Classic cars like the Porsche 911 have been rising in value recently, but that hasn't deterred enthusiastic tuners from stripping them out, cranking up the power and subtly refining the styling for well-heeled connoisseurs. The latest is Gunther Werks with the stunning 400R, which is designed as the ultimate 993 911 and will be built in incredibly limited numbers.
Gunther Werks starts with a 993 911 body shell, but the finished product is an altogether lighter, more exciting beast. The reworked body panels are made of carbon fiber, as is the deck lid, roof and widened rear wing. The company says bodywork is vacuum bagged and baked in a pressurized autoclave at more than 250° C (482° F) to make it more rigid. You don't need to be a trainspotter to realize the 400R is wider than the regular 993, but the 30 mm (1.2 in) arch extensions don't ruin the fundamental rightness of the classic Porsche shape.
Under the new, wider body, the car sits on adjustable KW Clubsport coilover suspension, with a hydraulic lift system to make sure you don't scrape that lovely nose on speed bumps or steep driveways. A nose lift wasn't available on the 993 when it launched in 1993, but this is one case where modernity is preferable to originality. Gunther Werks has carried the original aluminum wishbones over for the new car's suspension, but the bushings, links and sway-bars have all been reworked for service in the 400R.
The 993 was the final air-cooled Porsche 911, so it should come as no surprise that the 400R is powered by an air-cooled engine – albeit one with a bit more get-up-and-go than standard. It displaces four-liters, and has been overhauled with new pistons, a new engine management system, coil-over plug fuel injection and individual throttle bodies among a list of changes too numerous to list here. The resulting unit makes more than 400 hp (298 kW) of power and 447 Nm (330 lb-ft) of torque, with a redline of 7,800 RPM.
According to the team behind it, the power plant is the ultimate air-cooled 911 engine, but we can think of a two companies that would dispute that. Either way, the 400R shapes as seriously fast. It should sound pretty special, too, thanks to the exhaust silencer from a 997 GT3. Owners will also be able to spec a switchable system for more noise and power, while a lightweight titanium setup is also available.
Grunt is put to the rear wheels through a Getrag G50 manual gearbox. Although it's the same unit found in the production 993 911, the Gunther Works team strips each 'box down and gives it new life with an upgraded linkage and single-plate clutch, along with revised ratios to better match the 400-hp engine. Much like the engine – actually, much like the car itself – it's basically a new unit in the same package as the original.
Inside, personalization is the name of the game. The basic architecture of the cabin has been maintained, but owners can pick their materials and colors for a totally unique take on the classic 911 interior. With carbon buckets, a tastefully colored five-gauge layout on the dash and an immaculately finished carbon parcel shelf, it looks like a seriously special place to spend time.
Instead of just giving owners the keys when the car is finished, Gunther Werks will put them up at a luxury resort in California and pamper them for a day, before handing the keys (and a bespoke fountain pen) over. There's no mention of track time, but that could surely be arranged for a fee.
Sounds over the top, but restraint isn't really the point here. Given just 25 examples of the 400R will be built with a price somewhere in the vicinity of US$600,000, we'd imagine owners will appreciate the fanfare.
Source: Gunther Werks