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Porsche - Fab Gear

Come On Feel The Noise

Tim McKinney
Feb 1, 2008
Epcp_0802_01_z+2007_porsche_997_gt3_rs_2007_porsche_gt3+front_view Photo 1/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

A few minutes behind the wheels of these extraordinary cars made the lonely, not-a-good-cup-of-coffee-to-be-had miles on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike worth it. With the GT3, Porsche has come up with a brilliant throwback to a simpler, two-wheel-drive, naturally aspirated time. There's a distinct change in demeanor as the revs climb and the engine hits the sweet spot in the powerband.

The black-and-orange GT3 RS and white GT3 are owned by Dr. Joseph Scojna, who also owns and pilots a small but impressive collection of WWII fighters, including a P-51 Mustang and a Spitfire (and there's always the T-6 when he needs an extra seat). So he knows a bit about performance machinery.

Scojna left his first PCA drivers-ed event, at Pocono Raceway, enamored with the GT3 and awestruck at the performance potential his instructors had demonstrated.

For now, his RS remains stock, except for some special paintwork and Fabspeed exhaust work. All the factory silver interior trim has been repainted black-with the exception of some strategically placed orange accents and a roll cage. There are limits, though. Scojna had the wing endplates painted black, as he felt orange there was a bit too much.

The silver GT3, whose owner requested his name remain unpublished, left the factory with a custom interior-black leather with silver stitching covers every surface possible-and the amazing Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake package.

"I like a car with razor-sharp handling and a high-strung motor," he says. "Fabspeed made the car even more to my taste. I don't like to leave anything stock."

On all the cars, Fabspeed replaced the stock headers with proprietary units, which feature a cast stainless steel three-into-one merge collector and changed to 200-cell race cats. The four-inch tips incorporated with the twin Fabspeed MaxFlo performance mufflers (replacing the OE rear muffler) look menacing next to the smaller factory tips. The GT3s also have side mufflers filling each of the rear fenders. The Silver GT3's owner went a step further and replaced those side mufflers with Fabspeed's bypass pipes. A Fabspeed high-performance air intake with a BMC filter and ECU upgrade were included.

"I'm thrilled with the results," he says. "I've thought about quieting it down a little-a friend called the other night, wondering if a pack of caf bikes were out racing or if I had just driven by. And it really rattles them at school when I pick up the kids. Its hard-edged wail makes it absolutely the best-sounding car I've ever heard."

The real payoff comes from the weight savings: around 90 pounds between the CF brakes and exhaust work, with much of that at or behind the rear axle. Blasting through the same turns, back-to-back, the silver car is even more confident than the others. The massive 305/30 rear tires no longer seem a safety measure guarding against long polar moment rotations, but feel incredibly confident, begging to be pushed through the corners.

As its owner says: "The car rotates quicker and feels more centered. The weight is not so far back. You can lift off the throttle more aggressively, trail-brake harder going into a corner and get on the gas a little bit sooner coming out. But I'm not willing to ditch the A/C yet." Although he does plan to find a carbon fiber RS tail and will soon be conspiring with Fabspeed to find even more power.

Author's note: Fabspeed would like to give special thanks to Alex at Princeton Porsche for arranging transport to the photo location, and PES Tuning for providing the graphite wheels for the silver-and-orange GT3 RS.

Epcp_0802_33_z+fabspeed_garage+front_view Photo 8/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

Sound Garden
Fabspeed Sells More Than Just Shiny Pipes
Fabspeed is a purveyor of custom fabricated stainless steel modular exhausts. But the company also looks at improving the intake side of engine breathing. As evidenced by its carbon fiber airbox and silicone hose set (12-plus hp) for the Gallardo; the Fabspeed Motorsport Cup Air Intake for the GT3 or 996TT (13.5/21.5 hp at the wheels); and the dual-cone Maxflo intakes (just released) for the 997 Turbo. Fabspeed has also developed carbon fiber intake box covers for the Ferrari 360, good for a claimed 20-plus hp with the matching BMC filter, and startling red silicone intake hoses for the 355 and 360 that flow 10 percent more air than the corrugated black factory bits, adding some visual pizzazz under the hood. Mere mortals with mainstream cars may order a free-flowing, top-of-the-line, used-in-F1 BMC air filter. DME performance chips are also available to spice up the computer code (dyno charts and full list of products are available at the company website).

Exhausts, though, are the core business of Fabspeed founder Joe Fabiani. A PCA member since 1986, it became obvious during track days and driver training that there was a demand for quality, performance-oriented exhaust systems. In the early '90s, Fabiani started small, designing and selling his first Fabspeed MaxFlo systems to track buddies with early 993s. He soon went on to cover all Porsches, from SCs to the latest models. Recently, Fabspeed has branched into Italian exotica, with systems for the Ferrari 355, 360 and 430, as well as the Lamborghini Gallardo and certain Maseratis. Bentley owners don't go neglected, either.

