11 September 2007

Frankfurt show: Porsche 911 GT2 and Cayenne GTS

Welcome to the 200mph club: wraps come off fastest-ever Porsche

Porsche 911 GT2

For a car that can proudly boast to be the fastest production Porsche ever, the 911 GT2 has enjoyed a curiously muted reception on the first morning in Frankfurt.

Perhaps that's because it looks like, well, a 911. But with its 3.6-litre boxer putting out an astonishing 530bhp and a quoted top speed of 204mph (the first Porsche to top the hallowed 200mph), it's one of the undoubted stars of the show.

In the styling department, the GT2 is much closer to the 911 Turbo than the GT3 RS - big air intakes ahead of the rear 'arches, deep front vents set with LED indicators - but the double-decker rear spoiler is all-new.

Squared off at either end to channel the air flowing over the rear wings, it's an indication of just how tightly the GT2 will have to stick itself to the road to control all that power.

Porsche quoted us performance figures of 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds, and 7.4 seconds to 100mph, but the word around the floor is that on-track acceleration could be even quicker than that.

The previous GT2 was affectionately known as 'The Widow-Maker' (no explanation needed), but Porsche has gone to serious lengths to make the new version less terrifying.

Variable turbine geometry should help deliver power more smoothly, while electronic stability programming, active suspension management and a giant set of ceramic composite brakes should keep things stable.

The GT2 will reach the UK just before the end of the year, costing £131,070. Exactly.

Another Porsche to get active suspension management - if not quite the blistering performance of the GT2 - is the Cayenne GTS, unveiled just a few yards away.

A lowered, sharper-handling edition of Porsche's aesthetically challenged SUV, the GTS slots between the Cayenne S and Turbo S in the performance stakes, its 4.8-litre V8 producing 405bhp - good for 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds.

Once again, there's not much to report in terms of looks - the GTS gets a larger, slatted grille and a horizontal rather than vertical strip of front indicator lights, along with wider wheelarches - but Porsche reckons it'll be a better drive thanks to stiffer springs and an optional anti-roll system.

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