Tuthill “could go a lot lighter” than the 850kg 911K
Richard Tuthill explains the secrets behind his new 11,000rpm all-carbon flyweight, and admits he could have gone further
If you haven’t read all the details on Tuthill Porsche’s spectacular new very lightweight, very high-revving 911K, do so immediately here. We caught up with the company’s director, Richard Tuthill, at the Quail for a Top Gear Magazine Podcast special to dive a bit deeper into the car’s conception and stumbled across a hilarious admission – 850kg is impressive, but there are further grams to shave.
If you’re unfamiliar with Richard Tuthill, I ask him to introduce himself on the Podcast: “Who am I? I'm the guy you might know that charges around Africa with loads of safari cars, amongst other things. And yeah, we run a lovely Porsche workshop in Oxfordshire. And if someone asks us to build a 911, then we'll have a go.”
Back to the 911K. “850kg is not a bad shout, but we could go a lot lighter. So if there's anyone out there wants a sub 800kg car, then we'll have a go,” Tuthill tells us, totally straight faced. “Genuinely, Porsches are very light. We have tried reasonably hard, but you could try a lot harder. You really could get this car safely lighter. And don't forget, it's trimmed. This is not a race car.”
So what is it then? “It's all about driving on B-roads, or canyon roads here in the US, where your speed is controlled by the road in front of you. So you cannot exploit hundreds and thousands of horsepower. And that's where lightweight, small engine stuff really, really works.”
I ask him to pick some 911K highlights, some components that really push the envelope: “There’s the titanium roll cage that you can lift with one finger. This is a really, really simple car. There's a couple of clever bits, but actually it's very simple. And that's why it looks so clean,” Tuthill explains. “We've created from scratch a whole load of lovely parts, including seats, carbon brakes, carbon wheels. We've been working on a new suspension package, and I've ended up with too much traction. The car is so stable. We've got to fix that.”
Price? “I don't like talking about money, as you know, but I think it's going to be more than £500,000. And I think, whilst I'm not hugely comfortable or familiar with these numbers, it absolutely deserves it. It's an expensive and lovely thing to build, and that type of number is absolutely justifiable if I look around.” And the good news is you don’t need to buy the entire package because they’ve generated a parts catalogue so you can pick and choose from all these carbon bits for your personal Porsche project.
Just time for one final, obvious question. “Everyone's asking how many we are going to build,” says Tuthill. “So I Googled how many factory 911 STs did they build? Well, I now know they built 33, although there is a rumour they built 34. So we won't build any more than 33.”
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