This is a 750kg Porsche 912 restomod | Top Gear
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This is a 750kg Porsche 912 restomod

Want to take a break from all things big, wide and powerful? Yeah, us too

Published: 08 Sep 2022
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As big as numbers may get, they never tell the full story. And when it comes to discussing cars, it’s all too easy to rely on the headline figures – the near-meaningless numbers. Bigger figure A is better, smaller figure B is superior. Rinse and repeat.

With that in mind, how do we talk about the Porsche 912 without resorting to the old ‘one bigger, just with two fewer cylinders’ axiom?

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Well, because there’s less weight hanging out past the rear axle, they’re lighter, better balanced and less prone to becoming Porsche pendulums. So say 912 drivers, anyway, when they’re asked why they don’t have a 911.

Or rather, so said 912 drivers. Any stifled smiles about the ‘poor man’s 911’ go out the window with the KAMM 912c – it costs £280,000, has the same displacement as the original 911 at 2.0 litres, and makes as much or more power than any of the original Sixties 911s, barring the ultra-limited 911R.

Speaking of the 911R, it had about 210bhp and weighed about 800kg – a healthy drop from the tonne or so a regular 911 weighed. The 912c, on the other hand, weighs 750kg, thanks to extensive carbon fibre inside and out, Lexan windows and lightweight carpets. So the 170bhp, 2.0-litre air-cooled flat-four from Switzerland’s JPS Aircooled gives the 912c 227bhp per tonne – shy of the 911R’s 260-odd, but leagues ahead of the 130ish of the contemporary 911S.

So it’s every bit as quick and expensive as a classic 911, if not more. It’ll rev to 7,200rpm, and get that power down perfectly thanks to a ZF limited-slip diff. It’ll slow itself down better thanks to brakes from the Porsche 964 up front, and Brembo up the back. It’ll extend its lead in the handling stakes with modern tyres and front coilovers.

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That the 912 is one larger than the 911 has never been worth discussing. For the 912 to one-up the 911, though? That’s worth the full story.

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