car..It needs to be Manual, PCCBs,LWBS,LWG, RWS but sans any weight adding options such as BOSE,LEDs etc..
Definitely a car i would consider next year especially when you can buy a lightly used T from the OPC network in my ideal spec for about £15K less than list..

wab172uk

1,066 posts

161 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
If I was rich enough not to care about the warranty ...........

I'd be rich enough to buy a GT3 instead !

wab172uk

1,066 posts

161 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
"Litchfield will guarantee his own work, though, and points out in all the years he's been upgrading customers' engines, he's never had one go pop inside the warranty window."

So buy it new, get it chipped. Flog the nuts off it for 2-3 years. Sell it just before warranty runs out, and the next unsuspected owner get's hit with a £20k Bill off Porsche for a new engine. Nice

av185

6,846 posts

61 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
The Carrera T is a classic case of less is more. That is the ethos of the car. 'Manuel' gearbox, lightweight glass, is all you need for a back to basics reasonably involving 911.

Overall a great 911 and usable package on a daily basis.

Why would you possibly want to change all this and invalidate the OPC warranty at the same time?

driving

krispe

15 posts

138 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Love this and bravo Litchfield clap Only thing for me would be I'd probably actually prefer a bit less power 425-450hp / 375-400lb ft? Just so I can use that power more often. Obviously losing the Porsche warranty would be a concern as we still don't know how reliable these turbo engines are long term. However if I picked up a used Carrera T in 3 - 4 years time then I would probably be all over this conversion biggrin

JMF894

2,619 posts

89 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
117bhp just with a zorst and remap............

Impressive or BS? Works out at a 31% increase.

Guess it's impressive then.

Never you mind

1,044 posts

46 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
Why would I chose this over something that 9E would do - who have by far way more experience with tuning turbo'd 911s.

Davey S2

11,915 posts

188 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
wab172uk said:
If I was rich enough not to care about the warranty ...........

I'd be rich enough to buy a GT3 instead !
^^This.

The lowered suspension and spacers look fantastic though. Really improves the stance of the car.

J2daG1990

938 posts

60 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
It's great that the option is available should owners want more power and driveability IMO.

I bet that's a cracker to drive. Manual, LSD, RWD, 500BHP, and geometry/suspension mods to go with the power increase. Perfect.

WCZ

5,807 posts

128 months

Monday 8th October
quotequote all
av185 said:
The Carrera T is a classic case of less is more. That is the ethos of the car. 'Manuel' gearbox, lightweight glass, is all you need for a back to basics reasonably involving 911.

Overall a great 911 and usable package on a daily basis.

Why would you possibly want to change all this and invalidate the OPC warranty at the same time?

driving
classic case of customer perception is everything more like, door pulleys etc making it seem special when it's just a base car minus 5kg

+100 bhp is nice though, if you're going to invalidate the warranty then it's worth doing for a chunk of power