Okay, once you are done with the oil change, what the next thing to look after while servicing your RCZ? The spark plugs, of course! They have to be replaced every 30’000 km. I replaced the original NGK with the equivalent from Bosch (Ref.: 0 242 135 518). Not that I wasn’t satisfied with NGK or that I hoped that the Bosch ones would miraculously increase the engine’s performance, I just wanted to try something else from a well known brand – as long as it was compatible, of course. 🙂
Anyway, (1) pop the hood, (2) release the ignition coil, (2) pull it out, (3) unbold and remove the old spark plug, (4) insert a new one and proceed in the opposite order for the rest. Now repeat this for the remaining three spark plugs.
NOTICE: If you need an extension for your 14 mm spark plug socket, make sure all of the elements of the wrench are taped together, as the spark plugs might be a bit stuck even when unbolt. Fishing out the socket can be quite tedious, trust me…! 😉 It’s a simple solution to a really annoying problem.
This week I happened to walk past the BMW dealership in Blackrock, Co. Dublin in Ireland. I looked at all the new and used cars they parked outside and first thought: Wow that’s a lot of high performance cars. Many of them have M packages (M for Motorsport, of course), meaning that they have the front and rear bumpers of the M variant of the respective model. M badges on the sides, the wheels and on the steering wheels.
Upon closer inspection I quickly realized that most of them are actually pretty reasonably powered cars and that most of the aggressive looking cars are much lower powered diesel cars. For example, instead of the X5 M comes with a 4.4l V8 engine, delivering 575 hp. The white x5 here is actually a sDrive25d M Sport diesel delivering 231 hp. Same story for the 420d convertible and the 5 Series Touring; They are literally sheep in wolf’s clothing.
However, rest assured that there are also some properly powerful and fun to drive cars available. Check out the video below and discover for yourself:
The Porsche997 model generation was launched in 2004 and was on sale till the end of 2012. This “Turbo Cabriolet” or convertible model, was part of the first generation 997, before it got a major overhaul in July 2008. Porsche officially launched the 997 Turbo in June 2006. The convertible version was introduced a little bit more than a year later, in September 2007. It is powered by a 3.6 L six cylinder boxer engine with a biturbo charger with variable turbo geometry, generating an output of 480 hp with 620 Nm. The overboost function even allows it to get up to 680 Nm for a brief period of time. Since this is an all-wheel-drive car, the massive power output is distributed to all four wheels. Due to the obvious lack of a fixed roof, the cabriolet’s chassis had to be strengthened, adding 70 kg compared to the coupé.
Let’s look at the exterior of the car. This particular one is painted in Macadamia metallic, the official paint you would get on your 1/1 size car. As every Porsche, it comes with the Porsche crest on the front of the trunk. The “Turbo” distinguishes itself from the standard Carrera with a more bulky, muscular front bumper, side air intakes and a big rear spoiler. Moreover, like on the “Carrera 4S” I reviewed previously, none of the lights are actually functioning on this car. Nevertheless, the turn signal and day time running lights are clearly distinguishable. Furthermore, it comes with the German license plate in the back and the front: “S CT 911”, with “S” for “Stuttgart”. In traditional Porsche fashion, the fuel filler cap is located on the right front fender. However, it doesn’t open and is simply shaped into the body.
The wheels are a nice replica of the 19” “Turbo” items. They have tire profile, as well as markings on the wall: “Michelin Pilot Sport” with the traditional Michelin logo and the tire size inscription: 235/35 ZR 19 for the front tires and 295/30 ZR 19 for the rear tires. Sadly, NOREV made the same mistake as on the “Carrera 4S”, wearing the wider body as the standard “Carrera”, it should have the larger 305/30 ZR 19 sized tires in the back. Nevertheless, the rear tires are effectively larger than the front ones. Anyway, the rims are perfectly replicated and do each have a Porsche logo in the center. Looking behind the wheels we can admire the replica of the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) consisting of ventilated brake disks and yellow brake calipers with “Porsche” written on them. All of the wheels are turning and the front ones are directional and connected to the steering wheel. The lower body protection lip that follows the entire side of the car is accurately replicated as well.
