April 13, 2024

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Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: Threading the needle

Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: Threading the needle
Zoom in / I wouldn't blame you if you lost track of all the variations of the Porsche 911. This is the newest and most desirable at the moment.

Bradley Egger

Although Porsche is in the midst of a trend in battery electric vehicle technology, the company hasn't lost sight of the fact that its high-performance reputation was built on the 911.

Over the past few years, the automaker has developed a myriad of different versions of the iconic sports car, resulting in offerings that currently range from luxurious open-top cruisers to powerful track monsters, along with special edition models such as off-road-tuned models. Dakar and classic heritage-inspired sports. So you're probably wondering if there's really a chance for a new performance-focused model to stand out in the 911 lineup.

On the surface, the S/T appears to be treading the same ground already occupied by the GT3 Touring, an iteration of the track-ready GT3 that ditches the large fixed rear wing in favor of a smaller, more aesthetically refined active rear wing found on the Carrera. Models. But as great as the GT3 Touring is to drive, it feels like a conceptual afterthought.

Due to the lower downforce, Porsche always considered the Touring to be a GT3 intended for the street rather than the track, yet the model's tuning remained unchanged from the standard GT3. This, along with a number of other important updates, allows the S/T to stand out from the crowd not only among fast 911s but among sports cars in general.

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The canyon roads around Los Angeles are a natural hunting ground for S/T.
Zoom in / The canyon roads around Los Angeles are a natural hunting ground for S/T.

Bradley Egger

The name is a reference to the racing version of the 911 S from the late 1960s: known internally as the ST, the package included chassis, engine and body modifications to improve performance. But unlike the popular Carrera RS 2.7 that debuted a few years down the road, the ST lacked the aggressive aerodynamic elements that would later define the look of track-tuned 911s.

The core hardware involved is an interesting mix of components from the current GT division's lineup. In a deliberately old-school approach not unlike the Sport Classic, the S/T combines the GT3 RS's naturally aspirated 518 hp (386 kW) 4.0-liter flat-six with the GT3's six-speed manual gearbox – a combination that can't It can be found on any other factory-produced 911.

As on the GT3 RS, the S/T's hood, front fenders, doors and roof are made of carbon fiber, and thanks to magnesium wheels, fixed-back carbon seats and other weight-reducing components fitted as standard, it manages to tip the scales at 3,056 lb (1,390 kg), Which makes it the lightest 911 of the current generation.

There is no duck tail for the S/T.  But there is a lot of light weight.
Zoom in / There is no duck tail for the S/T. But there is a lot of light weight.

Bradley Egger

The addition of power and the reduction of weight are certainly welcome developments for performance enthusiasts, but it's a host of subtle, less measurable changes that make the S/T an incredibly attractive sports car. Porsche's goal was to create the ultimate canyon carver rather than an apex-hunting machine, and as such, it eliminated the GT3's rear-axle steering and retuned the suspension dampers to suit the less-than-ideal tarmac that is typical of twisty back roads.

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To further increase driver engagement, engineers reduced the height of the shift lever by 10 mm, resulting in shorter, more precise throws. The transmission's gear ratios were shortened by 8 percent to allow the engine to climb to the blazing 9,000 rpm redline more quickly, resulting in more frequent shifting. A new lightweight clutch and single-mass flywheel are on board as well.

The latter plays a surprisingly large role in the S/T's distinctive character, allowing the engine to sweep through revs with a level of manic urgency that makes the GT3 Touring seem almost lazy by comparison. Thanks to the S/T's lower sound deadening compared to the GT3 (which already has much less sound deadening than the 911 Carrera), every mechanical operation that normally occurs behind the scenes is brought to the fore. This can equate to noisy steady-state driving at times, but the soundtrack the S/T provides when you're rowing through the gears easily makes up for that.