Fabiani handles most of the design chores for his modular systems, though Fabspeed uses several outside consultants to double-check his work and make suggestions. Several prototypes are built and a cross-section of customers and staff drive various combinations, searching for the perfect sound. Since opinions range from a preference for straight pipes to significant others who find stock systems much too loud, Maxflo systems are generally available in several combinations.

For example, Fabspeed's 996/7 twin turbo systems have five levels of performance and sound attenuation, ranging from cat and exhaust bypass pipes for track days to sport cats and quiet mufflers for lazy Sunday drives with the top down. F1-style, stainless steel V-clamps and modular design make changes a simple operation.

Once a design is finalized, complicated tubing shapes (CNC mandrel bent) and radiused-corner muffler cans (stamped or hydro-formed) are contracted out while production jigs are made. Systems are fabricated in-house, using TIG-welded 12- or 14-gauge T304 stainless steel and polished to a mirror finish before shipping. Two-hundred-cell sport catalytic converters with a full mix of platinum, palladium and rhodium are sized for specific applications and sourced from Germany.

Fit and finish are exemplary, but the real proof is in the sound. There's something about the sound of a Ferrari that draws attention and Fabspeed's exhausts make them sound even more glorious. -TM

Epcp_0802_10_z+2007_porsche_997_gt3_rs+side_view Photo 17/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

2007 Porsche 997 GT3 Rs (Black/Orange)

*Layout
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive

*Engine
3.6-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve, Fabspeed MaxFlo Performance muffler, headers with 200-cell tri-metallic race cat

*Transmission
Six-speed manual

*Brakes
Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB)

*Wheels and Tires
GT3 RS alloys, 8.5x19 (f), 12x19 (r) Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, 235/35 (f), 305/30 (r)

*Interior
Porsche Recaro GT3 Seats with Alcantara inserts, orange powdercoated Techquipment roll bar, five-point race harnesses, black/orange-painted trim accents

Epcp_0802_21_z+2007_997_gt3_white_steering_wheel+interior_view Photo 25/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

2007 997 GT3 (White)

*Layout
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive

*Engine
3.6-liter flat-six, dohc, 24-valve, Fabspeed MaxFlo Performance muffler, headers with 200-cell tri-metallic race cat, high-performance intake with BMC air filter, software upgrade

*Transmission
Six-speed manual

*Brakes
Six-piston monobloc calipers/13.8-inch cross-drilled rotors (f), four-piston monobloc calipers/13.8-inch cross-drilled rotors (r)

Epcp_0802_08_z+2007_997_gt3_white_wheel+side_view Photo 26/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

*Wheels And Tires
Champion Motorsport RS98 8.5x19 (f), 12x19 (r)Michelin Pilot Sport Cups, 235/35 (f), 305/30(r)

*Interior
Porsche Recaro GT3 Seats, Dassport roll bar, TeamTech six-point harness, Brey Kraus seat hardware

Epcp_0802_16_z+2007_porsche_gt3_rs+side_view Photo 27/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

2007 Porsche GT3 RS (Silver/Orange)

*Layout
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive

*Engine
3.6-liter flat-six, dohc, 24-valve, Fabspeed MaxFlo Performance muffler

*Transmission
Six-speed manual

*Brakes
Six-piston monobloc calipers/13.8-inch cross-drilled rotors (f), four-piston monobloc calipers/13.8-inch cross-drilled rotors (r)

*Wheels And Tires
PES GP7 Monolite Forged alloys (graphite), 19x8.5 (f), 19x11.5 (r)Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 235/35 (f), 305/30 (r)

Epcp_0802_15_z+2007_porsche_997_gt3_silver_roll_bars+interior_view Photo 30/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

2007 Porsche 997 GT3 (Silver)

*Layout
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive

*Engine
3.6-liter flat-six, dohc, 24-valve, Fabspeed MaxFlo Performance muffler, headers and 200-cell tri-metallic race cat, side muffler bypass pipes, high-performance intake with BMC air filter, software upgrade

*Transmission
Six-speed manual

*Brakes
Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB)

Epcp_0802_13_z+2007_porsche_gt3_silver_wheel+side_view Photo 31/31   |   Porsche - Fab Gear

*Wheels And Tires
GT3 alloys, 8.5x19 (f),12x19 (r)Pirelli P Zero Corsa 235/35 (f), 305/30 (r)

*Interior
Dassport roll bar

By Tim McKinney
7 Articles

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