After our project 911 received its first dose of GT3 refinement in our last segment (October 06), we turn our attention to the interior, where our project car is equipped with a number of Tequipment sport enhancements, including a short-throw shifter assembly.
While the 996 cabin is somewhat sporty in its standard trim, it is very basic and lackluster. Naturally, we decided to change that. It's amazing what a difference a few well-placed mods can make and as with the rest of the project, Tequipment, Porsche's own in-house line of specialized products, is used throughout. These highly crafted components are designed at the factory so each offers a precision fit and performance like no other. Nothing is better suited for your Porsche. As well, using Tequipment will not void any existing vehicle warranty when installed by a certified Porsche technician. Our car is out of warranty, but having a qualified, well-trained tech on the job ensures that every part has been installed correctly and by the book. Such was the case with our project assembly, handled by McKenna Porsche in Norwalk, California.
One of the most important changes was the steering wheel. The C2's standard four-spoke vinyl unit is about as base model as you get. It's thin and not very inspiring, not exactly what you want in one of the key driver input elements. After all, the steering wheel is your direct connection to the road and offers important driver feedback. Even when you're standing still, your steering wheel should provide a feel for the car and a sense of excitement. Our new GT3 wheel does that. More sporting in every respect, the additional padding expands the wheel diameter 2.4mm over the stock unit. The new wheel also features an ergonomically contoured design for a more natural and comfortable grip at ten and two. Unlike the old unit, the new wheel also features Porsche's gold crest. Our tech installed the wheel using a dedicated airbag module (sold separately). The module is unique due to the sportier three-spoke wheel configuration.
While some of the enhancement features were swapped for cosmetic reasons, including the front and rear GT3 seat belts (which are identical to the standard belts, only red) and a pair of GT3-branded stainless steel doorsills, a Tequipment short shifter was installed for its noticeably more refined performance characteristics. This is another key element that goes beyond simple aesthesis, where positive feel and good driver interaction is essential.
Shorter in throw, the shifter offers a reduction in lever travel of approximately 35 percent. As a result, the quick and seamless gear selection helped provide a more thoroughly dynamic driving experience. If I were limited to only two mods for this segment, the steering wheel and short shift package would be it. These two components made a world of difference and I recommend them highly. But we didn't stop there. The stock shift knob was replaced with an aluminum and leather wrapped ergonomically contoured knob with and integrated leather boot. The new ergonomically designed knob feels good in hand and also nicely compliments the steering wheel.
Last, we added a nice new pair of black floor mats with red embroidered Porsche lettering. The licensed Porsche trademark mats are about as good as they get, with two-ply nylon yarn construction, 5/16-inch pile height and a woven polypropylene backing.
We could have easily gone a step further by swapping out the seats, losing the rears and installing a GT3 carpet kit throughout the back. A GT3 roll cage was also up for consideration, but we chose to go a more conservative route for cost and practicality. I do drive the car fairly regularly and besides, my kids would never let me hear the end of it. They made claim to those tiny rear seats long ago and they can't both sit up front.
Still, all things considered I just may eventually go for it. It's not called Project Carrera > GT3 for nothing.
Project build costs
GT3 leather steering wheel (000-044-400-21-A28)
$954.43 / $135.00 labor w/ airbag
Driver's Airbag module (996-803-980-01-A28)
Short Shift kit (000-044-700-26)
$486.89 / $405.00 labor
Leather gearshift knob and boot (996-424-075-90-FGT)
$220.65 / $67.50 labor
Red GT3 Seat belts (996-803-981-04-N13) Left (996-803-982-08-N13) Right
$463.53 / $270 labor
GT3 stainless steel doorsills (996-551-984-91)
$450.46 / $135.00 labor
Porsche logo embroidered mats