“Take a 993 and make a 25 per cent improvement in every area” was the brief from Paul Stephens’ latest Autoart customer. Taking over five years to create - with a pandemic in the middle - and with several thousands of miles of road and track development under its belt, renowned UK-based Porsche specialist reveals its all-new, production Paul Stephens Autoart 993R.
The Autoart 993R is a statement to the joy of driving a 911. It combines a narrow-bodied, air-cooled 993-series 911 with Original Equipment (OE) race-validated 993RS and modern Porsche GT-derived components, along with Paul Stephens’ proven parts. With the rawness and charm of an air-cooled Porsche, yet modern engineering and lightweight manufacturing advances, the 993R offers technical function that enhances its performance, styling and overall driving experience.
Marking over 20 years since the development of the first Paul Stephens Autoart-converted Porsche 911 began, the 993R is Paul Stephens’ vision of the last air-cooled 911 and its finest endorsement to its ‘less is more’ philosophy to-date. Created in conjunction with a Porsche-enthused customer, who has driven and owned many Porsches, both air- and water-cooled, including road and racing derivatives from 1965 to the present day, the customer also had a clear understanding of his perfect daily 911.
Commenting on the 993R build and production specification, Paul Stephens Autoart founder and director, Paul Stephens, said: “The 964 platform, which we started converting in the early 2000s, has proved very popular with companies since, each wanting to re-engineer it into their interpretation of an earlier looking 911. We have never been a company to copy others and so felt the time was right to put our mark on the last air-cooled 911, the 993. We chose this model as it is the most advanced series of the air-cooled era and has a unique appearance that is still appreciated today.
“That’s why the 993R [to me] really pushes our years of air-cooled experience to the limit, from the engine, suspension, lightweight panels, to the car’s bespoke minimalist interior. The 993R isn’t a swansong, but I wanted it to be the ‘best of’ Autoart, all meeting or bettering the customer’s brief.
“More than any Paul Stephens Autoart-converted Porsche 911 to-date, the new 993R project expresses our ‘less is more’ philosophy to include many subtle details that will go unnoticed to the casual observer, yet hopefully will be appreciated by the most ardent 911 aficionados, who understand our vision.”
Summary of the Autoart 993R technical specifications and works - ‘less is more’
Like the original Autoart 300R, created some 20 years ago, Paul and his team reflected that the 993R must be lighter, with increased power, combined with a technically advanced chassis, to deliver a more focused driving experience than the original car it was based on. As the company widely believes, to enjoy a Porsche 911 on the road, its ‘less is more’ philosophy heightens the driving experience.
When pen came to paper, the company worked with its customer on the 993R, with an engaging and analogue driving experience reported to be an absolute prerequisite. However, the 993R also had to feature a level of driver comfort that would be expected today, without resorting to modern entrapments such as electronic driver aids and switchable exhausts to flatter an owner’s driving ability and ego.
With a stronger and enlarged 3.8-litre engine, featuring a 997 GT3 crankshaft, RSR pistons, camshafts machined to Paul Stephens’ own design and featuring Porsche Motorsport solid lifters, peak power of 330 bhp is achieved at 7,400 rpm as opposed to the original 272 bhp at 6,100 rpm. With this configuration, the team was focusing on daily driveability instead of outright power. For those wanting more power, a 360 bhp version is also available, which when supplied in this specification, the 993R has a visceral 8,500 rpm redline.
Torque has been increased to provide 360 Nm at 5,675 rpm and weight reduced to 1,190 kg dry, 1,220 kg wet (down from the original 1,370 kg). At the time of writing, performance figures have not been officially recorded. However, with 270 bhp per tonne, it has same power to weight ratio as a 996 GT3 and customers should expect performance to be similar with the 330 bhp motor fitted. However, with the spicier 360 bhp option, offering 295 bhp per tonne versus 293 bhp per of the 997 GT3, drivers should expect it to be a fair bit brisker.
As the 993R is primarily a road car that has been reduced in weight and increased power, the 993RS braking system was considered a preference over a carbon disc set up offering immense immediate stopping power every time the brakes are applied. Suspension and differential technology have advanced considerably since the 993 was produced, and the Autoart team fitted a modern Wavetrac ATB limited slip differential and Tractive Ace semi-active adjustable suspension, combined with genuine Porsche Motorsport components. The adjustable suspension is linked to an Electrical Control Module (ECM), which has been programmed by the team with five individual settings that can be controlled from the cabin by the driver, even on the move.
PS modified Cargraphic performance exhaust system with stainless steel heat exchangers.
PS Autoart designed and manufactured engine shroud to increase air-cooling efficiency.
Larger intakes are fitted to the front power unit to increase brake and oil cooling airflow efficiency.
Materials and body panels:
Weight reduction of the exterior:
No panel is left unturned, including 993R-only composite panels and bespoke fixings.
Weight reduction of the interior:
Suspension and Handling:
Original suspension removed and adjustable OE Porsche Motorsport replacement parts fitted in its place. Added five-way adjustable suspension with five settings controlled by its bespoke ECM, created with suspension specialists Tractive and Center Gravity.
As the 993R is primarily a road car that has reduced in weight, the 993RS braking system was considered a preference over a carbon disc set up offering immense immediate stopping power the first time and every time the brakes are applied.
The 993R is fitted with OE 993 RS discs and callipers with Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS).
Wheels and tyres:
Genuine Porsche 996 GT3 RS x 18 front and rear wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.