For most of us, the Porsche 911 Turbo S is as good as it gets. With its widened bodywork, active aero, and outrageous performance, the Turbo offers up hypercar-beating stats at a quarter of the price. However, german tuning house TechArt believes even the Turbo leaves room for improvement on the table.
The first GTstreet was born in the early 2000s, based on the 996 generation of the 911. The formula was simple yet effective. The GTstreet series improved the Turbo's aerodynamics, suspension, and powertrain, pushing what the 996's platform could do. Flash forward 20 years, and TechArt's formula remains largely unchanged with their latest creation, the GTstreet R. It uses the 992 911 Turbo S as its base, and I drove it in the canyons above Los Angeles to see just how different it is from its distant cousin.
Styling Turned Up To 11
The GT Street R looks like nothing on the road. While its crazy aero is visible from a mile away, there's a method to the madness. The aero on the GTstreet R was developed through extensive wind tunnel testing. The result is 45 percent less lift on the front axle and four times more downforce on the rear axle than a standard Turbo S.
Despite the drastic exterior changes, the R retains the Turbo's active aero systems. However, TechArt reworked these components extensively, as seen by the massive wing in the rear. To keep the weight down, most of the elements that give the GTstreet R its distinct look are made out of carbon fiber.
Matching the wicked styling is a more aggressive stance, widened by 30 millimeters in the front. Both 20 and 21-inch center-lock wheels are available with an optional aero disk. If it were up to me, the aero disks are a no-brainer as they tie in nicely with the rest of the aero-focused design.
A Monster, Even In Stock Form
If the stock Turbo S' 640 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque aren't enough, TechArt will happily give you more power with one of its two optional packages. The first sees power jump up to 710 hp without significant hardware changes or tuning the stock engine management software. However, the second pack and its new turbochargers push the R to up to 800 hp and include new software for both the engine and transmission to keep things in check.
Unfortunately, the GTstreet R I got a chance to play with didn't feature any additional power. However, it did have TechArt's lowering springs and all of the aero bits mentioned earlier. If you want greater adjustability, TechArt also offers a coilover kit that'll let you adjust your R even further.
In a straight line, the R without the performance upgrades feels quite similar to the Turbo S upon which it's based. The turbo flat-six under the hood delivers instant acceleration, massive torque, and consistent power to redline. Starting with a Turbo S means that even in stock form, the R is already a monster.
Around the bends, those aero improvements mentioned earlier are instantly detectable. While the R is undoubtedly stiffer than a Turbo S, it feels extremely planted while offering tremendous grip around corners. The GTstreet R I drove didn't have TechArt's recommended Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tire. Regardless it still managed to hang on even in the tightest bends.
One surprising aspect of the R was how much induction noise you get in the cabin as you blast your way up the road. You can literally hear the engine sucking in the air as you climb up the rpms. The added noises only add to the overall drama of the driving experience.
Thankfully, this R retained the stock carbon-ceramic brakes of the Turbo S, which are, without a doubt, some of the best in the business. You get a strong initial bite and immense stopping power, which you'll need if you plan to order an R with added power.
An Ultra-Customizable Cabin
With its wind tunnels and groups of engineers, TechArt does the heavy lifting with the exterior of the GTstreet R. However, the German tuning house gives the buyer total freedom over the interior. You can option different leather materials, Alcantara, and carbon fiber parts. The only limiting factor as to how wicked the interior can get is the buyer's wallet.
My tester's interior was pretty close to what you get on a normal Turbo S. Most of the money was spent on the exterior. However, this R did feature a re-trimmed steering wheel with perforated red leather and Alcantara. Additionally, the R gets a unique badge on the dashboard reminding you of which chassis number you're in.
Since the rest of the interior is pretty much standard Turbo S, it works well. The ergonomics are fantastic, easily suiting taller drivers. However, one thing that always surprises me about the current-gen Turbo S is how comfortable of a place to be it is. This is a car that you could easily tackle a track-day with or a cross-country road trip.
How Much Does The GTstreet R Cost?
The TechArt GTstreet R is a hard car to price, mainly because it is so extensively customizable. As a result, no two R's will ever be alike. In fact, the R is an extremely rare machine, with just 87 planned for production in total. As a starter, you'll need to find a 911 Turbo or Turbo S, which start at $174,300 and $207,000, respectively. The GTstreet R kit then commands €73,000, or around $82,000 to start.
Once you've got your car and your kit, you'll need to reach out to one of many of TechArt's recommended installers to install the parts, at which point you can change the color of the car or add additional extras. This example actually came from Creative Bespoke located in Phoenix, Arizona. According to the folks at TechArt, a fully customized GTstreet R can cost around $450,000 to $500,000 once it's done.
Given its hefty price tag, the GTstreet R isn't for everyone. Add in the immense performance you get from a standard Turbo S, and that'll likely be the route most buyers go. However, with its crazy aero, and intense driving experience, the R continues to carve its own lane as an ultra-rare performance-focused supercar for those who want something beyond what the best in the business can offer.