Rare and ferociously expensive, the limited-run S/T celebrates the 911’s 60th birthday. Suitably special or a cynical cash cow?
The new Porsche 911 S/T is both sublime and a complete rip-off. Allow me to explain.
In essence, the S/T is a fancy 911 GT3 Touring: a parts-bin special that borrows big chunks of that car and adds the double-wishbone front suspension and 518bhp flat-six from the track-focused GT3 RS. Finishing touches are the narrower, non-Turbo bodyshell, bespoke carbon panels, a unique transmission with a six-speed manual gearbox and a lightweight clutch, cast magnesium wheels, standard-fit ceramic brakes and a headline-grabbing lack of weight. At 1380kg the S/T is the lightest 992-generation 911 yet. Porsche GT boss Andy Preuninger describes it as the ultimate B-road blaster.
As well as being the lightest 992-generation 911 yet, the S/T is also the most expensive – an eye-watering £231,600 before options. And if you aren’t already godparent to at least one of your local Porsche dealer’s children, getting your hands on an S/T will likely prove challenging. In a nod to the year of the 911’s creation just 1963 units will be sold globally. Let that price sink in for a moment: £231,600. That’s a near-£80k premium over the outwardly very similar GT3 with Touring Package. And £40k more than the GT3 RS.
A complete rip-off, then, right?
Depends. If cars for you are head not heart then forget the S/T and move on. But for the rest of us it’s worth taking a moment to admire the thing’s sheer majesty – a quite spectacular whole that transcends the sum of its parts to join the likes of the 911 R and the 4.0 GT3 RS in the 911 GOAT gang.
Fixed-back carbon bucket seats are standard, which gives a clue as to the S/T’s level of focus. Yes, it’s a road car not a track car. But it’s clearly very serious about road driving. Get moving and the S/T’s surprisingly well mannered. The springs and damper units are GT3 Touring but with unique PASM software that took a full year to develop.
In the Normal setting the car copes with urban streets and less than smooth back roads surprisingly well, and you still have the Sport setting for faster work. Noisy and visceral behind you, the engine fights hard for your attention even when you’re just rolling with the traffic. That lightweight clutch and single-mass flywheel save more than 10kg, but you must learn their quirks to pull away smoothly and – crucially given how loud this thing is – without stalling…
Find the space to use the S/T as intended and all thoughts of being ripped off will likely be blasted clean from your consciousness. In its upper reaches the 4.0-litre flat-six is rabid, screaming through gears just as quickly as you can dip the clutch, grab the stubby lever and throw another ratio at it.
But mesmerising though the engine and gearbox undoubtedly are, it’s a measure of the love and labour that have so clearly been lavished on this thing that the S/T feels rounded and cohesive, the chassis proving so grippy, communicative and agile that it hits the same highs as the powertrain, rather than being completely dominated by it. The double-wishbone GT3 RS front end makes this a hilariously pointy 911 – twirl the wheel and the front end will follow without fail – and the rate of cross-country progress it can make, and more importantly the incredible dopamine hit it delivers as it does so, must be experienced to be believed.
The Charles & Dean verdict
With the hybridised 992.2 911 just around the corner and the 4.0-litre flat-six on borrowed time, this car’s timing is exquisite. And whatever happens next, the S/T is an appropriately sublime celebration of the 911’s first 60 years.
Porsche 911 S/T: £231,600, 518bhp naturally-aspirated flat-six, 3.7sec 0-62mph, 186mph