Gray is a controversial color for a supercar. While it looks sharp and technical in bright sunshine, its stealthy character doesn't deliver the "Coming through, move over!" message so vital for autobahn stormers. Aside from that, Porsche's Meteor Gray metallic hue really suits SpeedArt's take on the second-gen 997 Turbo, which comes with the mind numbing BTR-II 650 EVO appellation.
Red accents serve to highlight the new parts. The big side intake ducts in the new front bumper incorporate daytime running lights and a pair of driving lights, and a matte black frame complements the larger central air intake. Deeply sculpted side skirts are designed to channel airflow upwards past the big rear wheels to reduce turbulence in that area, while the rear wing perched on the new engine cover has a pair of ram intakes to boost flow to the airbox. Final body additions include a small rooftop spoiler and a valance extension below the factory rear bumper that continues the visual line from the deeper side skirts.
Red accents continue in the cabin with color-coded instrument faces and the unusual red carbon trim on the center console and doors. Further detail work includes red edging for the floormats and red stitching on the steering wheel, seats, door panels, and dashboard.
The finishing touch for the enthusiast driver, who does not already have Porsche's optional paddle-shift steering wheel, is SpeedArt's wheel. This comes with a thicker contoured rim and is a straight swap for the Tiptronic and PDK steering wheels on all Boxster, Cayman, and 911 models.
The new 500-hp Turbo motor is a gem. Sweet from idle to cut-out, it's everything the old GT1-blocked engine was not and delivers a 16 percent improvement in fuel consumption as well.
SpeedArt offers a modest 580-hp Power Kit and a much wilder 650-hp version. The former uses a free-flow air filter, exhaust with sound switch, 200-cell catalytic converters, and four 90mm outlet pipes. The ECU is remapped to increase boost pressure and alter the fuelling and ignition curves to suit.
Even the latest standard VTG turbochargers reach their flow limit at 580 hp, so the 650-hp Powerkit IV involves replacing them with a larger pair of turbos and larger intercoolers.
"We use the GT2 turbochargers since they have a higher flow rate to start with, and our engineers further optimize them for higher output levels," says SpeedArt boss Bjorn Striening. "The housings are machined to increase the internal scroll size for greater airflow, and we carefully match the turbines to achieve good low-end response. Our special high-efficiency intercoolers drop the intake temperature by more than 68 degrees Fahrenheit so we can run higher boost pressures."
This kit uses the same intake and exhaust as the 580-hp version, but an uprated clutch is required for a manual-equipped car. Some uprated parts are used for PDK.
The standard Turbo is over-braked, so the extra power is not a big issue unless you're doing track work, in which case PCCBs will do the job perfectly. This car is fitted with the standard steel brakes, which proved perfectly adequate on the road.
SpeedArt's H&R-made lowering springs take 25mm out of the standard ride height. Tuned to work with the factory PASM dampers, these springs are about 10 percent firmer and are designed to retain the front-to-rear balance while delivering better body control at speed.
"Most of our customers use their cars on the road rather than on track days, so we placed a lot of emphasis on retaining reasonable ride comfort," Striening says. "Off-the-shelf H&R springs for the Turbo are biased more toward track days, which is why we developed our own specific springs."