The door handles are accurately modelled. Being “pull-out” handles, it would have been nice to be able to grab the handle completely, but since it forms a single piece with the door as on other NOREV Porsches of this generation, it’s understandable that NOREV just gave it the overall shape molded into the door. In the back, as mentioned before, one big difference to the standard “Carrera” is the massive rear spoiler. On the real car it even rises further up at 75 mph / 120 km/h. We can even spot the center brake light. The lower part of the back bumper follows the same muscular treatment as the front one: large air outlets on either side, as well as large oval shaped exhaust pipes embedded into the bumper. In fact, the only thing that resembles the standard Carrera are the taillights. Moreover, the model lettering “Turbo” is nicely put just above the bar. The attention to details is very high. This being the convertible version, I can add that the roof goes up in 20 seconds. However, on this model, it’s just a cover, it doesn’t actually move.
Time to look at the flat six boxer engine. Similar to the “Carrera 4S”, there is not a huge amount of things we can see from above, even less. But what’s there is very detailed. As a matter of fact, the only thing we can clearly see is the air intake system. Notice how it says “Turbo” and “Porsche” on it – it’s those details that make it worth having it. On the inside of the hood, NOREV went as far to reproduce the ventilator. Now let’s open the front trunk. Under the front cover is where you would find the windshield washer fluid tank and under the “Porsche” cover is where the battery would be. Contrary to the “Carrera 4S”, the “Turbo” version has the CD changer on the right hand side, thus taking some space from the trunk load capacity. Very nice touch, even the inner side of the trunk lid shows the original frame shape.
Again, you might think that it’s quite cheaply made with that completely covered undercarriage. However, since the 997 came with a completely covered undercarriage for better protection and enhanced aerodynamics, this is actually quite accurate. Only the engine is clearly visible. With the exception of the exhaust pipes and mufflers, the undercarriage is completely identical to NOREV’s “Carrera 4S”. Although they are hardly visible, the suspensions do actually work! The chassis is bolted to the body with 10 screws – four in the front, two in the middle and four in the back. The Porsche brand and model designations are clearly visible in the middle, as well as the NOREV logo between the front wheels. The most interesting part is without a doubt the rear, showing the transmission in all black, the flat six engine in grey, as well as the entire exhaust system in chrome. At last, we get a proper view of the 3.6 L flat six engine.
Right on the door sill we are greeted will the “Turbo” lettering. This one comes in a very nice two color interior: sand beige with a black upper dashboard. The interior comes complete with a three spoke sport steering wheel with the compulsory Porsche crest in the middle. In front of the steering wheel we find the chrome accented instrument cluster with the rev counter in the middle and the ignition on the left side of the steering wheel, just next to the light switch.
This being a manual transmission version, we can see the gear lever with the six forward gears and reverse gear positions on it. The pedals are accurate, too: accelerator, brake and clutch. There is just an unusual big gap between the brake and the clutch pedal.
The seats are meant to replicate the fully adjustable sports seats. However, they do no move, nor can you tilt them forward. With the visible stitching, they are supposed to imitate the leather wrap, but everything in here is plastic, obviously. Furthermore, the levers to tilt the seats forward, as well as the hook behind the headrests are painted in silver. Good thing this is the convertible version, so we are able to get a very close and clean look at the interior. It has four seatbelts, the corresponding buckles and even a clearly distinguishable hand brake lever.
The doors have the exact shape and colors of the real car. It’s nice to see NOREV integrated the window switches for both driver and passenger side, as well as accurately replicated the bi color interior from front to back. The center console does integrate the Porsche Communication Management system (PCM) with all the buttons on the side. It is not quite as precisely done as on the following generation in the “Carrera 4S” I reviewed previously, but it’s still a very good job. The glove compartment does not open, but the handle is painted and does include a lock. Even the leather stitching on the dashboard has been replicated to perfection. Looking up, we can spot both sun visors, the rear view mirror, as well as the handle to lock the retractable roof.
