For many years the production car speed record of 386 km/h set in 1998 by the McLaren F1 remained unchallenged. All this changed when Bugatti announced the 1000+ bhp and 400 + km/h Veyron. Shortly after the ambitious announcements a variety of supercar manufacturers and aftermarket tuners jumped on the band wagon to beat the quickest and fastest production car ever built. One of the recent additions to the growing line of pretenders to the Bugatti throne is tuner 9ff. At the 2007 Essen Motorshow the German company unveiled the 'GT9' with a claimed top speed of a staggering 410 km/h.
As with many of 9ff's products, the GT9 is based on a Porsche product; in this case the 997 GT3. To achieve the ambitious goals extensive modifications were required and only the front half of the production Porsche is carried over while everything aft of the cockpit was custom built. Using the shock front end prevented 9ff from having to submit a GT9 to a crash test. To save weight and allow for wider wheels and tires rated for 410 km/h, the original metal panels have been replaced with carbon fibre and kevlar panels, resembling the GT1 cars of the late 1990s much more closely than the original 997 GT3.
What sets the GT9 apart from most other Porsche based specials is the engine. Increased in size to 4 litre and equipped with two massive Turbos, the six cylinder produces a staggering 987 bhp. That the engineers went to great lengths to achieve this Veyron-like power figure is best illustrated by the intake manifold, which is plated in gold to ensure the air going into the engine is as cool as possible. Mated to a six-speed gearbox, the engine is mounted midships, resulting in a 30cm longer wheelbase. The new rear-end also includes a bespoke rear suspension with push-rod actuated dampers.
By using lightweight composite materials throughout, 9ff managed to keep the weight of the GT9 down to 1326 kg; over 70 kg less than the stock 997 GT3 despite carrying an engine that produces well over twice as much power. The combination of the nearly 1000 horses and the lightweight allow the GT9 to accelerate to 300 km/h in 17.6 seconds, which is 0.6 seconds faster than the Veyron's benchmark figure. Providing plenty of stopping power are four massive carbon ceramic discs equipped with ABS. That is about it for driver aids as the GT9 does not have traction control or electronic stability management. A very delicate right foot is required to drive this beast.
To make sure the GT9 is eligible for the production speed record, 9ff has a run of 20 examples planned and all have apparently been sold. To ensure absolute exclusivity, each customer can pick their own interior trim and have the car equipped with the optional stereo, navigation system and air-conditioning These creature comforts might make the interior feel more luxurious, but they can by no means hide this car's true intentions; to go very fast and get there even quicker. At the time of writing we have not heard of a successful top speed run, yet.