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Lightweight-Stable-Agile Axle Suspension System - Project Porsche 993

Part 1: The Prologue

Mitchell Sam Rossi
Nov 1, 2003
Photographer: Les Bidrawn
Epcp_0311_01_z+porsche_993+side_view Photo 1/1   |   Lightweight-Stable-Agile Axle Suspension System - Project Porsche 993

While our initial plan for the Project 993 donor car was to tag on a few high-performance accessories, it turns out there are far too many potential upgrades to overlook. Let's face it, the aftermarket industry for the 911 probably started the day after the first car was introduced at the Frankfurt Auto show in 1963.

Whether or not you are a fan of the 993, being the last aircooled 911 means it is often measured against its replacement, the more powerful and sleeker 996. On its shoulders is the burden of 32 years of evolution. Thus, to elevate the performance level of our 1995 project car, we turn to the vast market of tuners and specialists. Yet, unlike our Project 911S, which evolved a bit further than first intended, we want the 993 to remain a genuine, driveable street car, albeit a very quick one.

Our first venture at enhancing the car's behavior will be directed at what makes Porsches so desirable and at the same time, so terrifying: their handling. The most significant development of the 993 was the introduction of the multi-link rear suspension system referred to as the Lightweight-Stable-Agile axle.

In the midst of a high-speed turn, this design allows the outer, weighted rear wheel to tuck slightly, adding up to 2 degrees of toe-in. This offsets the car's inherent oversteer and greatly tames the tail-heavy beast. To further improve the project car's handling, we are turning to H&R Springs for its 993 Super Cup Racing package. This aggressive system uses adjustable camber plates, aluminum monoball linkage and dual springs at both ends of the car.

Carrying the suspension will be Fikse Profil 13 Spoke wheels, sized 8x18 in. and 10x18 in., front and rear respectively. With a buffed satin-anodized finish, these competition-sized rollers will be wrapped in Toyo T1-S rubber, the ultra-performance tires used for the last 2 years as spec tires for the Speed World Challenge's Touring and GT classes.

Behind the Fikses, Brembo is readying a set of its massive eight0piston calipers, in red, of course. These amazing clamps will be somewhat overkill until we send the car north to Sonoma, Calif., where it will be wired with the much-touted Unichip, a programmable ECU from Porsche Cup Champion Kevin Buckler's The Racer's Group team.

Designed to re-plot the engine's fuel map and ignition timing settings, the Unichip is compatible with a variety of cars and, depending on the application, can increase usable horsepower by up to 30%. Beneath the engine bay, free-flow catalytic converters are planned along with headers and a customized exhaust system.

Inside the cockpit, we found the car's current stereo system somewhat lacking. It seems the original Blaupunkt Bremen radio/CD player had been replaced by one of lesser quality. Don't expect us, however, to fill every nook and cranny with amps, subwoofers and bass tubes. There is a balance to be had between an excellent automotive audio system and the ambient music of the 993's flat six.

As for fancy aerodynamics, flares and wings, at this point we don't think so. But then, as contentious as we hope it will become, it would be a shame not to add a few hints that this particular Porsche is no run-of-the-mill 993.

By Mitchell Sam Rossi
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