The officially licensed Porsche model cars usually come in a very sober, grey box. In the front we get a simple model designation “911 Turbo Cabriolet” in the official Porsche font, as well as the scale indication. On the top, it simply says “Porsche” – no need to say more. The special thing about any packaging of official licensed Porsche model cars, is the fact that every model gets a distinctive VIN number. On this box, it is located on the side. On the bottom, you can read a brief product description in six different languages, as well as the logos and designations of Porsche and NOREV.
Back on the road
This 997 “Turbo Cabriolet” is a wonderful 1/18 replica of the original car. Obviously, there is still room for imprpovement, such as installing a rectractable cloth roof abd adding diodes for the lights, but other than that it’s very accurate and deserve to be an official Porsche licensed product. enjoy!
Porsche, for some a simple German surname. For others, it’s a byword for precision driving, exceptional road handling, a signature styling and unparalleled reliability. Here’s a review about the facelifted 997 “Carrera 4S”.
History of the car
The Porsche 997 model generation was launched in 2004 and was on sale till the end of 2012. In July 2008, starting with the 2009 model year designation, it was given a major overhaul and not just a facelift. Aside from the usual tweaks on the front and rear fascias with LED day time running lights in the front and full LED taillight, the 2009 and following models came with slightly bigger side mirrors.
However, the biggest changes were to find under the skin: a brand new Direct Fuel Injection 3.6 L six cylinder rear mounted boxer engine that produces 345 hp (390 Nm) in the standard Carrera, Carrera 4 and Targa 4 versions. The sportier versions – the Carrera S, 4S and Targa 4S were given an 3.8 L DFI engine that produces 385 hp and delivers 420 Nm of torque. These engines could either be coupled to a manual 6 speed transmission or to the second major improvement this generation: the now much acclaimed 7 speed double-clutch automatic transmission called PDK for Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (Porsche double-clutch transmission).
This particular one is painted in Porsche Racing Green metallic, the official paint you would get on your 1/1 size car. As every Porsche, it comes with the Porsche crest on the front of the trunk. The front air intakes are painted grey, indicating that it is a four-wheel drive version, hence the “4” in “Carrera 4S”. None of the lights are actually functioning on this car. Nevertheless, the turn signal and day time running lights are clearly distinguishable. Clean job. This being the German or simply the European version, it’s wearing the mandatory front and rear German license plate “S XO 911”, with “S” for “Stuttgart”. They even integrated the hexagonal insurance sticker on it – solid! In typical Porsche fashion, the fuel filler cap is located on the right front fender. This one doesn’t open, though.
The wheels on this model are a beautiful replica of the 19” “Carrera IV” items. Not only do they have tire profile on them, they even have all the markings on the wall: “Michelin Pilot Sport” with the traditional Michelin logo and the tire size inscription: 235/35 ZR 19 for the front tires and 295/30 ZR 19 for the rear tires. Sadly, this is a little mistake, considering that it’s a 4S model and therefore should have the larger 305/30 ZR 19 sized tires in the back. Nevertheless, the rear tires are effectively larger than the front ones.
Looking behind the wheels we can admire the sport brakes consisting of ventilated brake disks and red brake calipers with “Porsche” written on them. All of the wheels are turning and the front ones are directional and connected to the steering wheel. The lower body protection lip that follows the entire side of the car is accurately replicated as well. The door handles are accurately modelled. Being “pull-out” handles, it would have been nice to be able to grab the handle completely, but since it forms a single piece with the door, it’s understandable that Norev just gave it the overall shape molded into the door.
