Porsche TechArt GTstreet R: The wildest Porsche in India
The need for more power…and speed
Imagine scrolling through Instagram, checking out a post by one of the gazillion go-faster shops peppering your feed and thinking… hmmm… maybe my Porsche 911 Turbo S could do with some more horsepower. Now with 571bhp from the twin-turbocharged flat-six the Turbo S isn’t exactly lacking in horsepower; heck with four-wheel drive and a gigantic 700Nm of torque it is one of the fastest accelerating sports cars on the planet with a sub ten-second acceleration time to 200kmph. Yup, 200kmph in under ten seconds. But then again Boopesh Reddy isn’t your average sports car enthusiast. The man behind Bren Garage – check them out on Instagram – Boopesh is among the most hardcore of car enthusiasts I’ve ever met, and he has the means to indulge his passions. The last time I met him at the Bren Garage in Bengaluru I clocked three evo Car of the Year winners – the 911 R, Cayman GT4 and 458 Speciale – sitting alongside a bunch of Lambos, Astons and Porsches. This guy knows his cars and far from being a victim of current trends and fashions, he buys cars that both will be used (on road and track) and will attain iconic status. That he bought a 458 Speciale despite the dealer offering him a 488 GTB tells you as much. And among those 911s parked in his garage was a brand new 991.2 Turbo S. Little did we imagine that a few months later that very same car would be sent to Racetech in Bengaluru to be turned into the wildest Porsche in the country.
Boopesh picks up the story. “I follow TechArt on Instagram and as soon as I saw the GTStreet R I called Manik (of Racetech and official India representative of TechArt) to ask if we could do it in India. And he said yes.” A month later Boopesh was in Germany to check out the TechArt facilities in Leonberg and get behind the wheel of a prototype. “It was something I hadn’t ever experienced”, says Boopesh of the GTstreet R. The moment I saw it I knew I should get it but I had this question whether we could do this in India, whether the TechArt people will come to India to install it.”
“TechArt started off 30 years ago with a body kit for the 928, progressing to an aero kit on the then-new 964-series 911 before gaining real notoriety with a supercharger kit to extract 462bhp on a 911 – that was back in 1995”
TechArt – 30 years of tuning Porsches
Before we go any further we have to talk about TechArt. Arguably one of the greatest, of a whole bunch of really great Porsche tuners, TechArt started off 30 years ago with a body kit for the 928, progressing to an aero kit on the then-new 964-series 911 before gaining real notoriety with a supercharger kit to extract 462bhp on a 911 – that was back in 1995. Their aero and engine kits have proper motorsport roots too with a TechArt 911 GT3 taking overall victory in a race of Porsche GTP Racing series in 2000, and then clocking a Nurburgring lap time of 7:39 in 2007. Today they offer a range of performance upgrades to the entire Porsche range, even Cayennes that can top 320kmph, but their calling card is the GTstreet R program that gained fame when a 997 GT2 ran the fastest time at the 2008 Tuner Grand Prix, giving legitimacy to TechArt’s claim of being the top Porshce tuner in the world.
Back home in India, Racetech can lay claim to being among the top tuners for sports and supercars with most of the really delicious exotics in the country under their care. Manik Bhardwaj runs Racetech with his partners and is open about having to go to Germany to interview with TechArt and convince them that a very, very serious job like a GTstreet R conversion could be done in India. “This is the only GTstreet R in our part of the world, that includes the Middle East and South East Asia, that is not done in Germany,” says Manik. “It was a big deal for them to trust somebody in India to build their flagship car. I really had to convince them that we can do something as extreme out here.” But convince them he did and the car you see in the pictures was built entirely at Racetech’s facility in Bengaluru. Boopesh specced the car in Germany and getting the kit ready took three months while building the car took another three months. And by building I actually mean re-building.
Transforming the stock Porsche 911 Turbo S into a beast
The conversion starts with stripping out the 911 Turbo S to its bare shell – everything goes out. All the panels that you see, with the exception of the roof and doors, are custom carbon parts, and the aerokit includes active aerodynamics that provides a total downforce of 321kg at 300kmph in Performance mode. The front apron has an active lip spoiler to optimise airflow to the water and air coolers while a central air outlet reduces the aerodynamic lift. Flaps positioned laterally both increase the downforce and reduce drag. Air outlets in the carbon front fenders exhaust the heat generated by the brakes as well as reduce the aero pressure in the fenders. Carbon parts are just about everywhere – the air intakes on the rear panels, air vents on the rear apron, the trim panel connecting the taillamps and the entire rear diffuser. Even the four central tailpipes are made of carbonfibre. And of course who can miss that massive rear wing on top of the engine lid that, in Performance mode, raises automatically and adjusts its angle by up to 15 degrees for added downforce.
710bhp and 920Nm
And it needs all that downforce now that the twin-turbo flat-six has been boosted to 710bhp with a ginormous 920Nm of torque pushing it to an incredible top speed of 340kmph. The acceleration times are equally numbing: 100kmph now takes 2.7 seconds, 200kmph takes 8.5 seconds while 300kmph takes 23.3 seconds. To enhance grip the tyres are upsized to 265/35 ZR 20 tyres at the front and 325/30 ZR 20 tyres at the rear, mounted on forged 20-inch TechArt Formula IV Race centrelock wheels. Boopesh adds, “I really must mention that all these modifications where done by Manik and to do this all in India and integrate it with Porsche’s electronics is a very commendable effort that I really appreciate.”
The T2.1 Powerkit includes new turbos, new exhaust, new intakes and new engine and gearbox ECUs with remapped software. It plugs into the standard CAN bus and is operated via the regular Sport dial on the steering wheel, no ugly after-market parts littering the Alcantara-swathed cabin. Even the TechArt VarioPlus coilover suspension is plugged into the PDDC system, as is the front axle lift system that provides an additional 60mm of ground clearance at the front. In normal mode only the standard power figures are on tap and the additional 139hp kicks in when the dial is turned up to Sport or Sport Plus mode. That’s the thing Boopesh loves most about his car.
The comfort factor
“It’s so comfortable!” says Boopesh. “I bought the Turbo S for its comfort levels. You can do 300-500km without getting tired. I’ve been on long drives only in this car. It is a fast car that you can drive everywhere and it was the car that I put the most miles on. I did not want to lose that aspect and the GTstreet R is exactly that – it is more a street kind of concept. It is fast and quick without compromising the comfort of the Turbo S. When I turn the knob to Sport or Sport Plus the vehicle becomes an animal. But in normal it becomes silent, it is comfortable to drive, you can listen to music.
“This is more a drag car,” he clarifies. “Occasional track days are okay but this has way too much power. This car I will use on the road. It is the only car that can clear all the speedbreakers. It is like two extremes – as comfortable as possible and when I press a button it becomes a beast!”
It is a beast that you will be seeing quite a lot of, not just on Instagram but the roads of Bengaluru.