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RPM Racing Porsche 996: Supercharged 996 makes turbo-type power, but that's not its only advantage

Time:2018-04-16 19:53Turbochargers information Click:

Racing porsche SUPERCHARGED ma

How about this as an argument for supercharging a Porsche 996 Carrera: You get the power of a 996 Turbo without all the weight. Enticed? Good. Read on.

First, some numbers. A 911 Turbo weighs 3395 pounds and puts out a max of 415 hp at 6000 rpm. A stock 911 Carrera comes in at 2910 pounds, and this 2001 Carrera came with 300 hp from the factory. That’s a difference of 115 hp, which can be closed with an Evolution Motorsports supercharger kit. Weighing in around 60 pounds, it also allows the Carrera to keep its fighting trim.

"The supercharger kit maintains the same powerband," says Russ Wahlers, owner of RPM Racing, the performance and race prep company that built this 2001 Carrera. "There’s just more of it."

But the discrepancy between the two styles of forced induction isn’t how much, but where.

A stock 3.4-liter Carrera generates its peak torque, 258 lb-ft, at 4800 rpm. Even with the supercharger kit, which according to Evolution raises that number by roughly 80 lb-ft, the rpm range remains the same (from 5000 rpm onward). That’s a far cry from a 996 Turbo, which soars to 415 lb-ft of torque sharply after takeoff (2700 rpm).

You can feel the difference on the road.

Though RPM Racing cleaned out the exhaust system with Fabspeed headers (with mufflers) and Cargraphic high-flow catalytic converters, the supercharged Porsche still possesses fewer mood swings than a standard 996 Turbo. Even with around 465 hp, driving the car involves less drama. Sure, it has personality—the exhausts bare their teeth at the slightest hint of gas. But overall the acceleration is a consistent rise, delivered with precision via the Sachs GT1 clutch and lightened flywheel.

Evolution intended the super- charger kit to perform this way. Its Vortech V-2 SQ centrifugal blower (SQ stands for "Super Quiet," which is relative) was chosen for how its compressor mapping (at 6 psi of boost) matches the 911 Carrera’s natural volumetric efficiency to an uncanny degree.

In other words, they were meant for each other.

RPM Racing and Evolution went so out of their way to express how easy the kit is to install that we almost expected to find square swatches of Velcro. As it turns out the kit mounts onto a bracket made of CNC-machined 6061-Tx aircraft-grade aluminum, which then attaches to the car through existing OEM bolt patterns. Installation involves taking out the stock intake system and tossing in the parts, blower on the left, intercooler on the right. (RPM Racing lowered the engine slightly to allow for easier access to the spark plugs and injectors, which are upgraded in the kit.)

A final touch is a GIAC-tuned Motronic control unit, which makes sense of the upgraded system.

In addition to the supercharger modification, RPM Racing tuned the Porsche’s suspension with Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and Tech Art antiroll bars. The chassis is stiffened with a Porsche Techquipment roll cage.

Wahlers opened RPM Racing as a Porsche performance shop four years ago, but he has since broadened his scope to handle all forms of high-end performance. "Porsches, Ferraris, Bentleys," he says, "even Corvettes."

Recently RPM Racing moved into a new space in Hicksville, New York. Even before the walls were painted and the lifts installed, Wahlers mentioned plans to expand to Florida, where, he says, "There is no slow season.

"I don’t want to be just another shop," he explains.

By RICHARD S. CHANG

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