Four Hundred And Thirty The Hard Way: Porsche Introduces The 991 Powerkit

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
four hundred and thirty the hard way porsche introduces the 991 powerkit

Does the new 991 need more power? After all, in addition to the inevitable (and mandatory) color-mag fellatio you’d expect, it’s already impressed Brendan McAleer at a Porsche-operated press event and squeaked out a narrow victory over a Mustang GT in an impromptu challenge at Summit Point’s Shenandoah course.

In the days when Porsche was a manufacturer of sports cars, rather than a purveyor of two-ton plasti-metallic pig-mobiles doing the occasional sporting car for purposes of brand enhancement, its policy of continuous improvement meant that each year’s 911 was better than the last. Nowadays, however, the company sets out its marketing objectives and molds the product to suit.

Witness: the new 991 Powerkit.

The Powerkit, which has yet to receive the usual (and strangely evocative) X50 or X51 designation, bumps the 911 Carrera S from 400 to 430 horsepower courtesy of different cylinder heads and cams, a redesigned intake, some additional cooling, and an ECU tune, plus Sport Chrono. There’s probably under a thousand dollars’ worth of genuine cost involved in the Powerkit. Anybody who thinks the Powerkit will cost the customer a thousand bucks, or even three times that, probably just got done sucking twelve lungfuls’ worth of smoke out of a five-foot-tall homemade bong which was nicknamed “I, Claudius” by that one guy in the third-floor loft who is theoretically a member of the fraternity but nobody remembers seeing him pledge.

Once upon a time, Porsche would have put the Powerkit on all 2013 Carrera S cars and been done with it. No longer. Now it’s another monstrously profitable rung in the prestige ladder. Buyers looking to spend $150,000 on a normally-aspirated 911 without resorting to the time-honored expedient of doing seatbelts dyed to sample will no doubt welcome the extra opportunity to impress the sheik next door.

Porsche also announced an Aerokit, which will cost $5,990 or thereabouts plus about four grand for even more wings. It’s shown above. Supposedly, the rear decklid pays tribute to the ’73 Carrera RS, and it does, the same way that a picture of Justin Bieber holding a Strat could be said to be a tribute to Jimi Hendrix.

The 400-horsepower 991 is already cutting high eleven-second quarter-mile times in private hands, and this Powerkit certainly won’t hurt. The question is: do you want to be the guy stupid enough to pay near-Turbo money for a loaded 991 Carrera S Powerkit when the 991 Turbo is almost here?

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6 of 43 comments
  • Jco Jco on Jun 27, 2012

    this is the same Jack that wrote this: right? :) aside from them charging you many thousands of dollars for the privilege of selecting this particular customization.. according to you it's better that they offer it than not. or you can have a Carrera LX and be done with it..

    • See 2 previous
    • Jco Jco on Jun 27, 2012

      @Jack Baruth yes, it is lame, although I guess I missed where there were two different tune stages. they're going to do it for money, I know I don't have to say that.. and yes I'm sure they're counting on the fact that not every potential buyer is going to know or care that it costs you more than it costs them. look at the the staggering amount of interior bits you can have covered in varying amounts and colors of leather (or not). I think once you start offering such a bewildering array of options for every single area of the car, having a pricing difference between 2 different levels of power is just.. logical. two levels means two different choices means two different prices. I also think there may be plenty of Porsche owners out there who'd be ok with adding decimals for a highly customized Carrera S, even if it means it starts bumping into pricing for an off-the-rack Silver/Black turbo model. the Powerkit just makes it seem a little less like a sacrifice I suppose.

  • Ccd1 Ccd1 on Jun 27, 2012

    Porsche marketing is really run by social scientists attempting to find out the limits to which cynical pricing can be taken before their customers balk. This is the company, afterall, who prices its Boxster convertible less than its virtually identical hardtop Cayman. AND they offer about two dozen variations on the same car (911) with truly wild variations in the price. One would have thought they had reached the limits for their customers, but the experiment continues.

    • Stuntmonkey Stuntmonkey on Jun 27, 2012

      > Porsche marketing is really run by social scientists attempting to find out the limits to which cynical pricing can be taken before their customers balk. Also known affectionately as "Starbucks pricing", and the term that economists prefer is "price discrimination"..... hee hee hee.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...