One noticeable change compared to the previous model year are the side mirrors. They are slightly bigger. First of all, Norev did a good job replicating the mirrors as such and not make them look detached as some lower budget manufacturers do. Secondly, if you compare it to a previous model 997, you can clearly see the difference: it’s actually a bit taller than the previous one. As we get to the back of the car, we can see the newly shaped LED taillights. Compared to the previous model year, they have been redesigned in the front and back, giving them a sharper look. We can clearly distinguish between the red outer part for tail and brake light, as well as the white & yellow inner part for the turn signal and reverse light.
Another new or should I say re-introduced trademark of the all-wheel-drive “4” and “4S” models is the horizontal red bar connecting both taillights. It is glued to the trunk so be careful when opening it. Moreover, the model letterings “Carrera 4S” are nicely put just above the bar. We can also see the rear retractable spoiler that would come up automatically at 75 mph / 120 km/h. Obviously, this one is just engraved in the body and doesn’t come up at all. Nevertheless, the attention to details is very high, they even thought of integrating the center brake light, as well as the Porsche lettering on the lower part of the rear window. The exhaust pipes are accurately replicated: Two twin exhaust mufflers, another indicator for the more powerful “S” variant.
Before we take a look at the power plant, I just wanted to show you the windscreen wipers. They are really well replicated – showing even the holes in the frame that holds the rubber.
As mentioned before, like any 911 ever made, this one has the engine in the back. Thus, the hood is in the back and the trunk in the front. There is actually not a huge amount of things we can see from above, but what’s there is very detailed. Aside from the coolant reservoir we can see the oil cap and the entire air intake system. Notice how it says “Porsche Direct Fuel Injection” – very accurate. On the hood, Norev went as far to reproduce the ventilator. So far this car is complete – that’s what we like to see!
For those who wonder what’s in the front, let’s just open it up. As you can see it’s just the front trunk or frunk as some tend to say. Under the front cover is where you would find the windshield washer fluid tank and under the “Porsche” cover is where the battery would be. Nicely replicated though, even the inner side of the trunk lid shows the original frame shape.
At first glance you might think that it’s quite cheaply made with that completely covered undercarriage. But you’d be wrong. As a matter of fact, the 997 came with a completely covered undercarriage for better protection and enhanced aerodynamics. Only the engine is clearly visible. Although they are hardly visible, the suspensions do actually work – excellent! The chassis is bolted to the body with 10 screws – four in the front, two in the middle and four in the back. The Porsche brand and model designations are clearly visible in the middle, as well as the Norev logo between the front wheels. The most interesting part is without a doubt the rear, showing the transmission in all black, the flat six engine in grey, as well as the entire exhaust system in chrome. At last, we get a proper view of the 3.8 L flat 6 engine.
Right on the door sill we are greeted will the “Carrera 4S” lettering. The all sand beige interior comes complete with a three spoke sport steering wheel. In front of the steering wheel we find the chrome accented instrument cluster with the rev counter in the middle, of course and the ignition on the left side of the steering wheel, just next to the light switch.
The steering wheel has the compulsory Porsche crest in the middle, multifunction buttons for the hands free phone system, as well as the push and pull buttons to change the gears of the aforementioned 7 speed PDK double-clutch transmission. Further proof of that are the gas and brake pedals only, as well as the signature PDK gear selector.
The seats are meant to replicate the fully adjustable sports seats. However, they do no move, nor can you tilt them forward. With the visible stitching, they are supposed to imitate the leather wrap, but everything in here is plastic, obviously. The attention to details is just amazing and for once, we do get seatbelts! The doors have the exact shape and colors of the real car. It’s nice to see Norev integrated the window switches for both driver and passenger side.
The center console does integrate the new Porsche Communication Management system (PCM), which introduced the touch screen at Porsche. There is the slot to put the SD card in and all the buttons are visible and painted separately. The glove compartment does not open, but the handle is painted and does include a lock. Even the leather stitching on the dashboard has been replicated to perfection. Looking up, we can spot both sun visors, the rear view mirror, as well as the little compartment for the sun glasses – magnificent!
The special thing about any packaging of official licensed Porsche model cars is the fact that every model gets a distinctive VIN number. Unfortunately, I do not have the original box of this car anymore, so all I can do is give you a glimpse of this 2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo”’s packaging. Check out that car’s review and you’ll get to find out about the packaging as well!
Back on the road
This is an officially Porsche licensed model car. Norev basically had no choice making it right. The only thing they could have made better are the front seats. It would have been nice to have a tiltable backrest. This Porsche 997 “Carrera 4S” is a beautiful collectors item to own and I can recommend it to anyone.
The second car of Autobau I want to show you is the Porsche918 Spyder. A supercar like the prancing horse I reported about earlier. Unlike the Ferrari LaFerrari supercar this is a Porsche, a seriously engineered piece of German craftsmanship. The 918 Spyder is taking the reigns of the Carrera GT. After its discontinuation in 2007, Porsche supercar aficionados had to wait six years before the production version of the latest iteration was presented at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Unsurprisingly, the 918 is instantly recognizable as a Porsche. The front part actually looks very similar to the famous 1970’s 917 race car of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Even though every brand has their own trade marks, their own visual styling queues, the Weissach supercar shares the same type of architecture as the LaFerrari; a carbon fiber monocoque. Yes, there is a front splitter on either side, big air intakes in the front, following air outlets just behind the front wheels. And yes, there is a big rear spoiler and a rear diffusor to keep the massive 21″ Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 wheels on the tarmac, but it doesn’t look as wild as a Pagani or as brutal as a Noble. Long story short, just as in traditional Porsche fashion, the attention to details they have given to it, make the functionality and efficiency look gorgeous.
Under the skin
The 4.6 litre V8 engine mounted between the seats and the rear axle produces 608 hp and 528 Nm of torque. Being a hybrid, it’s completed with a 125 hp electric motor in the front, as well as a 154 hp electric motor in the back. The latter one is coupled to the V8, giving it a total of 887 hp. Porsche claims it can do 0 – 100 km/h in just 2.6 s and reach a top speed of 345 km/h – just a little bit slower than the Ferrari LaFerrari. But than bear in mind that it shows 1’634 kg on the scales. For those of you who are interested in finding out which is faster, why don’t you take a look on what the illustrious Chris Harris has to say about them.
The transmission is a seven speed dual-clutch item, or as Porsche say: PDK, meaning Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (Porsche double clutch transmission). 🙂 The battery that powers the two electric motors is a 6.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery installed behind the cockpit. As you can see in the picture above, it is a plug-in hybrid, but the batteries are also charged by regenerative braking or of course by the V8 engine itself. What makes the 918 Spyder special is the fact that it can run on electric power only. This distinguishes it from the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) that regenerates just as well but only stores the electricity to assist the gasoline powered engine when it needs that extra boost.
Inside the cockpit
In a supercar I think it’s save to say that the cabin is not just a cabin but a cockpit, a place where every detail has been thought trough to make the driving experience as precise and thrilling as it can be. The 918 Spyder is no exception on that matter. Believe or not, the most important feature of this car is the little switch positioned on the steering wheel, allowing the driver, or shall I say pilot, to switch between four different driving modes that radically transform the car’s personality:
E-Power: This is the default mode of the car upon firing it up. When fully charged, it can drive up to 31 km on electric power only and reach a top speed of 150 km/h. The gasoline powered V8 only kicks in when needed.
Hybrid: In this mode the car uses both, gasoline engine and electric motors to drive as fuel efficiently as possible.
Sport-Hybrid: In the sport mode, the gasoline engine is always on. The electric motors are only punctually used to give the car some extra boost.
Race-Hybrid: This is basically a more performance oriented mode of the sport-hybrid mode: More boost, the batteries are charged faster and the gear changes are quicker.
That’s the ticket
What about the price? 847’000 $. Sure, a lot of green bills, but still a lot less than the Ferrari LaFerrari (I daren’t use the word cheap^^), but then Porsche also made a total of 918 of them and by December 2014 every single one of them was sold out.